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Optimal Preflop Play Headsup / a. selby

    • hazz
      Joined: 13.02.2006 Posts: 4,771
      Fixed limit texas holdem is a non-cooperative finite zerosum-game, so there is an optimal play for sure. you cant solve the whole game yet, because there are way too many nodes. in order to compute anything we have to simplify.

      alex selby is known as the guy who did this for preflop play in 1999:

      he reduces poker to headsup with betting actions happening only preflop (as we do when we evaluate our eq with pokerstove preflop). so be careful, he neglects playability and reverse implied odds etc.

      One thing u might learn from selbys results is that you dont have to use mixed strategies for deception but using the same strategy for different holecards does the job just fine.

      Another interesting point is that in this game the bigblind will win money in the long run despite him being the guy who puts in twice as much money into the pot before knowing his cards. its all about the position!

      I think you can learn a lot from his solution, but i got one question:

      is he really talking about "our" poker? we have a cap at 4 bets preflop. in his tables there are entries like "r3", where u have to bet, reraise and even rereraise as the small blind. to me this adds up to a cap of at least 6 bets.
      if this is true, then his game is different from ours and his optimal strategy isnt worth much. he comments on raising the number of allowed actions each. first of all this is another possible fault in his program: in poker you dont have a limit in action but in bets, but his program demands you to enter "X actions each", not "cap at X bets". second i am not sure if there no changes to the optimal strategy if u raise the limits, but that shouldnt be the point now anyway.

      So did i miss something or did he NOT solve preflop for a 4cap pokergame?

      If i am right, has he or anyone else done it elsewhere?
  • 1 reply
    • Korn
      Joined: 14.01.2005 Posts: 12,512
      The problem is that he assumes players to be all-in after the pre-flop betting round.

      This makes his charts too loose. So many calls should be folds.

      Also, he does not take into account on how good a hand plays post-flop (what we call "playability")