Chess and Poker Fridays

29 May, 2009 (21:32) in Yada Yada Yada written by James Yates

Your humble narrator has randomly decided to start a new tradition here on the Chess and Poker blog that I think I’ll creatively be calling “Chess and Poker Fridays”. In an attempt to sharpen my scattered attention span I will post dual-content blogs that cover both Chess and Poker and will at the very least try to make them interesting. Please don’t notice, though, if I happen to post them on Thursdays or every third month etc etc :) First things first…I’ll start with Poker and one of my favorite online players,  the former #1 ranked online poker player in the world Chris Moorman.

chris-moormanFor those of you not well-versed in Poker forum traditions (aka normal “have a life” types) I’d like to introduce you to some of the most thought-provoking posts you’ll find there by way of “The Well” format. Occasionally, a top player will decided to participate in what is known as “The Well” which is a thread dedicated to the featured player where fellow forum members may ask them any question they like and reasonably expect an answer, especially if their questions concern Poker. I’ve enjoyed reading several “Wells” lately and would like to review some of the more memorable strategy-related answers given by some of the best players around, online or live. This first one reviews a Chris “Moorman1” Moorman Well from PocketFives.com with responses when asked about:

Standard lines based on stack size:

really tough question to give an accurate answer too as it really does depend on the table. I doubt I’d 3 bet fold 30bbs tbh, 4 bet shove stack is ideal between 30 and 40bbs, anything more doing it light would be spew unless you had a solid read. 10-20 bbs I dont care who you are its just wait for a hand/good reshove spot imo.

What separates him from the average-to-above average LAG (loose-agressive) player:

The main thing is experience. Also I feel like I’m pretty good at getting inside other peoples heads and knowing what their breaking point is.

How to stay focused with a big stack late in a tournament:

You can’t keep running people over, every1 has their breaking point. Know when your opponents have had enough and this time have it and hold….. easy game :)

What a common mistake for MTT players was:

Overvaluing overpairs early in tourneys

If it’s better to bet out big draws or check raise with them OOP (out of position?

prob bet out unless the natural sizing of the bet would be worthy of a check raise all in

How do I improve (from a top player)?

IMO you should try and make your opponents make more mistakes against you than you are making yourself rather than making yourself mistake free and relying on your opponents making non forced errors against you.

Three skills that set him apart:

Not sure on 3 skills that set me apart but I would say I’m good at knowing when to 3 barrel, double barrel, fire 1 bullet or just check fold. Also I’d like to think I was good at taking advantage of different players styles and closing out final tables when I have a stack. The more experience you gain the better you become at the game so I just try to log hands/tourneys and try and play my a game as often as possible.

What the biggest post-flop mistakes MTT (multi-table tournament) players make:

not having a plan for turns and rivers or not giving themselves fold equity/widening peoples ranges etc. For example some boards will be bad c bets unless u are willing to double/triple barrell and then you have to consider opponents stack sizes and see if its possible, if there is 4k in the pot and your oppoents has 10k back and the flop is 566 if you think a lot of medium pocket pairs are in his range and you hold air then a cbet would be unproftable, however if in the same situation your opoonent had 25k you would have the ammunition to fire 3 bullets and have a lot more chance of getting him to fold on the turn/river.

Biggest mistakes he continuously sees his opponents making:

not balancing their ranges enough in certain spots

Why he keeps his opening raise size fairly large (2.75 to 3x) even late:

I like to play big pots and put people to decisions for their whole stack which is obviously easier with a bigger open. also you get less multiway pots.

If he’d prefer to grind a 30bb-ish stack or go for a huge chip stack:

huge chip leads ftw imo

Good Poker stuff there imo. And now I’d like to share a couple of interesting videos I came across while mindlessly wandering through YouTube today. The first features the eccentric and later troubled former World Chess champion Bobby Fischer in an interview with Dick Cavett that I watched for the first time (sorry I’m pretty lazy when it comes to research, the vid is circa 1971) and I found him to be very enigmatic and engaging. Heck, he’s was a chess genius from Brooklyn what more does it take to be interesting :) The second is a tape recorded interview from another former Chess Champion Alexander Alekhine. I have read about Alekhine several times previously and reviewed his games, but he comes across much nicer than I imagined. Actually, he seems like a really nice old guy that played Chess very well. Despite the fact that the recording is VERY old and for some reason I feel like Alekhine is going to invite me to Transylvania, lock me up in his castle, force me to write a series of letters and then travel across the seas to embrace/bite/vamp-out-on my Mina, I really liked listening to the short video….creepiness and all.  Especially when Alekhine proclaims that Chess does not require a strong memory (woot) and that “a lifetime is not enough in which to learn everything about Chess”. So enjoy, and if you really like the “Chess and Poker” combo posts, drop us a comment eh. Pavlov’s dog sort of thing.

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