Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

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Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby chenghao » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:29 pm

read with interest from : http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/15/po ... ng-307743/

1st Level: Your cards

2nd Level: What does your opponent have

3rd Level: What does your opponent think you have

4th Level: What does your opponent think you think he has

5th level: What does your opponent think you think he thinks you have

Etc. Etc.

My question is , what are the indicators/tells that your opponent is on which level ?
something like , those who know how to riffle their chips , should place them on at least level 3.
those who do not even know the that club is a club and not a clover should be level 0
those who bluffs and advertises should be at least level 4

What are the indicators and tells you think would fit each level ?

for discussion sake , let us limit it to 1 - 5
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby blackchilli » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:53 am

Hmm thats really interesting. With regards to the chip riffle, I feel that it definitely isn't true. Plenty of people can chip riffle even though they are not very good poker players. I feel one strong indicator of a low level poker player is the way they handle bad beats (with the exception of Phil Hellmuth). Good players just take it like a gentleman and let it go.

Another indicator (somewhat) of a players skill is the way they count their chips. Beginning players normally can't count their chips gracefully.

Lastly someone's reputation could also be a sign of their skill. For example, Felix Leong is well known in this site so I would definitely not get in a pot with him if I happen to see him in a live game. Unless I have the nuts of course :)

So... in my opinion here's a few indicators.

Guy who gets drunk while playing poker (I've seen this happen more than once): Level 0

Guy who can't handle bad beats and guy who can't count chips gracefully: 1-2

Someone who's reputation precedes him: 4-5

By the way, I think I'm only a level 3. I grind micro stakes at full tilt :(
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby Private Ryan » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:37 am

This is a good question. I'd like to know the answer for the various levels too.

1st Level opponents: They talk about themselves. "I" "My cards". "Noooooo, why does the river always crack my hand".

For 1st Level opponents, its all about me, myself and I.
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby support » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:07 pm

Personally i don't think you can indicate higher level people using Black's methods..

The higher level the guy is the more he'll act like he's of lower level (Friendly cash games).
The only reason to demostrate superior level of thinking is during tournaments when u want to
dominate your opponents.

For example... if your playing againsts donks... u want to look like u don't know what the hell your playing..
I'll bluff to the river (cheaply of course) and lose with a dumb low pair making sure i show a 25. Then after
a while the whole group would buy into your story... You can wait for your fullhouse to claim a huge pot when
everyone follows you.
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby chiku » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:08 am

Level 1---> *eg. when flop comes K,K,2"

Lvl 1 Guy: (when hand is over) - Shit! i had K,2, why didn't i call?

PS. If level 1 guy actually says it before the hand is over, he is demoted to level -1
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby necrohavoc » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:58 pm

why don't ask the guy "What level thinking you do ah?"

if he says: "only level 1 la" then he's level 2
if he says: "1 more level than you" then he's level 3
if he says: "huh simi level?" 50% he's level 4, 50% he's level 1

:)
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby Nicefingers » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:35 pm

black is so wrong about felix lol...
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby Private Ryan » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:28 pm

Thank you necrohavoc :D

Altho you lost me at Level 4!
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby support » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:59 am

hmmm one good indicator of donk (level 1) is that after the game is over the person retrieves his mucked hand and goes on & on & on about how he could have won with a 37...
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby Mydral » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:00 pm

Level 1: No need to explain, passive-donk like behaviour.. lots of table talk.. lots of spew etc. (very easily beatable)

Level 2: Folds easily to aggression, bets out strong hands (easily beatable and abusable)

Level 3: Starting with a few plays, like raising certain boards trying to represent something (still relatively easily to beat, abusable for more money)

Level 4: First time that a player will respond to abuse and start adjusting his play accordingly. This is the first time you goto pay more attention to his plays and re-adjust your plays especially to him. If you can think one step ahead of him you will still make money of him. Your biggest pots will come from these players, my winning ones certainly have.

Level 5: Now we're playing poker. I will not get into how to beat this or the indicators since this is a highly personal level. If you see him adjusting strategy and bets to all the players at the table differently he might be level 5. Not to worry though there are not that many around.


Basically level 1,2 and 3 are not something challenging to win against. Level 4 and up it begins to get more interesting.
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby laserspy » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:05 am

Just my 2 cents, how do you apply level 4 thinking against a level 2 thinker etc.? Am I right to say that to deal with a level 2 you need only apply level 3 thinking?
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby Mydral » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:15 pm

yeah you can't apply level 4 to level 2... you will get beat.

You cannot over analyse fish... or make plays against them where level 4/5 thinkers would fold.. fish just won't.

Just play straight forward poker against them, nothing fancy. Just be aware of what they have and if they would ever fold it.

There is a saying: "Don't ever bluff a fish", thats pretty much gold and you goto stick to that.
Like all those people saying: Oh my God your such an idiot, how can you call me with that crap, with that bottom pair.....
they are pretty much wrong because they are not able to adjust to the weak player at the table.
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Re: Indicators of First ,second, third and fourth level thinking

Postby chenghao » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:08 pm

http://www.pokerlistings.com/strategy/b ... thought-12

http://www.pokerlistings.com/strategy/b ... thought-34

Only got 4 levels nia , no 5 levels.

Stages of Poker Part 1: Levels of Thought 1-2

By Sean Lind
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Image

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey plays on a level all his own. Poker is an interesting game - especially Hold'em.

You can take a person who has never seen a playing card before in their life, and in a few minutes they'll be able to play the game.

It's a very easy game, yet at the same time one of the most complex pastimes on the planet. Even though you can start playing Hold'em without difficulty, you can play the game for 40 years and still be an amateur.

As you play, and study, the game, you will progress through different stages, or levels, of thought. It's not unlike learning anything else.

Take learning to play the guitar, for example. You start off having to stop and think about where to place every finger. After a bit of practice, you know how to finger the chords and you now have to think about how to switch from one chord to the next.

Once you learn how to do that, you have to start strumming the right strings, at the right times, for the right chords. Each time you progress to the next stage, you stop having to think about the previous stages.

Poker is not much different.

We start our level of thought at ground zero. This is where we all started - think back to the first time you ever sat down and decided to play Hold'em.

Level 1: Your Own Cards and the Board

At this level, the only thing on your mind is what you are currently holding in your hand.

You'll run into this type of player often enough playing live. Online, every table has him and his brother. These are some of the greatest people you can encounter in your career as a poker player. At times, they're also the most frustrating.

Take this hand for example:


Click to see the full view.

As you can see, the full board is out.

The whole hand, Cow Girl, playing in the second level of thought, is betting. She is getting called by Blondie, who is obviously playing poker for one of the very first times in her life.

On the river Cow Girl makes a final, sizable bet, and gets called by Blondie. Blondie turns over Ad 6h.

Cow Girl, who was bluffing, is shocked that Blondie made the call.

Blondie called using the logic that she had a pair of aces, and as we all know aces are the highest cards in the deck.

Once you see enough hands of poker, odds are you'll move on to the next stage:

Level 2: Your Opponents' Cards

This is the point where you start thinking past what you are holding and start to make reads. You start to foresee your hand being beat and start to make lay-downs.

Using the previous example, if Blondie was in the second stage of thought, she simply could not have called any bet on the river. Any heart, any queen, any ace with a higher kicker, or any two pair or a set has her beat.

In fact, the only thing the new player can beat at this point is a bluff.

Most poker players never fully progress beyond this level of thought. Some players never stray from it at all their entire poker life. Although the majority of casual poker players move partially on to Level 3, they still don't really step clear of this stage.

Level 3 - Your Opponents' Read on You

This is when you start to consider what other players think you are holding. It is at this point in poker where the outcome of play becomes less dependent on your cards alone. Until this point, whether you won or lost at the table depended almost entirely on the cards you had been getting dealt.

To be fully into this level of thought, you have to be well-versed in reading the texture of the board and understanding the betting story of the hand. You're picking up tells and making reads. It is at this point you can truly start to see yourself as a poker player.

You're still not going to be dominating High Stakes Poker on GSN, but you should be able to beat your friends on a regular basis.

It is at this level of thought that you become capable of making bluffs. You are able to understand the way you have acted, and what you have indicated to the other players you have in your hand. You are able to take advantage of what you've made them believe you are holding.

It's true that people will make bluffs while they're still in the second or first level of thought. This happens for a few reasons:

1. Lots of the time the player has seen people make bluffs on TV, so they want to make them as well. They perceive wielding bluffs as a sign of competence at poker.
2. Everyone knows that you're supposed to bluff at poker; in fact it's pretty much the first thing people associate with poker. Poker is a game of just bluffing to most people. Therefore, newbies think that bluffing is an essential component of play.

Unlike bluffs by more crafty players, these bluffs are not calculated maneuvers with an expected high rate of success. They are stabs in the dark, actions performed based merely on a feeling (I'll talk more about poker feelings later).

You may remember this hand from part one of this series:


Click to see the full view.

The scenario is the same, where Cow Girl has bluffed this river using the second level of thought, and Blondie has called while still thinking at Level 1.

If Cow Girl had been thinking and playing at the third level of thought, she would have understood that her opponent wasn't considering what she had in her hand at all. In other words, Cow Girl would have stuck to one of this author's golden rules of poker:

Never bluff a calling station.

We'll learn the rationale behind this rule in the "Your Stage vs. Their Stage" section below.

Level 4 - Deception and the Loop

Few poker players ever fully make it into this stage. All strong poker players have one foot in Level 4, but it's difficult to pull yourself the whole way up.

Deception

This is where you are purposely making plays to confuse your opponent. Advertising and angling are a few of the tools that are part of this stage. Many strategy articles focus on this aspect of this level of thought.

The Loop

The loop is one of the most advanced and most enjoyable parts of No-Limit poker.

If a strong player gives you indications that they have a big hand, but they're offering this information in a way that seems as if they are trying to manufacture that impression, usually that player will hold a weak hand. As Mike Caro can't stress enough:

Weak means strong, strong means weak

What if you are aware that the other player knows that you would understand this concept, that you would know he was pulling a Hollywood? Then they would know that their performance of having a strong hand actually gave me the impression that they have a strong hand.

So you see where it starts to loop. Does he have a strong hand, or not? How much credit is he giving me, and how many loops is he going to take it? Are they bluffing, or are they bluffing about bluffing? Or are they bluffing about bluffing about ... well, you get the idea.

Your Stage vs. Their Stage

You must change the way you play poker depending on the level of thought you are acting on, and more importantly, on your opponents' levels of thought.

If you never take the time to figure out what level the other players are operating on, then it's going to be next to impossible to figure out how they're trying to manipulate the game.

Every player is trying to manipulate the game and the odds in their favor. How they do this is directly correlated to the level of thought at which they are playing.

The biggest mistake in poker is trying to bluff a calling station. Some people simply will not fold, no matter how horrible a call it would seem they are making. Never attempt to bluff people like this.

Even though you're playing at a high level, that doesn't mean the other players are going to understand anything you do at the table. You have to play the game at the level they understand.

Image

Mike Caro, the Mad Genius himself.

If I played the exact same hand against two different players, I would play it differently in each case, depending on what level of thought I figured my opponent was operating at. The same move that I would make against a drunken John Doe is simply not going to work against Phil Ivey.

The quality professional players you'll face at the felt will be changing their game on the fly, just like you. You need to pick up on the fact that they're doing this. If you lapse into complacency and neglect to keep track of their constant adjustments, you're going to make mistakes as a result.

If another player gives you credit for being the caliber of player that you are, then the moves she puts on a fish are not going to be the same as the ones she puts on you.

The information you picked up from the previous hands she's been in will not be 100% applicable to the style she's going to play against you.

If after reading this article you are worried about the level of thought at which you're playing, remember this: all players start at Level 1, and have to move up one level at a time. Even the very best players were at one time in the same place as you.

The best thing you can do is be aware of where you are and where the other players are around you. The more you play, the quicker you will begin to move up and extend the scope and intricacy of your game.
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