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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Thursday (343 comments)

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  •  So correct me if I'm wrong then... (4.00)
    ...but isn't always raising a far quicker way to the poorhouse than always standing or folding?

    You have to know your hand and guess at theirs.

    For example, if the Dems had bet the farm on the national guard memos that farm would now be gone.  Staying pat meant you didn't lose that much when they pulled out their ace in the hole (which may or may not have come from their sleeve).

    •  1/2 Right (4.00)
      You don't need to know their hand.  All you need to have is a good idea of how they will play certain hands under certain circumstances and how they react to what they think you have.

      The way you articulate it is part right (you can't blindly raise all the time).  But what you miss and what Ds miss is that aggression creates its own opportunities.

      Suppose you have:         2c, Ah, Qh, 7s, 9d (Ace High - a crap hand)

      and your opponent has:    Qd, Qc, 4s, 3d, 6s (pair of Queens, decent but not stellar)

      and he bets and you raise him big.  If your opponent is skittish about his hand then he'll be afraid to call because he's not sure whether he'll win.

      Poker theorist David Sklansky puts it very simply:  raising gives you an extra chance to win (paraphrasing) no matter what your hand is.  When you simply call, you must have the best hand to win.  If you don't, you lose.  If you raise, there is a chance your opponent will fold a better hand than yours and you can win with a worse hand.

      The Ds have been in the wrong end of this for a while.  The only concept that Mamet doesn't expressly include here is the re-raise.  In the scenario above, assuming the QQ is held by the democrat and the republican raises with nothing on a bluff, the Democrat can't always fold but must stand on principle and re-raise from time to time to avoid being bullied (even if the D suspects that he might be beaten).

      Right now, Ds not only refuse to raise but are scared to re-raise as well.  At the first sign of aggression, they tend to turn tail and run -- another effective by-product of a raise (i.e., the aggression often convinces your opponent to be the moderating and calming presence, making it even easier to control the situation).

      Ask any poker pro and they'll tell you that 95% of the time, "calling" is not the correct play.  Its either fold or raise.

      A side issue that Mamet doesn't address but that is probably at the core of the solution is that Democrats are "wired" in such a way so as to believe that the person with the best hand should win -- i.e., that morally the better stance on the issues should prevail because this is consistent with principles of democratic governance. That makes for a shitty poker player (and by analogy, a shitty politician).

      WE HAVE TO GET OVER THE FACT NOTION THAT THE "BEST HAND" SHOULD WIN  

      Unlike in Poker, there is no way to determine who has the "best hand" (i.e., the most popularly-accepted view of the issues). Democrats must want to win and must expect to win and must feel morally good about winning even if they feel that they don't have the "best hand" i.e., that Rs are "right" on the issue.

      Perfect example: Iraq Invasion, circa 2002.  D's might have thought personally that it was a bad idea to invade but that the public supported it and thus the Rs were "right" because of popular support.  We needed to "raise" or "re-raise" to push the Republicans at that point, not simply "call."  It turned out at the end of the day that our hand might have been the better one, but the population still rewarded the bold aggressive stance that they took, not our passive one.  Had we "raised" we might have gotten them to "fold" on invading Iraq.

      It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

      by MRL on Thu Sep 22, 2005 at 08:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Double Reply (4.00)
      . . . if the Dems had bet the farm on the national guard memos that farm would now be gone.

      You are right only if the Rs would have also "called" our "raise."

      We didn't "bet the farm" on the TANG issue.  We bet and were raised.  Then, we "called" and lost.

      Had we "re-raised" and "bet the farm," there is a chance that they would have folded -- i.e., realized that there was a good enough chance that the public would percieve them as full of shit, and decided it wasn't worth the risk to call our re-raise.

      As I note above, re-raising (or raising in the first instance) gives you a way to win without the "best hand" -- i.e., your opponent can fold.

      It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

      by MRL on Thu Sep 22, 2005 at 08:12:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Raising agressively (4.00)
      when you don't have a good hand is dangerous with other agressive players. If you are playing less agressive players,  this is a good strategy.  Unfortunately, with agressive players like the Rethugs are,  raising bad hands the whole way through would be a mistake.  But, as we all know,  we have the better hand in most every case,  so this should be a slam-dunk strategy for us.
      •  Thanks to yourself and MRL for the poker lesson (4.00)
        I guess this would be why I don't play poker.  I 'll cheer myself with the initial comment that I'm half right even though the analysis wouldn't indicate that.  =)

        Let's say the other player is cheating...  The use a cold deck (not sure of terminology) and deal you what looks like a good hand (the TANG memos) but deal themselves a better one (oh look, they were forgeries).

      •  Ah...!! (4.00)
        another poker player!

        From your comments I'm sure if I look you up on poker-edge I'll see a little shark icon.

        I've been looking at Roves tactics from a poker angle for a while now.  It seem to me that Dean and Reid are the first to be able to step up to his level of play and hit back.

    •  Double Reply too (4.00)
      Eric,
      That is a great example of the Rove poker strategy, by the way.  Limping in with your pair of Aces,  to  draw your opponent's raise.  In this case you really need to be sure you have the better hand.
      •  It seems the thugs use a check-raise (4.00)
        They like to see wht the Dems put out, then raise.  The logic says to re-raise (because we always have the best hand).

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