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Old 01-02-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Gameflow/Metgame Debate

I had a long debate with a good friend about the validity of metagame/gameflow. I fairly strongly believe in it and applying it, and to my surprise, he did not and think it was BS. He is a player I respect a lot and who consistently has great results in all the games he plays.

We argued for quite a bit, and one example I used was that instead of adjusting by 4betting light after getting 3bet a lot, some regs would instead 4bet someone's early 3bets ("first 3bet/4bet is always a bluff") because this is based on what we predict of a villain (he's played a bit with us, thinks we're a reg, and will fold to raises (or 3bets) a lot, therefore we should 3bet (or 4bet)), and I called this meta/gameflow because these assumptions are based on predictions/estimations with actual data, but instead are conclusion drawn indirectly from the data (we think he is a reg and therefore will adjust, even though we haven't seen him adjust yet).

I tried to explain this to a friend, and I shall copy and paste it here:

Well basically a player makes a decision based on ranges:

This guy plays x% of hands in this situation, in this position, against me, so I should fold A set hands, call B set hands, and raise C and D set hands because A set hands are totally smoked by his range, B set hand beats him, but we can't reraise because his call-reraise or rereraise range beats us, + we can win more money on future streets.

Finally we reraise C set hands because thiose hands beat his call-reraise range and maybe also his rereraise range, and then we reraise D set hands because he has a raise/fold range and we can exploit this by reraising hands that has decent equity vs his call-reraise range, as long as we don't reraise too many of them, as that would allow him to call too often and make our reraise range unbalanced.

Game flow is where you take it one step further and start adjusting your A, B, C, and D set hands in a way that isn't optimal vs his ranges as perceived in the recent hands, and adjust them in a way that makes it optimal to what you PREDICT will be his range NOW


A more visual representation of this is that you heard someone was at the cafe half an hour ago, and instead of going there to find him, you wait for him at the.. bathroom. Or something.
Even though you didn't SEE or HEAR that he was going to go to the bathroom, you predict that he will do that.

Okay, that's a weird analogy, but I think it works.


Well it is clear it sounds profound and stuff, and all the high stakes players talk about it and sound cool, but my friend argues that the effects are minimal or completely fabricated.

When we make these adjustments, and it turns out to be right, we think "oh yay, I am awesome", and if they're wrong, they forget it--selective memory.

He says that the plays are basically random, and 50/50.

So he is saying that the impact of going to the cafe has on whether he will go to the bathroom is insignificant, AND if there IS an impact, it is impossible for us to predict WHEN he will go to the bathroom, as some people will be at the cafe for 15 minutes, some 20, and some for an entire hour.

Making our trip to the bathroom pretty hit or miss.

In order for it to work, we must use stereotype and guess whether our subject is the kind of person who'd eat for 15 minutes, 20, or an hour.

And after coming to this conclusion, it still depends on whether he DOES go to the bathroom, because the frequency of someone going to the bathroom after going to the cafe is not 100% (or even 50+%, but whatever). Basically, even if we think this player is x% more likely to be 3bet bluffing, he might also have AQ+ TT+, in which case he would 3bet 100% and we look really stupid when we 4bet shove 79s into AA 60bbs deep.

He argues that the difference is negligible and players are wasting their time or stroking their egos to think that gameflow matters at all, while I adjust my frequencies based on what I consider to be "gameflow" a very vast% of times.
Clearly, I already have a firm opinion on this matter, but I would like to hear thoughts from other players.

Last edited by Nostalgica; 01-02-2010 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,954

Meh, I think you're both right. There is definitely an advantage to be gained by adjusting first, but there are certainly people who take it too far (e.g., "he 4bet me for the 2nd time in 20 hands, so I should 5bet AI with K2").
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:03 AM
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Location: Russia, Moscow
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I don't like 3bet/4bet/5bet situations as examples. I think these are the spots where your friend's opinion looks more... true?

My vision is this meta becomes really important in postflop game, when the ranges are generally narrowed (by turn or river at least), and adjusting your decisions faster than opp might result in stacking him or losing the minimum.

Can provide examples later but I hope I put it clear enough...
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