Thursday, 25 September 2008

Read some books

I finished NLTAP last week. Best. Book Ever. I am going to re-read it next week. And probably next month, too. I forced myself to skip one section: the turn and river bluffing section as per the warning saying Do Not Try This at Home Kids! since I play 25NL and people don't understand what they're seeing anyways.

I'm currently reading Schoonmaker's Your Best Poker Friend. I read his Your Own Worst Poker Enemy last month which I found thoroughly helpful to control my emotions. This one is more about exploiting your opponents, putting them on tilt, etc.

I also read an excellent book at work this week. Sun Tzu's The Art fo War. You can get all sorts of free public domain e-books like this one on Project Gutenberg's website. It's amazing how a 6th century B.C. book can address so many issues that not only still apply to modern warfare, but actually also apply directly to poker.

Some samples:

1. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

4. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

7. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete...

... 13. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

14. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

16. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success...

... 17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.

19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him...

This was my favorite:

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

My translation for the tables:

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a poker player:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to spewing;
(2) cowardice, which leads to weak-tight play;
(3) tilt, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) making plays to defend your ego, rather than +EV plays
(5) over-solicitude for his chips, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

1 comment:

  1. I'm starting to read NLTAP, looks really good so far.

    I like the 5 faults quote btw.