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So-called "New Poker" is a disgrace  


Mike Caro
Posts: 10
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(@mike-caro)
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Joined: 11 years ago

Let me start this forum by being more confrontational than usual.

Something has been bothering me for years and it's what is often called "New Poker."

Why? Because it treats the science of poker as if it's the fashion industry. According to its adherents, you have to keep up with the changes, because what won in 2016 doesn't win in 2020.

False

But that's not true. Core poker winning strategy never changes. Players change, though. So, you adapt to opponents' mistakes the same way you always did. You take advantage.

What was true in 1970 is still true in 2020, fifty years later, and always will be. Sure, my recent research has refined that strategy, but the core truths stay the same.

You can't beat rational strategy by playing poorly. So-called "new-poker" players are super-aggressive and tend to promote and teach clearly losing decisions on the basis of what's in fashion.

Decades ago

Ranges, EV -- almost all those terms you hear thrown about are actually recycled variations of concepts I and others pioneered many decades ago. Unfortunately, "new poker" is nothing more than misapplication of those concepts.

If you bet or raise too much or too often, you're easy to exploit. Today, poker tables are populated by players trying to mimic "new poker." And almost all of them fail miserably. Granted, there are those that can brag about the millions of dollars they won. But with so many players making similar nonsensical decisions, a few will get lucky for a year or two. They will pass along their "wisdom" based on that good fortune.

The truth is, you don't have to adjust to "new poker" at all. Those players will self-destruct. Of course, you can beat them even faster if you do adjust to their mistakes, thereby taking full advantage.

No different

But that's no different from the way we handled them forty years ago. There were just less of them back then. And when they came to our tables, we said, "Yum-yum!"

"New poker" advocates are sending thousands of potentially winning players to slaughter -- all so they can feed their egos by babbling on the Internet, in books, and on TV.

Maybe you saw my self-quote of the day on the Poker1 home page yesterday. It was:

“New Poker” allows overly aggressive players to remain convinced of your stupidity while you win their money.

Think about it -- Mike Caro

(I would be honored if you would help start the first conversation at Poker1 Talk by replying. And, no, you don't have to agree. This is your forum.)

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RoccoM
(@roccom)
Joined: 5 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

@mike-caro I just had this discussion with a friend the other day. He is a gaming guy and did some analysis and took some advice from some “new school” coaches and ended up making some rediculous plays against very unrefined opponents. It took some convincing and some arguments (that I actually read in your books years ago) to get him to come back to “ABC” poker and relook at what he was actually doing. I was really happy to hear after a few days that he said it was “spot on” and took some of the new school concepts too far, and against the wrong opponents. 

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TheIcePrincess59
(@theiceprincess59)
Joined: 5 months ago

New Member
Posts: 1

@mike-caro

Mike,
In a Zoom conference call with my coach, Alec Torelli, I stated to him the main reason behind my enjoyment of his teaching style is simple. He uses the same base system that my late coach and mentor,Terry Ring, taught me years ago. Yes, we have made minor changes to adapt to "modern poker". The fundamental things Terry taught me still work today. Fundamental poker will live forever. It's only the window dressing that changes. If you don't have solid fundamentals and THEN try to play modern poker, you're going to get slapped around. Keep this 1 point in mind, even if you put a dress and lipstick on a donkey, IT'S STILL A DONKEY.

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Nathaniel Thedford
(@st00ee)
Joined: 5 months ago

New Member
Posts: 3

@mike-caro That is why I stick to authors such as Sklansky, Miller, Shoonmaker, Harrington, and the bibles of poker (Super System 1&2), and of course, I have all your books (Caro on Gambling, Book of Tells, Body Language of poker, etc.) I am also a collector of vintage poker books an magazines. I persuaded my wife to buy Doyle's first printing, "How I Made Over 1,000,000 Playing Poker". I have literature from Tex Sheahan that I love to read over and over; always learning something new each time. 

I say let the new breed of poker players continue to play the way they play, because that helps the poker community to continue to thrive. Sharks need fish or most will die. Just imagine the impact this Corona Virus has affected the poker communities in Vegas, Reno, etc. 

 

Great post!!  

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Nathaniel Thedford
(@st00ee)
Joined: 5 months ago

New Member
Posts: 3

@mike-caro

First time poster, but a long time independent student of your literature on poker, gaming, and life.

What I love most about the game of poker IS the fact that these newer players think that poker is like computer software, and once a new book comes out by some Chris Moneymaker inspired online tournament pro that suddenly became popular because of their amazing short term success.

What I believe the new players don't realize, and what has been told by Brunson, Sklansky, Miller, yourself, etc., is that skill cannot be determined over just a couple of major tournament cashes or big wins at a cash game, probably not even after several, especially if this success has just recently started for the new poker icon of the month, like many I read about in Cardplayer Magazine. I am not doubting that these rising poker stars are not taking their game seriously and do not want to grow, but I would be highly skeptical of buying even an ebook from them and running with their advice. They just haven't played even remotely long enough to have even made a substantial contribution to the poker community, and I really feel as though these newer players lack that type of ethic and are just really capitalizing on their success boom any way possible. Most probably would have quit if they first started losing a lot before they started winning.

I think the newer books out there that are not written by REAL authorities on poker and gaming are not worth reading. I honestly don't read those books. The books that I treasure the most were written in the 70's, 80's, and 90's are pure gold and more than enough. I am a really avid reader and have a massive collection of classics. Real data that I can feed my brain on. I am by no means a professional, just an aspiring one that is well aware of the risks and willing to take them. But I am not expecting to get rich quickly either and that is because I have learned a lot just from this website and all the books that I have currently read. If one point that is constantly being told by the proven professionals is to not get your hopes up thinking you're going to make it big. I understand that 100%, but I am just too stubborn I guess. I know I am not the best poker player in the world, But I feel that I can one day become one. 

Honestly, I think the newer players promoting a new way to play poker lack the knowledge that has been written by you, Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson and the rest that actually was a part of pioneering days. I don't think they even care. They're playing a new way of poker that is super aggressive and heavy on math and game theory or fixed strategies. While that is a resource that would nice to have just in case, math and game theory can't predict what an average player is going to do all the time. Maybe if the other players was also using a strategy that was either fixed or based on theory, and I had enough time to play that person enough to see a pattern, I could then devise a strategy of my own to counter theirs. Sometimes it doesn't even matter if you have a strategy at a given moment because the circumstances are to where it wouldn't matter. For example, a bluffing strategy wouldn't work against a calling station or new player, because either they don't care or they don't know any better. I have learned from your books and articles alone that it really depends on all the cirscumstances governing that game, during that specific hand, and all the variables and unknowns that need to be weighed, and usually within a minute or less if you play online. The only way I know a player can do that is by playing thousands of hours and reading your articles, HAHA. But I guess, even then, there is always going to be a chance that the correct decison made at one point in time during a hand, still won't make a difference after that river card falls and that short term luck factor comes into play. But like you have said in the past, "that's poker". 

Thank you for all your dedication and hard work. Without it, I don't think I would understand people and poker or life the way I do now. Makes poker and life that much more clear in my mind. I honestly dont need any more books. I can just keep the ones I have and reread them. Especially books like your book on poker tells and Ed Millers book: Poker's 1%; hand analyses books as well. Those are the ones that you'll have to read several times and go and apply several times before it becomes second nature. 

Sorry if I ranted too much. 

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Mike Caro
Admin
(@mike-caro)
Joined: 11 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 10

@njt Thank you for your solid contribution to this discussion.

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TheMuckster
Posts: 1
(@themuckster)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago

I hope we have live poker soon so we can play "old poker" or "new poker".  

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Lordrullah
Posts: 1
(@lordrullah)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Do you think you need bigger bank rolls to play against trends like this ?

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1 Reply
Mike Caro
Admin
(@mike-caro)
Joined: 11 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 10

@lordrullah

Yes, you absolutely need bigger bankrolls against "new poker" players. And so do they. The fluctuations are much greater -- bigger wins, bigger losses, on average.

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George
Posts: 1
(@george)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Keep up the great work Mike!

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TheUngarKid
Posts: 1
(@theungarkid)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Mike, I agree with your assessment, and would add the following. What also hasn't changed is that the guys and gals who succeed at the highest level and in the long term still treat Poker played right as an art form. They acknowledge and enjoy the beauty of the game, the joy of crafting a story and defeating an opponent not just through science but also through skill. So, yes, the story being told may have to be different in response to the new Poker, but respect for the game and the need to play the players is still key.

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JDean
Posts: 2
(@jdean)
New Member
Joined: 5 months ago

Agree.

While especially true at the stakes I play (sub $150 daily casino mtt, 1/2-2/5 NL), I imagine even at higher stakes the truism that you tend to make your money from the mistakes of others holds. So even if there is some fancy "game theory optimal" poker being attempted (and you, yourself, have written there IS "optimal" poker), there will be those who try to do that, and fail. 

What was that Caro quote: "Any time your opponents deviate from optimal poker, it is in your best interests to [play more hands] against them"?

Of course it still behooves everyone to have a basic understanding of what new "styles" of poker are ATTEMPTING to do, if only for the insight this might give into the "why" behind the exploitable holes those new ideas might create. But that does not mean the benefit of playing in position, with max info to use for your decisions, is ever going to change.

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