I remember a while back, Chaos coming up with his theory of strange attractors for tournaments. Without going into too much detail, he was coining a chaos theory term, a branch of physics/maths, to show how certain stack sizes evolve into larger or smaller sizes, somewhat regardless of how the person plays. It's an interesting and useful idea.
Another theory from the same set of disciplines, fractals, also has some interesting ramifications for poker thought. Basically, a fractal can be defined as a system having similar detail at all scales. Have you not noticed that a lot of poker games are like that? Take holdem for example. There are lots of differences between say the 5-10 limit game and the 100-200 game on Stars. But also a huge amount of similarities. Sure, the game plays differently because of a huge increase of aggression, but the fundamentals stay the same. A guy playing 40% of his hands would be just as much a fish in the big game as the little. And a lot of the technical plays, such as blind defense, are also basically the same.
Limit holdem is a fractal.
Looking through Pete B's excellent blog, I realised that PLO is very different. PB is currently exploring low limit PLO and he commented on some hands he played. Looking at them, I realised that I would play them very differently in the games I frequent. This corroborates my old thinking that if you want to learn PLO, don't expect what you learn in the micro-limits to have much value once you move up into meaningful money.
With Pete's permission, here are the hands, with my comments in italics:
PB calls a small raise with 5h 6s 7s 7h and 4 other players take a flop of 3s 4c 2s. UTG calls, as does someone else, the initial raiser folds, and Pete calls. The turn brings a blank, everyone takes off and goes allin, and PB scoops against the other top straights when he hits his small flush on the river.
This is a great example of a backgammon concept that crosses the divide really well - losing one's market. This is that you are NOT afraid that you will get outdrawn, rather that the next card will be so terrifying for your opponent that you won't be able to get any more money out of him. So if he is bluffing, he probably switches off once you flat call anyway; if he has a hand, you need to sweep him in now before he gets nervous about a deadly looking turn. A figure closely approximating zero of online players are capable of passing the "dry" nuts at this point.
PB dealt AAJ8 single-suited under the gun, raises and gets one caller - a conservative player. PB has about $124 against his $30. The flop came 833 rainbow. PB bet 2/3rds of the pot and gets raised the pot. PB puts the foe on a big pair and reraises, foe passes.
I don't like the UTG raise, but that is a stylistic point more than anything. I like the bet on the flop but the reraise is not a good play, at least in my games. First off, he could have a three. But that isn't the real point. The reraise is a variation of my famous "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" play. Ok it's only famous if you have been reading this blog :-( You're damned if he has the 3, cos you are putting in a big chunk of change for 2 outs. But critically, you're kinda damned if he doesn't have the 3 because you are making him pass when he has something like 2 outs. These aren't free cards...he is charging himself for them! If you go limp he may have a rush of blood to the head and bluff off his money. And if you are losing, the result is the same. More upside, same downside.
Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line