The book: The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King – Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time by Michael Craig is a fascinating read. It is about a billionaire banker named Andy Beal who went heads up against some of the world's most famous poker players in the early 2000s.
The A-list players he went up against included: Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Todd Brunson, Howard Letterer, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Chip Reese, Gus Hansen, etc.
Andy Beal is a savvy real estate investor, businessman, and self-taught in numbers theory. He is also a quick study and a strong competitor. When Beal played the pros, he discovered the following:
Andy Beal noticed that the pros weren't as fundamentally sound as he had expected. It was clear they were excellent at thinking, counter-thinking, varying their play, and reading opponents.
What Beal found fascinating was that they seemed to get a lot of basic pot odds decisions wrong. Beal concluded that he could substantially reduce or even eliminate the pro's advantages if he made mathematically correct moves every time.
Beal also strived to identify his weaknesses and worked on shoring them up. He sought to deprive the pros of their strengths and get them out of their comfort zones. If Beal could make the contests about fundamentals, he might have an opportunity to win.
For a few years, Andy Beal became one of the top heads-up players worldwide.
Although this was in the early 2000s, it shows that even the top pros aren't invulnerable. Andy Beal demonstrated that it doesn't take a decade or longer to become a top-notch player. He had raw talent, confidence, resources, a strong mathematics background, and a willingness to learn and grow.
A high percentage of poker players, including some pros today, still don't have a good grasp of the math's full power and eloquence.
Understanding poker math can help you become more competitive, assuming you have raw talent and are willing to dedicate the time and energy to make poker math an instinctual part of your game.
Learning poker math at a deep level and blending it with the rest of your game builds a powerful structural skill in Texas No-Limit Hold 'em.
Almost all excellent players must learn poker math to be successful at the game. There may be a few exceptions, like with anything else.
Yet, why not influence the game in your favor by internalizing the math?
There are two ways to learning poker math:
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This blog has been created to help you gain a competitive edge using poker math and how to integrate it with the rest of your game. Enjoy! ~ Chuck Clayton