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Old 10-05-2019, 09:38 PM
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The poker world is engulfed with the Postle poker scandal


Somewhat surprised to see that this isn't being discussed. Stones Gambling Hall has live streams of cash hold 'em games. About a year or so ago, a low/mid-stakes player called Mike Postle started running over the game, despite playing a ridiculously high percentage of hands - like 40-50%, a stupidly high level that essentially guarantees high variance and eventual busto. Despite this Postle kept winning...and winning...and winning. "God Mode" comments were common. Crush Live Poker instructors made training videos calling him a clown and discussing how to beat stupid lag-tards playing 50% of hands, which were all spot-on, problem being Postle was making insane reads in every single hand, and never ever being wrong.

I remember watching some streams and just not understanding how he wasn't sometimes blasting into the stone cold nuts. He'd shut it down when behind. Put in massive bluffs with complete air, but only when his opponents could never call. It was insane. Garrett Adelstein, a regular on the Live at the Bike streams, is one of the best players I've ever seen, and he often makes the wrong fold, or triple-barrel bluffs into the nuts. Postle? Never.

It turns out that a number of players (including some of the Crush Live Poker instructors) raised concerns at the highly unusual style + never losing combination. Stones basically came back with 'we looked into it, nothing to see here'. Fast forward a few months later, and a player/commentator at Stones finally had enough after this hand.

A few tweets later, some poker vloggers started digging in, particularly Joey Ingram, live-streaming hours and hours of simply going over videos of Postle's play on the Stones feeds, and uncovering hand after hand of god-like play. Basically, Postle is God descended from the heavens to play $1/3 hold 'em in Sacramento, or he's cheating.
Doug Polk and other vloggers have joined in, the thread on 2+2 has exploded, and it's become this black hole of time sink as people look back at hands with a 'omg why didn't more people spot this earlier', coupled with speculation as to how he cheated and whether he acted alone (seems certain he had to have at least one accomplice. We now have a stoned Mike Matusow doing a podcast with Postle. Entertainment gold.

For me, the most insane thing is that the guy won a few hundred thousand dollars (at most) over the course of a year, that he probably had to split with someone - not a massive payout, but basically free money, and he was only caught because he was stupid and greedy. Blast off into the nuts here and there, lose a couple of big pots, have some losing sessions here and there, and literally nobody ever every suspects a thing. Doing all of his cheating ON CAMERA and then doing it in a way that is literally guaranteed to raise eyebrows....what a stupid way to get caught.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 10-05-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:57 PM
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Doing all of his cheating ON CAMERA and then doing it in a way that is literally guaranteed to raise eyebrows....what a stupid way to get caught.
I didn't follow all the links in your post, but has he been definitely caught? It sounds like he was ridiculously successful, and made plays that suggest he knew more than he should. That certainly sounds like he's cheating, but is there any direct evidence that he cheated, and how?
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:45 PM
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Funny you post this today - just this afternoon I watched a Doug Polk video about this scandal. As a lot of the commenters were saying, Postle hides his phone in his lap about as subtly as a high schooler texting in algebra class.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:37 PM
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How the fuck does the house and other players let you have your phone in your lap AND your hand below the table? Some cardrooms I've played in, that would get you shot.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:04 AM
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Are live feeds for $1/$3 tables common? I didn’t follow every link, but how long was his run? I can’t imagine he could have gotten away with it very long. I guess he stayed at the low dollar tables, since amateurs are less likely to catch on to what was going on.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:29 AM
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Somewhat surprised to see that this isn't being discussed. Stones Gambling Hall has live streams of cash hold 'em games. About a year or so ago, a low/mid-stakes player called Mike Postle started running over the game, despite playing a ridiculously high percentage of hands - like 40-50%, a stupidly high level that essentially guarantees high variance and eventual busto. ..

I remember watching some streams and just not understanding how he wasn't sometimes blasting into the stone cold nuts. He'd shut it down when behind. Put in massive bluffs with complete air, but only when his opponents could never call. It was insane. Garrett Adelstein, a regular on the Live at the Bike streams, is one of the best players I've ever seen, and he often makes the wrong fold, or triple-barrel bluffs into the nuts....

Doug Polk and other vloggers have joined in, the thread on 2+2 has exploded, and it's become this black hole of time sink as people look back at hands with a 'omg why didn't more people spot this earlier', coupled with speculation as to how he cheated and whether he acted alone...

For me, the most insane thing is that the guy won a few hundred thousand dollars (at most) over the course of a year, that he probably had to split with someone - not a massive payout, but basically free money, and he was only caught because he was stupid and greedy. Blast off into the nuts here and there, lose a couple of big pots, have some losing sessions here and there, and literally nobody ever every suspects a thing. Doing all of his cheating ON CAMERA and then doing it in a way that is literally guaranteed to raise eyebrows....what a stupid way to get caught.
Wasn't this basically how the AbsolutePoker cheating scandal, or the collusion problem at Stud tables at Stars got solved: guys having win rates ridiculously ahead of normal rates (12 BB/100, was what I thought the guy at Absolute was running, and that when he decided to slow down.), where if they'd just moderated their greed, it would've been easily explained as just another guy sun-running? Easier to show, with the vastly greater number of hands to look at online, of course.

Have they figured out his angle yet? And if I understand you correctly, this is cheating at 1/3?!. Not 25/50 or some greater nosebleed game?

(I LOL'd at the triple barrel bluff into the nuts line.)
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:31 AM
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I've read upthread about the phone in the lap. My question is, what is that supposed to gain him? He's getting texts from someone who can see what's been dealt or burned?
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:39 AM
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Last post, but this graph from the 2+2 thread DragonAsh linked, should convey just how ridiculous this run was that this guy had: https://i.gyazo.com/9640d7665da6f5fb...c935334fbb.png

LOL at a near 1000 bb/100 win rate over any significant length of time, whatever his VPIP. The 2+2 thread makes it sound like he had an accomplice feeding him everyone else's hand from the livestream control room. Which would then be conveyed to his phone.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:46 AM
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this reminds me of when a year or two ago this black jack table had a few shoes where the cards were in exact order and these fools won something like 125 hands in a row and wondered how the dealer and pit boss noticed it

But yeah that guy was betting on everyone thinking no one would bother to cheat on the cheap tables .......
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:13 AM
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I didn't follow all the links in your post, but has he been definitely caught? It sounds like he was ridiculously successful, and made plays that suggest he knew more than he should. That certainly sounds like he's cheating, but is there any direct evidence that he cheated, and how?
It's not like they have video evidence showing him seeing opponents' hole cards on his phone, but it's pretty much 100% confirmed he cheated, basically his win rate is mathematically/ statistically impossible. If you threw a six-sided die 34 times, and someone correctly guessed the outcome 32 times, which is more likely, the person can correctly guess the outcome of a six-sided die 95% of the time, or he's using a loaded die?

The main question now is confirming how he cheated, not whether he cheated.

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Are live feeds for $1/$3 tables common? I didn’t follow every link, but how long was his run? I can’t imagine he could have gotten away with it very long. I guess he stayed at the low dollar tables, since amateurs are less likely to catch on to what was going on.
Not that common, certainly Stones is one of the few sites I know that regularly stream 1/3 (but see below on how big the game played). Live at the Bike is another site that streams almost every weekday, often bigger games. A couple of months ago there was a $400,000+ pot, absolute cooler (top full house vs quads).

I'd say his run started in mid-2018 or so. I think part of the reason he got away with it so long is that nobody was necessarily sitting and watching every single stream start to finish. There were definitely people that early on thought something was fishy, but it wasn't until people starting watching multiple sessions at a go that they started to see the entire picture.

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I've read upthread about the phone in the lap. My question is, what is that supposed to gain him? He's getting texts from someone who can see what's been dealt or burned?
The stream is on a 30-minute delay for viewers and commentators - and, of course, players at the table, so there was no need to ban phones. However, the main theory at present is that he had access to the -live- stream (possibly fed to him from the show's producer).

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(I LOL'd at the triple barrel bluff into the nuts line.)
I mean, everyone's done it - based on preflop action and board runout, you fire all three streets, and it should always work unless your opponent as at the absolute high end of his range...and sometimes, that's what they have LOL.
Put another way - if you *don't* sometimes shove all in to the nuts, you're absolutely a losing player.

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Have they figured out his angle yet? And if I understand you correctly, this is cheating at 1/3?!. Not 25/50 or some greater nosebleed game?
Well - yes technically a lot of the games were 1/3, but these definitely were not low-stakes games. There were almost always straddles and such, mainly played like a 5/5/10. Plus, it was a 'match the stack' game (if someone doubled up, anyone at the table could add on to match the highest stack at the table), so you'd get a lot of money on the table fairly quickly. Not nosebleed by any means, but definitely not 'low-stakes 1/3'. But of course if you were so good, there's no way in hell you'd be playing a 1/3 even if it plays like a 5/5 or 5/10, you'd go sit in Bobby's Room where everyone is buying in for a quarter of a million dollars or more and make real coin.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 10-06-2019 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:51 AM
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Would someone who really is an excellent poker player, and has his opponents’ hole cards fed to him from a casino employee, be able to win in such a way that he’d never get caught? It seems Postle only got caught due to the ridiculous percentage of wins. Perhaps someone sharper would be able to sacrifice more hands, make intentional mis-reads, etc. and get away with it for a long time, or forever.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:46 AM
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Would someone who really is an excellent poker player, and has his opponents’ hole cards fed to him from a casino employee, be able to win in such a way that he’d never get caught?
I absolutely think so. If Postle had played, say, a 25-30% VPIP - slightly higher than usual but not outrageously so - and had 70% winning sessions where he won quite a bit, and 30% losing sessions where he lost a little (which is the kind of sessions most good players have), and had made plays that he 'would never do' if he knew what his opponent had, I don't think anyone would ever suspect he was cheating. He'd look like a typical 'excellent' player.

Of course, if you -are- an excellent player, you don't really need to cheat. The only real benefit to cheating would be eliminating variance; I imagine it'd be harder trying to 'fake' variance....
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:39 PM
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I've read upthread about the phone in the lap. My question is, what is that supposed to gain him? He's getting texts from someone who can see what's been dealt or burned?
According to the Doug Polk video I watched, the cards are RFID tagged, with readers at each player’s seat and in the flop area, so the commentators are able to identify every card immediately. The presumption is that someone behind the scenes is texting Postle the other players’ hole cards.

Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 10-06-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:22 PM
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In that huge thread I even saw a post about a hand where he noticed that someone had their cards outside of the area, and asked him to place his cards where the RFID could read them. If true, that's pretty telling.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:41 PM
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Would someone who really is an excellent poker player, and has his opponents’ hole cards fed to him from a casino employee, be able to win in such a way that he’d never get caught? It seems Postle only got caught due to the ridiculous percentage of wins. Perhaps someone sharper would be able to sacrifice more hands, make intentional mis-reads, etc. and get away with it for a long time, or forever.
Who knows, perhaps someone is doing that right now. All the more reason to figure out how Postle did it, so that someone else doesn't exploit the same loophole and get away with it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:15 AM
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It's not like they have video evidence showing him seeing opponents' hole cards on his phone, but it's pretty much 100% confirmed he cheated, basically his win rate is mathematically/ statistically impossible. If you threw a six-sided die 34 times, and someone correctly guessed the outcome 32 times, which is more likely, the person can correctly guess the outcome of a six-sided die 95% of the time, or he's using a loaded die?

The main question now is confirming how he cheated, not whether he cheated.
I've read the thread as best I can but the jargon is completely alien to me as I know the game blackjack but none of the terminology that goes with it. (I don't even know what a "hole card" is)

Is there a stats breakdown for the layperson that shows the maths behind the assertion of cheating? It doesn't seem like he's actually been caught and I can't follow the logic of it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:24 AM
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Blast off into the nuts here and there
What does this idiom mean? [idly curious]
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:32 AM
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I've read the thread as best I can but the jargon is completely alien to me as I know the game blackjack but none of the terminology that goes with it. (I don't even know what a "hole card" is)

Is there a stats breakdown for the layperson that shows the maths behind the assertion of cheating? It doesn't seem like he's actually been caught and I can't follow the logic of it.
It's not blackjack, it's poker. The short explanation is that Postle has been playing in a way that makes sense only if he knows what cards the other players have. And he's been doing it long enough, and consistently enough, that it's not just an occasional lucky guess on his part.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:38 AM
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What does this idiom mean? [idly curious]
The nuts is the best hand available including 3 of the visible cards on the table. Blasting off into them means betting that the hand you make with your two pocket cards (the cards only you see) is the best hand (the nuts). However it isn't, someone else is eagerly waiting for your bet with better pocket cards.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:45 AM
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Blast off into the nuts here and there

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What does this idiom mean? [idly curious]
"the nuts" refers to the best possible hand in a given situation. A player holding the nuts knows that he can't possibly be beaten on a particular hand.

Poker players will sometimes bluff; holding a poor hand but placing a bet in the hope that the other players will all fold. Occasionally, you'll pick the wrong time to bluff. If another player has a great hand, maybe even "the nuts", then they won't fold and the bluffer loses. Postle, from what I gather reading the OP, has been extremely fortunate in when he has chosen to bluff. All of his bluffs have been when the other players had poor hands that they had to fold.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:06 AM
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The poker world is engulfed with the Postle poker scandal


Can this even remotely be a surprise? I have to believe there's a whole lot more that hasn't yet come to light.

My general feeling: "A fool and his money are soon parted."
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:10 AM
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Is there a stats breakdown for the layperson that shows the maths behind the assertion of cheating?
The best quick insight is provided by the graph that Gray Ghost linked. If accurate, this more or less conclusively proves that Postle is cheating.

The vertical axis shows the percentage of hands a player elects to bet with. At more than 60%, Postle is way above average, which necessarily means he's often playing with mediocre cards. This should produce lots of losses and a high variance in his results. But the horizontal axis (which shows the rate at which he wins money per 100 hands played) indicates that he enjoys spectacular success, with scarcely a setback. To score 150 on this scale would rank you as possibly the greatest poker player ever (or perhaps someone who plays only with really bad players); Postle is at 1000, which is simply not possible in fair games over any longish time.

For context, check out the dot labeled "potripper". This shows the result achieved online in 2007 by a cheater in what is known as the Absolute Poker scandal. It was shown that potripper had real-time access to his opponents' cards - but note that his (absurdly high) win rate is only about half of Postle's.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:13 AM
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All of his bluffs have been when the other players had poor hands that they had to fold.
He's also been remarkably consistent in folding very good hands when other players happen to hold something just a little bit better.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:44 AM
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Postle's win rate is impossible without cheating, so let's accept that (I am assuming the charts presented are accurate, because the stats are really the only evidence presented; a few oddly played hands don't mean much.) He probably cheats with his phone and an insider. What blows me away is how fucking stupid he is. He's now known as a cheater.

Having said that, let me tell you something; cheating in casino poker is very, very common. Mike Postle went much further in his efforts to cheat, and was unnervingly idiotic in not trying to hide it, but guys at tables sharing information with cell phones is common as hell now and I see bizarre laydowns and calls all the time by people who look at their phones and only then decide what to do.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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... cheating in casino poker is very, very common.
...
I see bizarre laydowns and calls all the time by people who look at their phones and only then decide what to do.
What's the source of the information?

It's easy to have a phone you can look at; much harder to arrange for useful info to appear there.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:13 AM
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Poker players will sometimes bluff; holding a poor hand but placing a bet in the hope that the other players will all fold. Occasionally, you'll pick the wrong time to bluff. If another player has a great hand, maybe even "the nuts", then they won't fold and the bluffer loses. Postle, from what I gather reading the OP, has been extremely fortunate in when he has chosen to bluff. All of his bluffs have been when the other players had poor hands that they had to fold.
Yep, this. For example, maybe you move all in on the river when a third heart falls with only Ace high or some other weak hand, trying to represent that you have a flush. It doesn't need to work all the time to be a profitable play. You can sometimes get a better hand to fold (less frequently you'll get called by worse; I made that play recently with AK and got looked up by AQ, but there was a specific dynamic going on in that hand).

If your opponent has the ace-high flush - the nut flush (assuming no straight flushes are possible), however - they ain't folding.

When Postle lost big pots, it was almost always because someone made a hero call that one could argue was probably a losing call against any other player!

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Having said that, let me tell you something; cheating in casino poker is very, very common. Mike Postle went much further in his efforts to cheat, and was unnervingly idiotic in not trying to hide it, but guys at tables sharing information with cell phones is common as hell now and I see bizarre laydowns and calls all the time by people who look at their phones and only then decide what to do.
Having played all over the world for many years - I highly doubt that players are using their phones to openly cheat in real time during hands. No card room I've been in the last 10+ years let you be on your phone during the hand, for starters, and there simply isn't enough time while in a hand to sit there typing out the situation (stack sizes, position, action, board, hole cards etc) to provide (or get) any remotely useful information. Sorry, that just ain't a thing.

Do some regs softplay each other? Yep. Do some regs share info about players? You bet. Are there some habitual angle-shooters out there? Damn sure. But I think out-right cheating in live play is pretty rare. Would probably require the dealer being in on the action.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:25 AM
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It's not blackjack, it's poker. The short explanation is that Postle has been playing in a way that makes sense only if he knows what cards the other players have. And he's been doing it long enough, and consistently enough, that it's not just an occasional lucky guess on his part.
Ha! there you go, shows what I know about cards.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:43 AM
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For me, the most insane thing is that the guy won a few hundred thousand dollars (at most) over the course of a year, that he probably had to split with someone - not a massive payout, but basically free money, and he was only caught because he was stupid and greedy.
Thing is though, he hasn't actually been "caught" has he? Again, it is possible I've missed something obvious here but I can't see an explanation of how he was cheating, just an assertion that he must be.

Sure the stats seem to place his performance way above chance but unless anyone can produce a smoking gun he gets to keep the money. Seems like a winner and a heck of a story to me! I like tricks I can't solve. I look forward to Netflix mini-series that surely must follow.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:26 AM
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Having played all over the world for many years - I highly doubt that players are using their phones to openly cheat in real time during hands. No card room I've been in the last 10+ years let you be on your phone during the hand, for starters...
It would be great if this were always true. Certainly around here, it's not; while the local casinos all have rules that technically prohibit this, it is rarely enforced. You can, in any practical sense, be on your phone during hands. It is commonplace behaviour.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:56 AM
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It would be great if this were always true. Certainly around here, it's not; while the local casinos all have rules that technically prohibit this, it is rarely enforced. You can, in any practical sense, be on your phone during hands. It is commonplace behaviour.
What does that gain people though, Rick? Collusion in the hand? Agreement to softplay? Accessing something like 'Snowie' (https://www.pokersnowie.com/) or other solver during the hand?

I've seen people on phones in hands, doing things like ICM calcs in tourney play---to figure out payout splits for a deal, not for making a push/fold decision----or making entries in a gambler's diary, but is that cheating?

I'm just trying to figure out what the phone is supposed to help them do.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:26 PM
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In Postle's case, he's learning other players' hole cards. Outside of that, the only thing I could think of is getting computer-aided odds and optimal betting strategy. Just how clunky vs useful that would be I rather doubt.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:34 PM
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It seems to me that the phone isn't the real issue, here: It's how the opponents' cards are being known (probably a confederate working for the casino). If he had the confederate but not the phone, there are plenty of other ways the confederate could be feeding him information.

In fact, if he's clever, the phone could be a red herring: When suspicion gets high enough, someone seizes the phone and checks all the logs... only to find that it's been in airplane mode for every tournament and all he's been doing on it is playing Candy Crush. Thereby "proving" that he wasn't cheating after all.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
What's the source of the information?

It's easy to have a phone you can look at; much harder to arrange for useful info to appear there.
This is what I'm wondering as well. I assume that someone walking around looking over people's shoulders while they are in the middle of a hand would stick out like a sore thumb. The person would have to be walking around rather than just be in one spot. It also doesn't make sense for the dealer to be in on it. For one, the dealer isn't busting out their phone in the middle of hand to text anyone. Presumably he isn't always playing with the same dealer as well.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:40 PM
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This is what I'm wondering as well. I assume that someone walking around looking over people's shoulders while they are in the middle of a hand would stick out like a sore thumb. The person would have to be walking around rather than just be in one spot. It also doesn't make sense for the dealer to be in on it. For one, the dealer isn't busting out their phone in the middle of hand to text anyone. Presumably he isn't always playing with the same dealer as well.
In this particular case, the cards are marked so that the livestream audience knows who has what. Clearly, getting that information, be it by phone, or as Chronos mentioned, some other method, would be really useful

I was asking what a phone is supposed to accomplish for a card room player in the general case.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:47 PM
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This is what I'm wondering as well. I assume that someone walking around looking over people's shoulders while they are in the middle of a hand would stick out like a sore thumb. The person would have to be walking around rather than just be in one spot. It also doesn't make sense for the dealer to be in on it. For one, the dealer isn't busting out their phone in the middle of hand to text anyone. Presumably he isn't always playing with the same dealer as well.
The cards have RFID chips in them. That info is broadcast on the delayed feed. He's getting the info live, but the exact mechanism is unknown at the moment.

This guy ONLY plays these broadcast games that use the RFID cards. He doesn't play anywhere else, and walks from the table when the broadcast period ends.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:52 PM
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According to his now-deleted LinkedIn page, he was connected to the company that ran the Stones Live broadcasts and had worked for them as a consultant in the past. Hmmm...
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:27 PM
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According to his now-deleted LinkedIn page, he was connected to the company that ran the Stones Live broadcasts and had worked for them as a consultant in the past. Hmmm...
So, do we have an over/under on his prison sentence?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:51 PM
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What does that gain people though, Rick? Collusion in the hand?
Collusion is the easiest thing to use phones for, of course.

As to things like Snowie, I would assume that's against the rules - it is in effect coaching. I'm not sure how useful it'd be in real life, though, I have never used it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:37 PM
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Thing is though, he hasn't actually been "caught" has he?
He's been caught with evidence that is as strong - if not stronger - than DNA evidence. I think it's unlikely he'll ever see the inside of a prison cell, and I don't know how other players would ever get any money back.

But I think it's quite likely the casino is going to be in for a world of hurt, and Postle and others involved or viewed as likely involved could face civil suits and such. It's about as certain he cheated as you can ever be certain about anything. There's arguably more uncertainty about Trump's 'no quid pro quo claim' re: Ukraine than there is about Postle's cheating. He cheated. We don't know the mechanism just yet - and maybe never will given that the Casino has basically hired its own lawyer to 'investigate'. State regulators would need to really get involved for actual info to come to light, so I'm not holding my breath.

But he's been caught cheating. That much is not in doubt.


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It would be great if this were always true. Certainly around here, it's not; while the local casinos all have rules that technically prohibit this, it is rarely enforced.
You can, in any practical sense, be on your phone during hands. It is commonplace behaviour.

No card room or casino I've ever been in - literally none - would let you sit at the table while involved in a hand, on your phone entering data. There's no way you could do that on your phone, entering all the data required to find out your equity in a hand - cards, board, stack sizes, opponents - no way. And even if they did let you sit there with a solver on your phone - it'd be essentially useless since you'd need to enter reasonably accurate hand ranges for your opponent(s) on the fly - and if you're able to do that on the fly anyway, rough math in your head is going to be sufficiently accurate to guide you in any decision. I'd happily let someone sit there with a phone and a solver, because if that's how he thinks he's 'gaining an advantage' I know there's no way he's remotely accurate with his hand ranges and he's probably only playing his two cards.


You can be on your phone when you are not involved in a hand - which is when people make notes about hands for review later and such. Could you 'collude' by telling another player still in the hand what cards you folded pre-flop etc? I suppose. Would that be a minor edge? Sure - but very very minor.

Knowing all the cards - including cards that were folded preflop? That could be / would be very profitable. This hand is amazeballs. Nobody that's ever played any amount of poker can watch this and not conclude with 100% certainty that he's cheating.

It's a 5/5 game but appears to be a $50 straddle in this hand.
Cut-off calls with 96o (lolwut), Button calls with T8s (I might raise here), SB raises to $245 with AK, WSOP champ Moneymaker 3! to $705 also with AK.
UTG folds KQ.
Postle is UTG+1 with 54o. He *calls* $660. SB ships for $2700, Moneymaker ships for $4100, and Postle - with 54o - calls off.

The only reason he can call pre-flop is because he knows that nobody else behind him can call, and because he knows that 54o is a huge favorite against AK/AK when KQ has folded, his opponents share each others' outs, so only three cards for his opponents and he has six outs.

There's simply no way any winning player ever does this. "Oh, he's just a gambler" - if that was the case, there's no way Postle would ever fold KK pre-flop...which he did here, when it just so happened that his opponents had Aces.
He'd never fold to a small raise with AA, on a board with a crap-ton of straight and flush draws, when his opponent just happens to have a straight, like he did here.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:41 PM
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Either he can have the money and the hammer, or he can walk out of there. He can't have them both.

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Old 10-08-2019, 02:18 AM
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Either he can have the money and the hammer, or he can walk out of there. He can't have them both.
The first guy gets the hammer, no questions asked tho....
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:28 AM
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It's a 5/5 game but appears to be a $50 straddle in this hand.
Cut-off calls with 96o (lolwut), Button calls with T8s (I might raise here), SB raises to $245 with AK, WSOP champ Moneymaker 3! to $705 also with AK.
UTG folds KQ.
Postle is UTG+1 with 54o. He *calls* $660. SB ships for $2700, Moneymaker ships for $4100, and Postle - with 54o - calls off.

The only reason he can call pre-flop is because he knows that nobody else behind him can call, and because he knows that 54o is a huge favorite against AK/AK when KQ has folded, his opponents share each others' outs, so only three cards for his opponents and he has six outs. .
I have to say I have absolutely no idea what any of the above means, you lost me at the first sentence. if it is intended to get across the strangeness of the situation then I'm afraid it is lost somewhat.

I get from it that you are privvy to a culture and terminology that I'm not and it is completely up to you what language you use of course but for the sake of clarity on a board about fighting ignorance, perhaps it can described in more accessible terms?
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:25 AM
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I have to say I have absolutely no idea what any of the above means, you lost me at the first sentence. if it is intended to get across the strangeness of the situation then I'm afraid it is lost somewhat.

I get from it that you are privvy to a culture and terminology that I'm not and it is completely up to you what language you use of course but for the sake of clarity on a board about fighting ignorance, perhaps it can described in more accessible terms?
"Excuse me, Stewardess. I speak 'degen'. (Poker degenerate. )."

Give me a few minutes, and I'll translate DragonAsh's story for you.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:19 AM
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OK, where was I? Jargon will be denoted by 'whatever these marks are called', and defined.

The game s/he's talking about, No Limit Texas Hold 'Em, is a community card version of poker, with four rounds of betting (In order: Pre-flop, Flop, Turn River), two cards to each player, and ultimately five community cards. Pre-flop, all players receive their two cards, and make bets. Usually, there are no 'antes', initial forced bets from each player. Instead, the two players to the left of the 'dealer' place forced bets, called the 'blinds'. In many games, the player closest to the dealer places a small forced bet, 'small blind' while the player to her left places a bigger forced bet, 'big blind'. The big blind amount is important, as many of the betting amount calculations are based upon multiples of it, or of fractions of the total pot size. Players will often 'buy in' a game with 100-200 times the amount of the big blind. In a 'match the stack' game, a player is allowed to buy in to the largest amount of the chips held by a single player on the table. Like generous use of the doubling cube in backgammon, this means that lots of money can get on the table very quickly.

In DragonAsh's story, the blind bets are 5 dollars each. Because they are forced to bet, they get the privilege of acting last for the Pre-Flop betting round. (The dealer gets to act last for the other three rounds). A 'straddle' is a blind bet, usually double the amount of the big blind, but here, it is 10 times the big blind. Since the straddle is blind, and is bigger than all other bets, the player betting a straddle gets the privilege of last action for the Pre-Flop betting round

Played usually in a card room with a 'full ring' of 9 to 10 players. The dealer is usually an employee, who does not take part in the hand, except to handle administrative tasks such as receiving and verifying bets, dealing cards, and declaring the winner. The person who would've been the dealer, were there not a separate dealer, is denoted with a plastic disc, the 'button's. They act last.

Last is very important. Since who acts last is so important, all positions in a Hold'Em hand are denoted by who acts when. Let's say there are 9 players. Starting at #9, and moving to the right for each antecedent position, is the Big Blind 'BB'. 8th is the small blind 'SB'. 7th is the dealer 'button.' 6th is the 'cut-off', 5th is often known as the 'hi-jack . The others are often denoted by their proximity to the first to act pre-flop, who is known as 'Under-the-gun' (UTG).

On to the hand. UTG appears to be the straddle here, and has King-Queen, a powerful hand, but often second-best. Players 2-5 opt not to match the straddle bet and fold. Player 6 has a 9 and 6 for his cards (To be continued)
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:37 AM
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I have to say I have absolutely no idea what any of the above means, you lost me at the first sentence. if it is intended to get across the strangeness of the situation then I'm afraid it is lost somewhat.

I get from it that you are privvy to a culture and terminology that I'm not and it is completely up to you what language you use of course but for the sake of clarity on a board about fighting ignorance, perhaps it can described in more accessible terms?
If it was horse racing, he went to a small little racecourse and guessed the winner of every single race, even when the winner was a 200/1 outsider with a gimpy leg who only won because all the other horses fell.

He had an 85% win rate at that little racecourse, while down the road the greatest horserace betting person to ever walk the planet had what was the highest recorded winrate in history, but that was only 52%.

You don't know how he keeps guessing the correct winner of the race, but do you really think everything is legit? Really?
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:05 AM
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Let's see if I can finally get through this post.

Player 6's 9-6 'offsuit' (the cards are not of the same suit.) is a weak hand. It is not a favorite against any random player's hand, and Player 6 still has the button, small blind, big blind, and straddle who could potentially have a better hand. Moreover, Player 6 is not raising the straddle bet, which might force those players later to act, to fold their stronger hands. In 'deep-stack no-limit poker,' which I'll define as any hand where the lowest number of chips is still greater than 250 times the big blind, hands like 96 may have value. They may make a disguised powerful hand like a straight, easier than stronger hands like Ace-Ace. Disguised hands are important for inducing other players to place large amounts of their chips at risk, which they may not do if the community cards indicate a powerful hand is likely to be held by another player. The classic example is four community cards of the same suit 'on the board,' or a pair on the board. It is likely in the first case that someone has the fifth card in their hand to make a flush, or in the second case they may have a card that matches the pair, and gives them three of a kind, a full house, or four of a kind. Those are easier situations to see than a board which 'flops' (the first three community cards dealt) Ace-Eight-Seven. Which would give Player 6 an 'open-ended straight draw', any of eight cards dealt in subsequent betting rounds may give them the straight.

To play hands like these, the 'implied odds', the ratio of the remaining chips the opponent holds to the size of the bet the player must match, needs to be in the 40-50 to 1 range. Assuming they play it at all. It's that unlikely that the straight opportunity will occur, that the straight will be the best hand at the conclusion of the hand, the 'showdown', and that the opponent will oblige the player and put all of their chips at risk with an inferior hand. However, because of the stack sizes DragonAsh later revealed, 2945 ish for the Small Blind, and 5000 ish for Chris Moneymaker in the Big Blind, we know that the players are not deep-stacked. If they were playing a normal 5-5 game, then the SB would have about 600 times the big blind in his chip stack, and Moneymaker would have about 1000 times. That's certainly deep-stacked, but they are playing with a very large straddle. The SB has about 60 straddles in his stack, and the BB has 100. That isn't deep-stacked enough to play a hand like 96 offsuit. So it's perplexing why the player would choose to do so.

Anyway, we get to the button, who matches the bet or 'calls', with Ten-Eight suited. Both cards are of the same suit. This is a more powerful hand, with higher ranked cards, and only one card separating the player's two cards. It's easier to make straights with a 'one-gap' hand, than a 'two-gap' hand like 96. Plus, they are suited. They have a much better chance of making a flush than a non-suited hand. DragonAsh might raise there, and I agree. On the one hand, raising announces to the rest of the players that you have a powerful hand, and they should fold.

(Another inference will be made by the other players that you did not raise there: you do not have a really powerful hand, like a big pair such as Ace-Ace or King-King. The set of potential hands you may have, your 'range', is therefore 'capped,' it excludes powerful hands. This may be important in later betting rounds, if you were to bluff and try and convince the other players that you have a powerful starting hand, they will ask themselves, "Well, why didn't s/he raise pre-flop then?" And your bluff may fail.) On the other hand, it puts more chips at risk.

The Small Blind, holding Ace King, a very powerful hand, raises to $245. This is roughly five times the straddle. A common rule of thumb for sizing preflop raises is to take the amount of the bet, and multiply it by 3 plus however many other people have matched the bet. Two people have matched the straddle, three plus two is five, so raise five times the straddle. Often a player will raise more than the norm if the player is in poor position. The small blind is the worst position in the hand for every betting round other than pre-flop. Conversely, if the player has poor position, and still raises, they are announcing to the table they have a very powerful hand. Further, position matters less and less as stacks shrink compared to the size of the pot. If your only decision is essentially to fold or go all in on a betting round, it doesn't matter if you have poor position for subsequent betting rounds, as all of your decisions will already have been made.

OK, the Big Blind, seeing two people call the straddle, and the small blind putting in a big raise, decides to '3-bet,' or '3!', raises the bet yet again to 705. The minimum size of a raise is usually the amount of the original bet. So a minimum raise in this situation would be to 490. Commonly, 3-bets are not done to 3 times the bet, but some multiple between 2 and 3.

Let's compare this bet to the size of the stacks. The small blind has only a little over 4 times the amount of chips, the big blind has about eight times the amount of chips. This is not a lot of chips for that implied odds calculation I mentioned a paragraph ago, and therefore a prudent player would not play 'speculative hands' like 96, T8s, small pocket pairs like 22-88, or other hands that require many community cards for them to make a powerful final hand. There just aren't enough chips you can win in this situation to make up for all of the times the speculative hand doesn't pay off.

I just realized I mistook who the straddle was. My guess is that it's Postel, not UTG.

UTG, who is just to the right of the straddle, Postel at player #2, sees all of this action, rightly figures his KQ is no good, and folds. Postel defends his straddle by calling the 705 dollar bet, as he holds 54 offsuit. A very weak hand, that doesn't have the implied odds to make a large enough hand to beat either SB or BB.

Still, he calls, because he knows that, with both of his opponents holding AK, and another opponent holding KQ, very few cards can be used by his opponents to make a pair. Normally, AK has six cards that can be used to make one pair, the three other Aces and the three other Kings, the same chances to make a pair as Postel's 5-4. And their pair will be bigger. However now, there are only 1 King and two Aces remaining in the deck to make a pair, while Postel has all six of his 'outs', remaining cards that can improve his hand.

Entering this into a Hold Em equity calculator reveals that he wins the hand almost 48 percent of the time, while the two opponents tie or beat him the other 52 percent of the time. If he were to bet all of his chips, and the sb and bb were to as well, Postel be getting over two to one on his money, while being having a nearly even chance to win. This only holds true if he knows that both blinds are playing AK, or some other group of hands where each holds the other's outs. If, on the other hand, one player had AA, and the other had KK or AK, Postel's hand would be a giant underdog.

Well, both blinds go all in, Postel follows, and Postel wins. But it's not something any rational poker player would do if they didn't know the hole cards of the other three players.

Sorry for the length.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:03 AM
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Gray Ghost's explanation is about as thorough as you could ask for - some of it may well still be Greek to you if the concepts are unfamiliar, but careful reading and maybe a bit of googling some of the terms etc, and you should understand why Postle's play here was so ridiculous that literally the only explanation is that he's cheating.

Postle strictly speaking didn't win the entire pot; they ran the board twice, and Postle won the second runout, AK split the first runout.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:09 AM
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Gray Ghost, thanks for the lengthy breakdown. I watch, but don’t play, poker, and I’m weak on subtleties like pot odds and the importance of chip stacks. So I appreciate your taking the time to explain the hand. Ignorance fought!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucketybuck View Post
If it was horse racing, he went to a small little racecourse and guessed the winner of every single race, even when the winner was a 200/1 outsider with a gimpy leg who only won because all the other horses fell.

He had an 85% win rate at that little racecourse, while down the road the greatest horserace betting person to ever walk the planet had what was the highest recorded winrate in history, but that was only 52%.

You don't know how he keeps guessing the correct winner of the race, but do you really think everything is legit? Really?
Novelty Bobble wasn’t saying he didn’t understand the evidence of cheating, I think. DragonAsh cited that particular hand as an example of play that only made sense if Postle knew his opponents’ cards. But s/he did so using abbreviations and technical language obscure to non-poker players. NB was asking DA to explain it in more accessible language.

Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 10-08-2019 at 10:09 AM.
  #49  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the compliments. It's a first draft, and everytime I tried to explain a piece of jargon, it brought up two additional things I needed to mention. For instance, I didn't even get into 'levels of thinking' or 'The Fundamental Theorem of Poker', and I barely covered 'range', or 'stack-pot ratio': all of which really determine why people do what they do when playing a NLHE cash game.

I don't think you would've needed to any RFID chicanery to think Postel was cheating. The 54o hand is bad enough, and would've been exposed at showdown, that alarm bells would be going off in my head that I was being cheated in some fashion.

It's true that in that kind of betting situation, assuming a dynamic where people aren't trying to outmaneuver each other with inferior starting hands, i.e., both heavy betters have the powerful hands they are representing with their bets, that AK is frequently one of the hands that a heavy better will hold. There are 16 combinations of cards that make AK, four of them suited. Compare this to the 6 combinations of cards that can make AA, or KK, or QQ. (18 combinations total, in case that was unclear)

Ballpark, with that range of hands, half of the time someone is 'four-bet shoving', re-reraising with all of their chips, it'll be with AK. Now consider another player, also shoving all-in, what are the chances he also has AK? Well, with three Aces and three Kings available, there are 9 combinations of AK available (assuming someone with AK is calling a 4-bet shove; I probably wouldn't.) There are 3 combinations of AA available, 3 combinations of KK available, and all 6 combinations of QQ. I doubt QQ is calling a 4-bet shove either. Assume they do half the time. 9 combinations of AK and 9 combinations of pocket pairs that beat 54o like a gong.

So half the time, and half of that time again, or 1/4 of the time, both opponents have AK and 54o does well. The other 3/4 of the time, 54o runs into a big pair and usually loses.

Everyone playing in that game knows this math. I read it I think in one of Sklansky's books, but it's like knowing musical scales if you want to be a musician, 'it's something you just have to know inherently through practice if you want to play this game well.'

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 10-08-2019 at 10:39 AM.
  #50  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:51 AM
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Yes, thanks GrayGhost, I now know more but at the same time I've been introduced to even more areas of ignorance. 'Twas ever thus. Because it is such an alien world to me I can't intuitively get a feel for the ebb and flow like I can for other sports and pastimes.

Also, yes I accept that the stats make the case for cheating pretty soundly. The null hypothesis can reasonably be rejected here. I guess my quibble was with the "caught" terminology. That implies a scooby-doo style ripping off of the overcoat to reveal the cheating mechanism beneath or a spy camera that catches a dodgy deal. That doesn't seem to have happened in this case.....yet.......and that makes it all the more fascinating I guess.
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