Thought Process

    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      I read a few comments Phil Galfond had posted about his thought process and it really got me thinking.

      The most important bit of quick advice I could give is to ask yourself 'why' all the time. Why is he betting this turn? Why did he call flop and bet river when I checked behind on the turn? What could he do that with? What is he thinking? What does he want me to do? Why did he raise to that amount? What's he trying to accomplish? Does he want to look strong or weak? Does he want me to fold or call or shove?


      I realised I don't do this, at least not anything like as much or a systematically. My thought process has a lot less "whys", it's more like, I have TPTK, he's called the flop and donked the turn, crap, he's kind of passive - I'd better fold. Not "why did he call the flop here?", "why is he donking the turn instead of c/ring?", etc.

      Galfond goes on to say:

      You kind've have a mini checklist in your head 'will he call worse hands here? no. Fold better? Maybe. If I check can he bluff a lot? Yeah. OK check.'


      I thought this was kind of simple brilliance. I've learnt when I should value bet (worse hands will call), and when I should bluff (better hands will fold) but I don't think I apply it with discipline every single hand OR consider all of the alternatives.

      If Galfond thinks in this mini-checklist manner, that seems to be something that is, at least partly, learnable and can be partially replicated. So:

      - I'm trying to get a feel for how good players think. Be great if any of the more experienced guys could post their thought process here. Now, I know it's going to be way too complicated in a lot of scenarios and it's impossible to measure all the factors that go into a hand (and this is a key skill) but still getting an idea of this would be useful.

      - As a second step, I'm going to scale back to one table and apply a methodical thought process for a couple of weeks to try to learn how to think about poker better.

      I figure it can't do any harm - any comments on your thought processes would be much appreciated.
  • 4 replies
    • Andyuk18
      Andyuk18
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.12.2010 Posts: 527
      You should just camp out in the hand analysis forum for a while. People post their hands and talk through their thought process all the time and not just on this forum. All it takes is a little search.
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      You should just camp out in the hand analysis forum for a while. People post their hands and talk through their thought process all the time and not just on this forum. All it takes is a little search.


      I post hands and contibute to the hand forums - and they've helped my game a lot. But I guess what this post is for is to try understand peoples "mini-checklist" that they apply to a hand which, I think, is slightly different.
    • MisClick
      MisClick
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.05.2008 Posts: 1,186
      Nice post :f_grin:

      Sorry I can't say I am a good poker player, but I do have some mini check-lists. However it is difficult to remember them unless I have a particular example...They are very simple, and the ones I end up using the most, after a while become a rule. For example, a tight player limping/calling in early position. Why is he limping/why is he calling? has become the rule: 'if he limps/calls he has a pocket pair most of the time'. Why is he calling flop when there is no obvious draws out there? -> 'if he calls on flop he has an overpair/set' (and depending how high the flop is, he might have second pair far above the board 2nd pair (for ex., on J25r he might have TT).

      Looking forward to reading what are the thought processes of the more experienced players.
    • tokyoaces
      tokyoaces
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,883
      Originally posted by JonikoP
      Be great if any of the more experienced guys could post their thought process here.
      Every live play video I've ever watched was exactly like this. Make sure you watch videos for your particular stakes though as the thought process for the nanos and micros is different from higher level play.