Thoughts on Polk v Dnegs?

mdw72mdw72 Red Chipper Posts: 141 ✭✭
I'm sure I'm not the only one that watched the 200 hands of the Polk/Dneg. I actually wish there was going to be more live hands and maybe they will agree to get back to the table. I thought it would be interesting to get other peoples 'thoughts on the first 200.

I thought Dnegs had a specific plan to play what I will call a recycled version of small ball. I'm calling it recycled because it seemed to be designed to keep most pots small but with less betting than his old small ball strategy.

His old style of small ball was to raise small a lot pre-flop, and do a lot of small stabbing and folding on the flop and turn. the world was playing fit or fold poker way more than today. Back when that small ball worked best the world was playing fit or fold poker way more than today. This allowed him pick up a lot of small pots and fold to aggression until he had a big hand.

By checking the turn at a large frequency and then stabbing at most rivers, especially in position, allowed Dnegs to win a lot of small pots like he won in the old days. Thus mimicking a small ball strategy.

This puts Polk into a position to make decisions based more on the absolute value of his hand since all the cards are out. If Dnegs bets turns at any reasonable frequency it opens up Polk to play back at him turning it into an equity v equity spot. I think Dnegs knows this is a spot where Polk has a significant skill edge and he was trying to take it away.

Polk is great at heads-up but even he is influenced by what's happening in the moment. By removing the turn betting so effectively, it allowed Dnegs to dictate the size of the game. Even the commentators mentioned how there were a lack of all-ins.

I also think Polk realized this towards the end and tried to counter it with some big bet bluffs. Unfortunately for Polk he ran into Dneg's best hands. I'm sure there was some frustration and tilt involved as well. Polk made more bets throughout the match that seemed to be designed to build big pots. So in the last 30 or so hands it seemed to me like he kicked it up a notch with the river bluffs.

I'm just rec and am probably way off but I thought this might start a interesting discussion about the overall strategies at play.

Comments

  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 166 ✭✭
    I think your analysis is reasonable. I thought Polk got impatient the last 50 or so hands, and yeah, ran into some hands, but he also started playing very aggressively, and made some pretty wild bluffs. Live, I think Daniel picks up on that immediately and he can exploit Doug when he's tilting. I think Doug was lucky the session was over at 200 hands.

    I too would like to see more live hands, but to have a good HU match, going online is the way to do it. After 25,000 hands, we should have a clear winner. Much better than the couple of thousand we MIGHT get live.

    I was surprised how cordial they were to each other. Not that I expected bluster and animosity, I just didn't expect a lot of casual conversation, and they chatted like they were buddies. I'm glad they did, it made it interesting to watch. Normally at full ring the table talk is mindless blather, and the commentators are equally annoying. In this case, it was fairly interesting while watching the hands, and Shullman and Ali (I think that's who it was) had the good sense to stay quiet for the most part.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 4,280 -
    Certainly pleased to see we're directing the RCP discussion at strategy rather than the surrounding nonsense. That said, I haven't had time to watch any of it.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,342 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In brief, Polk's actions were routinely higher EV because they suggested a more comprehensive strategy for every street, which I took as evidence that a real sample in a more abstract environment will not go Daniel's way. In the long run, you can't manufacture EV in reciprocal spots by pot controlling streets that could have action unless your opponent also agrees to sacrifice EV in the same way. The smarter commentator of the pair was right in wondering if Daniel was setting up Polk to expect a different game later, but even if true Polk has thousands of hands to adjust to any initial confusion Daniel has created.
  • mdw72mdw72 Red Chipper Posts: 141 ✭✭
    I heard that comment wondering if Daniel was setting up Polk too. Doug will make the necessary adjustments. Daniel obviously knows he's the heavy underdog and I think he's content to sacrifice EV and wait/hope for the knockout punch with the nuts. He passed up value betting a flush, trips, and a number of top pair hands on the turn, but kept bluffing rivers for smallish bets. I think it exposes his overall strategy which is to win small and lose small. He's definitely not interested in maximizing EV. He doesn't want to crush Doug. He wants to survive Doug. So to do that he will have to pass up EV to avoid getting into situations where Doug's skill will really extract the most. I'm definitely interested in following this match and watching the strategies and counters play out.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,481 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Online part was uploaded - this one from Doug Polk's channel - : Polk wrecked Negreanu and finished this online session at +275'000$ (+687.5 bb).

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,342 ✭✭✭✭✭
    mdw72 wrote: »
    I heard that comment wondering if Daniel was setting up Polk too. Doug will make the necessary adjustments. Daniel obviously knows he's the heavy underdog and I think he's content to sacrifice EV and wait/hope for the knockout punch with the nuts. He passed up value betting a flush, trips, and a number of top pair hands on the turn, but kept bluffing rivers for smallish bets. I think it exposes his overall strategy which is to win small and lose small. He's definitely not interested in maximizing EV. He doesn't want to crush Doug. He wants to survive Doug. So to do that he will have to pass up EV to avoid getting into situations where Doug's skill will really extract the most. I'm definitely interested in following this match and watching the strategies and counters play out.

    It's worth coming back to this for those interested in game theory. Dnegs can't even necessarily guarantee a reasonable loss through a conservative strategy because that is not how poker works, especially in a scenario where a high vpip is likely. There's a lot to be said about variance and such, and he could still win in theory or minimize losses with an even more extreme conservatism, but he is still forced to realize certain equity under his current strat. If that equity is losing under the short term of a few thousand hands, he is crippled. This really came home today.

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