Friday, December 19, 2008

The Poker Meme Pool - New Series For 2009

Was going to post the DON Magnifying glass part #2 today - but then came up with another idea instead!

This came from a conversation yesterday with a lady who believed (sincerely believed) that Tea contains as much - if not more - caffiene than coffee. This is actually incorrect, well mostly at least* What it does is demonstrate nicely how ideas (memes) can enter our collective minds and stick there and grow into 'common knowledge' or 'agreed wisdom'.

*Factually speaking an 'average' cup of coffee contains 2 to 3 times more caffeine than an 'average' cup of tea... the difficulty is in collecting those averages, with so many types of both beverage available. So, while in theory you can compare a strong, well brewed fresh tea to a weak instant coffee - and find more caffeine in the former - on a day-to-day basis the coffee wins by a huge margin.

So, the next question is what areas of poker 'knowledge' could we look at for similar memes?

Here is an example: (totally made up to illustrate a point, I am not suggesting this strategy is actually wrong in any way!). The perceived wisdom is that if you wish to open a hand for a raise in no-limit holdem, then your usual raising range would be from 2.5 to 4 times the big blind - with a very heavy bias towards 3 times opening.

Sure, there are mathematical reasons why this is considered correct... but, just for a moment, imagine this was a 'coffee vs tea' type error. Since everyone does this, everyone else learns to do the same, since it is so common the strategy ideas and books all assume that this is 'correct' (thus implicitly backing the idea) and so on....

Again, this is a made up example and not something I am advocating that you change.... that I do advocate is that we look through the 'set ideas' in poker and find out whether there are any which have snuck into the meme pool without a solid basis!

Finally, the example I used concerned game-play - just to add that there are a ton of meta-game concepts and ideas which are equally applicable.

GL at the tables, Mark

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