Friday, June 1, 2007

Dune and poker

If you haven't seen the David Lynch version of the movie Dune, then skip this post.

In the climactic battle between Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan) and Feyd Harkonnen (Sting), consider the two styles of the combatants. Both styles are summed up by one line from each character.

Feyd shouts out in arrogance, "I WILL kill him!"

Paul thinks to himself, "I will bend like a reed in the wind."

By these two expressions alone, you should know who was victorious.

"Hit 'em where they ain't." Simple advice from Wee Willie Keeler, who was a baseball player. What he was saying was that he tried to hit the ball where the fielders weren't standing.

One of the proverbs in the Zen book was that when two strong enemies battle, one will be killed and the other severely wounded.

It's not about waiting for a strong hand to bet. It's about waiting for times when you know or strongly suspect that your opponent is weak(er). When your opponent raises you, that supplies some evidence that he is not. Obviously, that evidence can be false, but it can also be true. Most players I have observed feign weakness with strong hands far more than they feign strength with weak ones.

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