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FAQ/Walkthrough by sjr_st
Version: 0.90 | Updated: 04/03/06
World Poker Tour: Walkthrough/FAQ Version 0.90 (created 04/03/06, US date convention) by Matthew A. Peeler firstname.lastname@example.org This document is copyrighted 2006 by Matthew A. Peeler, and is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes only. This document should not be reprinted, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the author. The author has authorized this guide to be posted on the website: http://www.gamefaqs.com +++++++++++++++++ Table Of Contents +++++++++++++++++ [0.1] Version Update [0.2] Introduction/Purpose [0.3] General Notices About The Guide [0.4] Vocabulary [0.5] Note on WPT and WCP/WCP2 [1.0] Basics [1.1] Types of Games [1.2] Limits [1.3] Format (Quick Draw vs. Tournament) [2.0] Earning Money [2.1] Buy-ins [2.2] Payouts [3.0] Strategy for Playing World Poker Tour [3.1] Break Even Points and Earning Money [3.2] Quick Draw Strategy [3.3] Tournament Strategy [3.4] Off-table Eliminations [3.5] Season Mode Structure [4.0] Opponent Betting Strategies [4.1] Exploiting the Opponents [4.2] Semi-bluffing [4.3] The "Bait and Reel" [5.0] Basic Strategy: Texas Hold'Em [5.1] Preflop Initial Hands [5.2] Postflop Betting [5.3] Modifications for Hold'Em Variations [5.4] Omaha Strategy [5.5] 7-card Stud Strategy [6.0] Other Observations [6.1] Pot Odds for Texas Hold'Em [6.2] Cheating [6.3] The M Statistic [7.0] Pro Players [7.1] Earning Trophy Chips [7.2] Clothing/Accessory List [8.0] Acknowledgements Searching by topic can be done by using Ctrl-F (Find) on the section number enclosed in brackets by each section. ++++++++++++++++++++ [0.1] Version Update ++++++++++++++++++++ Version 0.90 (04/03/06): Initial version (incomplete) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [0.2] Introduction/Purpose ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This guide is a basic FAQ/Walkthrough for the game World Poker Tour, provided to help the player through the various Quick Draw and WPT Season modes, as well as how to earn all of the available items and unlock all pro poker players. A basic strategy for playing no limit Texas Hold'Em is provided, along with modifications for the other variations of poker. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [0.3] General Notices About The Guide +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Note 1: I based this guide on the North American Playstation 2 version of the game, so some particular strategies given here may not necessarily work for other versions. Note 2: A basic strategy for how to play hands is enclosed, however, it should be noted that this is mainly designed to defeat the computer opponents in the game. Therefore, the strategies may not work as well on human opponents (such as in online play, other poker games, or in real life). This strategy is not mine alone, rather it is an amalgamation of strategies from several source books (given in the Acknowledgement section) modified to this particular game. Players interested in these strategies are highly encouraged to get the books stated there. Note 3: There is also some information (such as pot odds) that requires a basic understanding in algebra and statistics. I have tried to keep such mathematical terminology to a minimum, however, it is necessary to truly understand the material. ++++++++++++++++ [0.4] Vocabulary ++++++++++++++++ Poker Terms: Board: The community cards placed face up on the table that all players can use. Quads: 4 of a kind Trips: 3 of a kind Boat/Full Boat: Full house Kicker(s): The highest unpaired card(s). Often used to break ties, they are quite important in a lot of hands. Wheel: Lowest possible straight (5,4,3,2,A, with the ace low). Card Symbolism: Ranks: A : Ace K : King Q : Queen J : Jack T : Ten (10) 9-2 Suits: s : Suited Cards Mathematical Terms: Operational Symbols: + : Addition - : Subtraction * : Multiplication / : Division ^ : Exponents Numerical shortcuts: K : (kilo-) Thousand M : (mega-) Million ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [0.5] Note on WPT and WCP/WCP2 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Some notes about this game (World Poker Tour, or WPT) and two other poker games (World Championship Poker and World Championship Poker 2 Featuring Howard Lederer): World Championship Poker (WCP) was created by Crave Entertainment, along with Coresoft and Renderware, and predates both WCP2 and WPT. Crave then produced WCP2 along with Point of View Inc., whereas WPT was produced by 2K Sports, in conjunction with Coresoft and Renderware. Apparently, the base structure of WCP (the six player table, tournament payout structure, and a host of other things) went with Coresoft and Renderware, since WPT has all these same structure elements, while WCP2 does not. Anyone familiar with WCP will find many of the same elements in WPT. I have written a Walkthrough/FAQ for World Championship Poker (available, like this one, through GameFAQs). Much of what was true for WCP is true for WPT, therefore, some of this guide will be pre-published material from the WCP guide, although there are some changes. For example, tournament structure payouts are virtually identical, as is the buy-in+fee amounts, and the aggression index basic strategy also works well for World Poker Tour. However, some strategic elements relating to the computer opponents (such as off-table eliminations, and the "bait and reel") have been updated for World Poker Tour. Also, the chip reward system for modifying a player's appearance is new, so new material has been added for that. Here are the changes from WCP to WPT: All tournaments in WPT are No Limit Texas Hold'Em, and are enclosed in a Season Mode with two difficulties (Amateur and Professional). Season mode consists of 10 tournaments with varying buy-ins (with satellites and super-satellites). The player must place in the top 6 to qualify for the Championship, a six-player single table game, which the player must win to advance to the next level. Winning Amateur opens Professional Season, winning Professional opens an All- Pro invitational identical to the championship. Winning the invitational allows the player to play as any of the pros. The Sit and Go games (called Quick Draw) allow more possible players (up to 200). The payout structures remain the same. Double Flop Hold'Em has been removed, and some games are now available Hi/Lo. A "trophy chip" reward system has been added, rewarding the player for getting certain hands, winning certain types of pots, etc. These chips are spent on changing the player's clothes and accessories. Blinds increase at a rate set by the player (from 5, 10, 15, or 20 simulated minutes). The computer allows around 2 simulated minutes per hand, so figure on a blind increase at around half as many hands as the blind increase time in minutes (say, 2-3 hands for 5 minutes, 5 hands for 10 minutes, 7-8 hands for 15 minutes, and 10 hands for 20 minutes). Season mode raises blinds every 5 hands, regardless of the number of simulated minutes. Off-table eliminations have been toned down somewhat, but are still quite exploitable for the player. The computer opponent's AI is a little better. The "bait and reel" advised in WCP is not as effective (the opponent will just fold after the all-in bet). Novice difficulty has been removed. Players bluff a little more, and also will semi-bluff more often on good draws. Pro players do these things as well, but even more so, and are generally not as predictable as the regular computer opponents. The save cheat has been changed. The deck is now determined "on the draw", so if you save before a hand is dealt, the player's (and opponents') hole cards are the same, but the board cards will change. This still allows for re-draws on bad beats. Game and hand statistics are kept on the player for reference. ++++++++++++ [1.0] Basics ++++++++++++ Here is some basic information on poker. +++++++++++++++++++ [1.1] Rank of Hands +++++++++++++++++++ In descending order, the ranks of hands are as follows: Royal Flush : A,K,Q,J,T all of the same suit. Straight Flush : 5 cards in order, all of the same suit. 4 of a Kind (Quads) : 4 cards of the same rank. Full House (Full Boat): 3 cards of one rank, and 2 of another rank. Flush : 5 cards of the same suit. Straight : 5 cards in order. 3 of a Kind (Trips) : 3 cards of the same rank. Two Pair : 2 cards of one rank, and 2 of another rank. Pair : 2 cards of the same rank. High Card : None of the above hands Ties are broken by the rank of the cards used in the hand, with A counting as highest (except in a straight or straight flush, where A can count as highest or lowest, so 5,4,3,2,A is a straight (the "wheel")). For a full house, the 3 of a kind is compared first, then the pair. For identical quads, trips, two pair, and pairs, extra cards (kickers) are then compared, up to the maximum of five cards per hand. If all five cards in a hand are identical in rank, the hands are considered tied, so... 9,9,9,K,Q,8,2 is tied with 9,9,9,K,Q,7,4 (last 2 cards not counted) These ranks are used for all varieties of poker in the game. ++++++++++++++++++++ [1.1] Types of Games ++++++++++++++++++++ World Poker Tour contains several varieties of poker, listed below. Texas Hold'Em: The most popular form in the tournaments, it involves each player receiving two hole cards, with five community cards distributed 3-1-1 (flop, turn, and river). Small and big blinds are posted, and players may bet 4 times, before the flop, and after the flop, turn, and river. Players can then use any or all of their hole cards with the community cards (the "board") to make the best hand. Tahoe: A variation of Texas Hold'Em with 3 hole cards to each player and the same 3-1-1 board. Betting is as in Hold'Em, but players may only use up to 2 of their hole cards with the board. Super Hold'Em: Another variation with 3 hole cards to each player, but the player can use all 3 hole cards with the board. Pineapple: Another variation with 3 hole cards, but the players are forced to discard one card after the first round of betting, but before the flop. Action then proceeds as in Texas Hold'Em. Crazy Pineapple: As in Pineapple, but the discarding takes place after the second round of betting (between the flop and turn). Omaha: 4 hole cards are dealt, with the board distributed 3-1-1 as in Hold'Em. Players are required to use exactly 2 of their hole cards with the board to make their best hand. Shanghai: 3 hole cards are dealt as in Tahoe, but the board distribution is changed to 2-2-1. Again, as in Tahoe, players can only use up to 2 hole cards with the board. Billabong: Players are dealt 4 hole cards, with the last face up on the table. Board is distributed 3-1-1 as in Hold'Em. Players must use either 3 or all 4 hole cards to make their hand. 7 Card Stud: Players are dealt 3 cards to begin, 2 face down and 1 face up. After the first round of betting, players are dealt one card each round until they have seven cards, with all cards but the last face up. A round of betting occurs after each round of cards is dealt. Draw Poker: Players are dealt 5 cards. After a round of betting, players can discard up to 4 cards (4 card discards are only allowed if the kept card is an Ace), or can choose not to discard. A second round of betting then ensues, and then the hands are compared. Triple Draw (2-7): As in draw poker, but 3 separate drawings are allowed, which can be from none to all 5 cards for each drawing. The object here is to get the lowest possible hand (2-7, no flush). ++++++++++++ [1.2] Limits ++++++++++++ Each of the varieties of poker can be played with the following betting limits. Limit: Betting is limited to specific amounts, depending on whether it is pre- flop, on the flop, turn, or river. These limits are listed as #/#, where the first number is usually half of the second (i.e. 5/10, 25/50, etc.). The first is the size of bets on pre-flop and flop, and the second for turn and river. (Note: In most games, raises are capped at 4 bets). The blinds are usually set by these limits, with the big blind betting the minimum amount and the small blind usually half of the big blind. These usually increase each time the dealer button goes around the table. Half-Pot Limit: The betting minimums are as in limit poker, but players may raise up to half the size of the pot (on top of their bet). Pot Limit: Players can raise up to the size of the pot. No Limit: Players can raise up to their entire chip stack. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [1.3] Format (Quick Draw vs. Tournament) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Quick Draw games are played with the player and up to 200 opponents with identical stacks of $1000. The object is to eliminate all of your opponents. Tournaments are played in Season Mode. Most tournaments (except the 6 player championship) are composed of 100 players, all starting with $1000. The player earns money based on the position placed. After 10 tournaments, if the player has earned enough money to be in sixth place overall or higher, they go to the Championship, a single table, 6 player face-off. Winning this at Amateur level opens the Professional level Season, where the process is repeated. Winning the Profession Championship opens an All-Pro Championship (again, a 6 player face- off). Winning this championship unlocks all 8 pros. +++++++++++++++++++ [2.0] Earning Money +++++++++++++++++++ A newly created character is given $1000. Obviously, the goal is to earn as much money as possible. To understand how to accomplish this, you need to look at the reward structure (how much money you earn for placing in which position) of the various games. +++++++++++++ [2.1] Buy-ins +++++++++++++ Each game has a cost for playing that is deducted from the player's bankroll. This is composed of two parts, the part "in the pot" that goes to the prizes given in the game, and the "entry fee", which simulates the house's percentage. For Quick Draw games, this is explicitly stated (such as a $30+$3 game, where $30 goes to the pot and $3 to the house). For the tournaments, it is hidden in the buy-in (a $22 buy-in is actually $20+$2, a $2700 buy-in is actually $2500+$200, and so on). This affects the amount awarded for each place (the tournament structure), and so we have to take this into account in calculating how much we can win in each tournament. As the cost of Quick Draws and Tournaments increase, the entry fee percentage gets smaller, starting at 10% and decreasing to around 7% for the highest buy- ins. Therefore, as the player earns more money, they should go for the higher buy-ins. A smaller percentage going to the house is more that is in the pot and available to win. The buy-ins are as follows (listed as pot+fee, with fee percentage): $20+$2 (fee=10%) $30+$3 (fee=10%) $50+$5 (fee=10%) $100+$9 (fee=9%) $200+$15 (fee=8.5%) $500+$40 (fee=8%) $1000+$80 (fee=8%) $1500+$120 (fee=8%) $2000+$160 (fee=8%) $2500+$200 (fee=8%) $5000+$400 (fee=8%) $10K+$700 (fee=7%) $15K+$1050 (fee=7%) $20K+$1400 (fee=7%) $25K+$1750 (fee=7%) $30K+$2100 (fee=7%) $35K+$2450 (fee=7%) $40K+$2800 (fee=7%) $50K+$3500 (fee=7%) $100K+$7000 (fee=7%) +++++++++++++ [2.2] Payouts +++++++++++++ For satellite tournaments, there is only one prize, entry into the super- satellite by winning (placing first). For super-satellites, entry into the main tournament is given to the top 10 players. For the full tournament and for Quick Draw games, payouts are given by where the player placed, given in the tables below as a percentage of the pot. Also included in the table is the break-even point (BEP), which is the point where the player will have earned an amount at least equal to the buy-in (i.e. they will at least "break even"). For 2 players: 1st: 100% (BEP) 2nd: 0 For 4 players: 1st: 70% 2nd: 30% (BEP) 3rd+: 0 For 6 players: 1st: 50% 2nd: 30% 3rd: 20% (BEP) 4th+: 0 For 25-50 players: 1st: 40% 2nd: 22% 3rd: 10% 4th: 7% 5th: 6% 6th: 5% 7th: 4% 8th: 3% (BEP) 9th: 2% 10th: 1% 11th+: 0 For 100 players: 1st: 40% 2nd: 20% 3rd: 10% 4th: 5% 5th: 4% 6th-9th: 3% 10th-12th: 2% (BEP) 13th-15th: 1% 16th+: 0 For 150 players: 1st: 35% 2nd: 20% 3rd: 10% 4th: 7% 5th: 5% 6th-10th: 2% 11th-14th: 1.6% 15th-20th: 1.1% (BEP) 21st+: 0 For 200 players (* places are estimated): 1st: 30% 2nd: 17.5% 3rd: 12% 4th: 6.5% 5th: 5% 6th: 4% 7th: 3% 8th: 2% 9th-12th: 1% 13th-16th: 0.9% 17th-23rd: 0.7% (*) 24th-31st: 0.5% (*) (BEP) 32nd-45th: 0.25% (*) 46th+: 0 The last couple of places in the 200+ tournament are estimates. In that large a tournament, players drop out so quickly (see Section 3.4) in those places that ensuring that an accurate payout amount for any particular place is difficult, especially since other players not at the current table (and thus invisible to the player) may have gone out at the same time, leading to split payouts. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.0] Strategy for Playing World Poker Tour +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In these sections, we'll look at a basic strategy for playing World Poker Tour. If your goal is simply to earn money, the Quick Draws are most lucrative (this is quite different from WCP, where tournaments were the best way to make money). This is the best way to earn money for Season tournament entry fees. However, to unlock the pro players, you have to complete Amateur and Professional Season Mode, which first requires the player to play in 10 tournaments (placing sixth or better in total earnings), then win a single table championship with 6 players. This must be done twice (at Amateur and Professional difficulty levels), then the player must win the All-Pro Championship to unlock the pros. Since earning money is required both to pay entry fees and to open championships in Season Mode, we will first look at the money structure of the various games. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.1] Break Even Points and Earning Money +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Listed with the payout structures above (see Section 2.2) are the break-even points, which denote where a player will earn enough prize money to make up the cost of the tournament. Quick Draw structure is based on the number of players, which is chosen by the player, whereas Season Mode Finale tournaments are all 100 player tournaments. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.2] Quick Draw Strategy +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Quick Draws are the best way to earn money and chips, and should be your game of choice (especially after completing Season Mode). While you are learning, I suggest playing for close to the minimum (say $20- $50) and at a limit game so that mistakes do not cost you much in the way of money. After some experience, go for the largest amount that you can reasonably afford, keeping in mind your bankroll and the possibility of losing. There is always a possibility that you will go broke, due to luck or the randomness of the cards (unless you cheat). Mathematicians call this the "possibility of ruin" or "possibility of absorbsion" (in gambling chain analysis, $0 is called an "absorbsion point", because once you are broke, you can't earn any more money). With the high possibility that you will earn money, this possibility of ruin is not likely, but it should be taken into account. A good safeguard against ruin is to always play Sit and Go games where the buy-in is less than a quarter (1/4) of your current bankroll. This will reduce your chances of ruin in 4 tries at that buy-in to less than 1% (given 70+% possibility of winning money). Always play Quick Draw games with a high number of players (200 is best, but you can also try 100 or 150 if you are unsure how long you can last), and with the maximum 20 simulated minutes between blind changes to take advantage of off-table eliminations (see Section 3.4). These tend to be games where you will "grind" your opponents down using superior tactics and pot-odds. When you are the superior player at the table (and after you learn basic strategy for these games, you will be), you should seek to slowly exploit the weakness of the computer players, and gain your chips a little at a time. This is not to say that you shouldn't take the opportunity to bust one of your opponents (which you have vastly outplayed in a hand), but you shouldn't be actively seeking an all-or-nothing proposition with them where you feel that you have only a marginal advantage. When in doubt, check the pot down or fold, and wait for a better hand. After winning a few of the lower level limit games, start experimenting with higher limit games at low cost. The strategies there are a little different, due mainly to a higher "variance" at these games, by which I mean that the risks and rewards are higher. Proper play earns more money, but mistakes cost more at higher limits. The play goes much faster, but the strategy is still to grind your opponents down. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.3] Tournament Strategy +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Season Mode tournaments are divided into three types: Satellites are six player, single table elimination games. First place earns a super satellite entry. Super Satellites are 100 player tournaments similar to the tournament finales. The top 10 players earn tournament finale entries. Tournament Finales are also 100 player tournaments, with payout structure as given in Section 2.2 (payouts for 20th place or better, break-even point is 12th place). Satellites and Super Satellites are not worth the player's time or effort. When you have enough money, it is much easier simply to buy-in to the Finale, and at the beginning of the game (when you do not have enough for the entry), it is a better strategy to earn the entry fee money through Quick Draws rather than risk a Satellite or Super Satellite. In general, the strategy for tournaments is similar to Quick Draw, with a few exceptions. The general strategy it to grind the opponents down, but also to avoid gambling in cases where waiting a hand or two is likely to move the player up in "real" money (to a position with a higher payout). For example, it is best not to go all-in on a good, but not great, hand when you have an opponent extremely short stacked with 11 players left in a tournament. The reason is 11th place pays 1.6% (which is what you will earn if you go all-in and lose), whereas if you fold the hand and wait, the odds are that the short stack will be eliminated soon, moving you to at least 10th place (which pays 2%). The difference of 0.4% doesn't sound like much, but for a $5000+$400 buy-in tournament, it's $2000-3000 (about half of the buy-in). The computer opponents do not alter their basic strategy for these cases, so you certainly should. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.4] Off-table Eliminations ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Easily the player's greatest advantage to the tournament structure is the generally passive way that the opponents play at the player's table, compared to the hyper-aggressive algorithm for off-table play. Computer opponents literally give their money away off-table, leading to an inordinate amount of off-table eliminations. Generally, the computer eliminates around 6.25% (rounded) of the remaining players each hand in a tournament (off-table). So, with 100 players at the start: Start: 100 players Hand 1: 94 players (100*0.0625=6 players eliminated) Hand 2: 88 players ( 94*0.0625=6 players eliminated) Hand 3: 83 players ( 88*0.0625=5 players eliminated) etc. If a player (or a computer opponent) is eliminated at the active table (the one shown in the game), they are removed after off-table eliminations are calculated. So, for example, if there was 94 players after Hand 1, and a computer opponent was eliminated at the active table in Hand 2, the off-table eliminations go first (94*0.0625=6 eliminations off-table, so 94-6=88 remain), then that opponent is removed (placing 88th). There would then be 87 players remaining. Based on this exponential survival function (and confirmed through testing on some 30 tournaments), here are some estimates for how long it takes to get to a certain position (based on 100 players at the start): To earn money (20th): around 23-25 hands To break even (12th): around 28-32 hands Final Table ( 6th): around 37-40 hands Generally, the more players are eliminated at the active table, and the later in the tournament they are eliminated, the faster each of the milestones is achieved. This means that a rather tight approach is best with the tournament structure. Since a lot of your competition is getting eliminated off-camera, there's little need to gamble early. You still want to get a pot now and then, and maybe double up once or twice, but most of the time you can quietly fold marginal-to-poor hands, and watch the number of players remaining (given every blind increase, or on the second page of the game stats) drop lower and lower. Unfortunately, since the blinds and antes increase so fast (every 5 hands in Season Mode), the player will be broke before earning money if they fold every hand, so you will need to gamble a little. There is one other minor drawback to the aggressive off-table elimination structure. To determine the chip count for new players sitting at your table, the game calculates a random amount based on the chips remaining (off-table) and the number of players remaining (off-table). With the high amount of eliminations off-table, the off-table chip count will be quite high and the number of players off-table low. This means that players entering your table often have very high chip counts (when compared to yours), so that you will be playing short stacked a lot of the time. Fortunately, the strategy algorithm is not very adept at exploiting it's large stack, whereas there are ways to exploit your short stack, so it's not an overwhelming disadvantage. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [3.5] Season Mode Structure +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Season Mode is composed of 10 tournaments, with varying entry fees and payouts. The player must place in the top six money winners over the entire 10 tournaments to play in the championship. The tournaments in Season Mode, along with their entry fees (for Amateur and Professional) are given below: Tournament Fee (Amateur) Fee (Professional) Grand Prix de Paris $1K+80 $20K+1400 Legends of Poker $1K+80 $10K+700 Borgata Poker Open $2K+160 $20K+1400 Millions on the Sea $2K+160 $20K+1400 World Poker Finals $5K+400 $50K+3500 Aruba Poker Classic $10K+700 $50K+3500 World Poker Open $5K+400 $50K+3500 L.A. Poker Classic $1K+80 $10K+700 Shooting Stars of Poker $2K+160 $50K+3500 WPT World Championship $5K+400 $50K+3500 Since the player needs to place in the top 6, you need to earn enough money to ensure that position. One way to do it is to simply make it to sixth position on every tournament (that is, make the final table all 10 times). However, this is not practical unless you are cheating (with the cheat mentioned in Section 6.2), and are patient with reloads. As a rough estimate, figure that you need approximately 5 times the total amount of the buy-ins (the numbers in front of the plus signs in the chart above) to have a decent chance to place sixth. Past about 6 times, and sixth place is virtually assured. This chance is better the more consistently you play. (So far through 2 complete playthroughs of Season Mode, these values have not changed, so they could very well be fixed. If true, then you need a minimum of $160-$200K for Amateur Season and around $1.6-$2.0M for Professional Season.) With the high amount of the buy-ins, I reiterate the suggestion that players start with Quick Draws (with 200 players and 20 minutes between blind increases) to earn the money, rather than play satellites. Satellites are too risky compared to the ease at which you can place in the Quick Draws. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [4.0] Opponent Betting Strategies +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here, we discuss the betting strategies of the computer opponents. Note that there is some amount of randomness to the computer opponent's strategies, so they may not follow the advice below exactly, every time. This is actually an effective strategy in poker (to randomly change strategies) and, against human opponents, is quite useful. Against the machine, which seems to do little thinking about what your hand is, and whether or not you could be bluffing, it is not as effective. Pre-flop: Computer players in positions 1-2 (the two players first to act) generally fold unless they have a "playable hand". Usually this means a pair, any ace, on some occasions as little as a facecard, or maybe two of the same suit. A raise in this position usually means either a pair or a suited ace or king. There is some element of randomness to this (the computer may fold such a hand, or call with a weaker hand), but it is a safe assumption that they have a pair, an ace, or a king. In position 3-4 (one off or on the button), the computer loves to raise to steal the blinds, so a raise here can mean any hand (I've seen it done with 72 offsuit, that is, with "the worst hand"). They will do this at any time, even when it doesn't make much sense (say, when the blinds are low, or when short- stacked enough so that it's an all-in for them, and pretty much an automatic call for the blinds). Professional named players tend to do this a bit more than the generic player. A call has about the same meaning, although it probably means a little stronger hand. Blind stealing does seem to be suspended if someone in positions 1-3 has called, so raises or calls here probably means a playable hand. They will also fold a few hands, so the button player will probably be in most of the time, probably with a marginal hand. In the blinds, a computer player almost always raises heads-up if in the small blind against the big blind, will often raise heads-up if they have the big blind against a caller, but will generally check against two or more opponents unless they have a good hand. Professional named players are also highly likely to protest their blinds. Again, this means a lot of raises/calls in these positions with marginal hands. All positions tend to fold against a raise unless the hand is playable. In general, a computer opponents bluffs only once in a hand. If you reraise and are raised back, you're against a very strong hand (since they don't bluff twice). Post-flop: Computer opponents may bluff once at a flop, to try to take the pot down, but their usual strategy is to check unless they have top pair or better, and only call a bet if they have middle pair or better. There is an occasional semi- bluff with one card to a flush or straight (open, or even an inside straight draw). Raising means either a bluff or top pair, maybe two pair. They will abandon their hands with less than this. They also tend to check the turn or river if they have no improvement by either of those cards (even if their hand is very strong). This is also their strategy if they bluff the flop, or the pair they bet on the flop degenerated (by, say, an overcard). A bet usually means improvement in some fashion, again, barring the occasional bluff. When short-stacked: Computer opponents will give automatic all-ins or call all-ins when a call/raise would be more than their stack. They also go all-in when they feel "pot-committed", that is, when the size of the pot is large compared to the bet/raise they are going to make (say, when there is more than $1000 in the pot and they only have $150 for a minimum $100 bet). The algorithm on this is not perfect, however, since there are situations where good strategy suggests an all-in, but the computer opponent will only make the required bet (if the computer is set to bet $200 into a $800 pot, but they only have $300, it often just bets the $200). If this sounds somewhat contradictory, that's because, to some extent, it is. This shows up more on the opponent calling a bet rather than making a bet. Computer opponents also have a tendency to go all-in before the flop in positions 3-4, probably in a steal attempt. If you call here in the blinds, you'll often find incredibly poor hands. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [4.1] Exploiting the Opponents ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here are some basic techniques that seem to work well against the computer opponents. Remember that the computer opponents will bluff on occasion. The best strategy to detect a computer opponent bluff is simply to call and watch the reaction to the next card (if before the river). A computer check almost always means the previous bet was a bluff (because they almost never bluff twice). This does not mean that you always have the best hand (since they could have improved on the card that was revealed between the betting rounds), but is a good indicator of a poor hand. Computer opponents rarely show-play monster hands on the flop, preferring to bet out. This means that a check on the flop followed by a bet on the turn usually means either improvement on the turn card, a bluff, or a third possibility. If the computer flopped middle pair, and the turn card is under that paired card, they often will not bet the middle pair on the flop, but will bet middle pair on the turn (even if bet into on the flop). Therefore, if you have top pair and see a computer bet on the turn, it could mean this situation, which can be extremely profitable to you. Other profitable techniques are semi-bluffing and the "bait and reel". +++++++++++++++++++ [4.2] Semi-bluffing +++++++++++++++++++ Semi-bluffing is betting with a hand that is generally weaker than needed to win (so, you are not the best hand), however, contains strong draws to the best. It is usually done after the flop when the flop did not give you a pair (or maybe a weak pair), but you have either a flush draw (4 to a flush), an open-end straight draw (4 to a straight, all together), a high inside straight draw (4 to a straight, with the missing card inside, with a lot of high cards), or, occasionally, two overcards (two cards in your hand higher than the board). It attempts to take the pot immediately by forcing all opponents to fold (the bluff), but, if called, still has outs to any made hand. Semi-bluffing usually drives out opponents fairly well (especially at amateur difficulty). The opponents give up the hand a little more than in WCP, so you may win the hand right there, but occasionally you have one player hang around. This last player just can't seem to give up the hand, so you will likely be drawing against a fair hand (probably top or middle pair). This is still not quite as bad as it seems, because, had you checked, you would be drawing against 2 or more opponents, therefore increasing your winning chances dramatically. This can be further improved by aggressive betting on the turn (often the opponent will just simply give the hand up). The best part about the semi-bluff is that it can be used in combination with the "bait and reel" to give great profits if you draw out, but relatively inexpensive losses when you do not. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ [4.3] The "Bait and Reel" +++++++++++++++++++++++++ In WCP, I advised a strategy called the "bait and reel", used when you have a great hand after the flop. It involved placing a minimum bet (the bait), letting the opponent raise, then re-raising all-in (the reel). In WCP, the opponent AI seemed to think that when they raise, they are pot-committed, and therefore call anything. In WPT, the AI has gotten better. They will now lay that hand down, unless they are short-stacked, so this strategy is only really valid when your opponent does not have many chips left. However, it is still a good strategy to have to remove opponents from a hand. Here's how to run the "bait and reel": After the flop if you have a great hand or an excellent draw (such as a flush draw or high open-end straight draw), bet the minimum (or a quarter of the pot). This will drive out opponents, usually leaving 1 left. That opponent may raise immediately, in which case if your hand is made, go for a large bet, around 1.5 times the pot or all-in. If they do not raise, or you only have a draw, see the turn and/or river. If you have at any time made a hand, bet the minimum again, look for a raise, and re-raise all-in. If your draw doesn't come, check-fold at the river. If you are first to act, you can also check/re-raise the above amounts with the same results. Since you generally have only one opponent, outdraws are rare, and you will usually either double up (if you were the short stack) or eliminate the opponent (if he was). +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [5.0] Basic Strategy: Texas Hold'Em +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here is a basic, semi-aggressive betting strategy for Texas Hold'Em. This strategy can be modified for the other variations of Hold'Em that the game has. Omaha and 7-card stud are somewhat different from regular Texas Hold'Em, so require a little different strategy, and so have separate sections. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [5.1] Preflop Initial Hands +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ For most beginners, the main error in pre-flop strategy is to play too many hands. The computer opponents tend to be this way as well, often playing with utter trash hands (especially at amateur difficulty). This, combined with high attrition off-table, suggests rather tight requirements for staying in a hand pre-flop. This assures that once you are in a hand, the odds are that you are the favorite. Note that this is often NOT the case in live tournaments, although a tight strategy can sometimes be helpful there as well. So, to call or raise a hand before the flop, the following tables can be used to serve as a basic guideline for beginners. Hands are rated here on an "aggression index", indicating how strong a hand is in a given position, from 0 (worst, and should almost always be folded) to 10 (best, and should almost always be raised), and a suggested strategy, which can (and should) be modified for the specific situation: 10: Raise, and re-raise 9: Raise, and call if raised 8: Marginal raise/call hand, may call if re-raised 7: Call, but might raise if desperate 6: Call 5: Call 4: Call 3: Marginal call/fold 2: Call if desperate, otherwise fold 1: Fold, call only if extremely short stacked 0: Fold So, here are the aggression indices for starting hands (s means same suit): Pos. 1 & 2 Pos. 3 & 4 Sm. & Big Blind Pairs: AA-QQ 10 AA-TT 10 AA-TT 10 JJ-TT 9 99 9 99 9 99 8 88 8 88 8 88-77 6 77-66 7 77-55 7 66-55 4 55-44 6 44 6 44 3 33-22 4 33-22 5 33-22 2 Suited: AKs 10 AKs-AQs 10 AKs-AQs 10 AQs 9 AJs-ATs 9 AJs-ATs 9 AJs-ATs 8 A9s-A8s 7 A9s-A2s 7 A9s 6 A7s-A6s 5 KQs 10 A8s 5 A5s-A2s 4 KJs 9 A7s 4 KQs 10 KTs 8 A6s-A2s 3 KJs-KTs 8 K9s-K8s 6 KQs 9 K9s 6 K7s-K2s 5 KJs 8 K8s-K6s 2 QJs 8 KTs 5 K5s-K2s 1 QTs-Q9s 7 K9s 2 QJs 8 Q8s 5 K8s-K7s 1 QTs 6 Q7s 3 QJs 6 Q9s 5 Q6s-Q5s 2 QTs 5 Q8s 2 Q4s-Q2s 1 Q9s 3 JTs 8 JTs 8 JTs 6 J9s 5 J9s 7 J9s 3 J8s 2 J8s-J7s 2 T9s 4 T9s 7 J6s-J2s 1 T8s 1 T8s 3 T9s 7 98s 3 T7s 1 T8s 3 97s 1 98s 5 98s-32s 6 87s 1 97s 2 97s-42s 2 76s 1 87s 5 65s 1 86s 2 76s 4 65s 4 54s 2 43s 1 Unsuited: AK 9 AK 10 AK 10 AQ-AJ 8 AQ-AT 8 AQ 9 AT 4 A9-A6 2 AJ-AT 8 A9-A8 1 A5-A4 1 A9 3 KQ 7 KQ-KJ 8 A8-A2 2 KJ 6 KT 3 KQ 9 KT 1 K9-K7 1 KJ 7 QJ 3 QJ 3 KT 5 JT 2 QT-Q7 1 K9 3 T9 1 JT 3 K8-K2 2 J9 1 QJ 6 T9 2 QT 5 98 1 Q9 3 Q8-Q5 2 Q4-Q2 1 JT 3 J9-J8 2 98-32 1 After you have become accustomed to which cards are worth playing, this aggression index can be modified for different playing conditions. Some suggested modifications are: Limpers: after the first limper, subtract 0.5-1 from index for each limper Short Handed: Add 0.5-1 per each seat empty. This means that as you get less players, you should play more hands, even the "trash" hands. Heads-up, you should call with anything (4 seats empty means even 0 hands are now valued as a 4, and thus a marginal call) Blind Steals: If raised by button or small blind, call on an index of 5 or more (rather than 7-8) Move toward more aggression as you are short stacked (see the M statistic in section 6.3) Note: You will have to be a little more aggressive in Season Mode, due to the fast escalating blind structure. This will cause your M statistic to drop rapidly. In Quick Draw, err toward less aggressive play. ++++++++++++++++++++++ [5.2] Postflop Betting ++++++++++++++++++++++ After the flop, it is safe to assume that they are betting with top to middle pair or better. You need to beat that by the river to have a chance to win. Even with the possibility of a bluff, don't call if all you can beat is a bluff (that is, you have no pair and no draw better than an inside straight draw). Semi-bluffing works well immediately after the flop if you have a flush or open straight draw (see above). If bet into, use the pot odds tables given in section 6.1 to see if you should continue. Remember that you may be raised on a high middle pair, so adjust your outs accordingly. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [5.3] Modifications for Hold'Em Variations ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In the Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple games, you will be dealt 3 cards and forced to discard one later. You should play these only if you have a good opening hand in the three cards (and it should be slightly better than normal). The computer players here tend toward having higher cards, or pairs, so yours should be higher as well. In Tahoe and Super Hold'Em, you get to keep all 3 cards. Again, you need a good opening hand in these, again slightly stronger than normal. In Tahoe, you can only use 2 cards in your hand, so a set of trips, 3-straight or 3-flush is not as good a hand as it looks (it's actually weaker than just two and another card). In Super, you can use all three cards, so those hands are much more powerful. Billabong is a little different. You must use at least 3 cards of your 4, so you need cards that work together (connected, suited, or paired) to keep going with the hand before the flop. Shanghai is like Tahoe, only the board card distribution changes (to 2-2-1). It can be played with similar opening hands as Tahoe. ++++++++++++++++++++ [5.4] Omaha Strategy ++++++++++++++++++++ With Omaha, you need cards that work well in pairs. The best hands are hands that have one or more of the following: Pairs (but not 3 or 4 of a kind) Two cards (no more) of the same suit (the higher the better) to make flushes Two or more cards close in rank to make straights Double suited (two cards in each of two suits) Omaha is more a "drawing" game (getting the best draw to a flush, straight, trips/quads or full house). A good opening system for Omaha was developed by Edward Hutchison and tested/modified by Mike Caro and is available online at the sites listed in the Acknowledgements. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [5.5] 7-card Stud Strategy ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ For 7-card stud, the best opening hands have: 3 of a kind A high 3-flush or straight A pocket pair (in the hidden cards) A pair with the up card Two overcards to the board Again, a good detailed opening system for 7-card stud can be found on the sites listed in the Acknowledgements. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ [6.0] Other Observations ++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here is some other useful information relating to the game. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [6.1] Pot Odds for Texas Hold'Em ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The pot odds for Texas Hold'Em are based on the fact that of the 52 cards in the deck, after the flop 5 are known to the player (the 2 hole cards and the 3 on the flop), thus leaving 47 unknown. Probabilities can then be calculated based on how many cards produce a winning hand (called outs) versus the 2162 possible combination of turn/river cards. The formula for the probability of drawing an out card on the turn/river where p is the number of out cards in the remaining deck is then: Prob. = (93*p - p^2) / 2162 The following table gives the outs, probability, and odds calculation of that probability (pot odds) after the flop: Outs Probability Pot Odds 0 0 Infinite 0.5 0.0213922 45.75 to 1 1 0.0425532 22.5 to 1 1.5 0.0634829 14.75 to 1 2 0.0841813 10.88 to 1 2.5 0.1046485 8.56 to 1 3 0.1248844 7.01 to 1 3.5 0.1448890 5.9 to 1 4 0.1646624 5.07 to 1 4.5 0.1842044 4.43 to 1 5 0.2035153 3.91 to 1 5.5 0.2225948 3.49 to 1 6 0.2414431 3.14 to 1 6.5 0.2600601 2.85 to 1 7 0.2784459 2.59 to 1 7.5 0.2966004 2.37 to 1 8 0.3145236 2.18 to 1 8.5 0.3322155 2.01 to 1 9 0.3496762 1.86 to 1 9.5 0.3669056 1.73 to 1 10 0.3839038 1.6 to 1 10.5 0.4006707 1.5 to 1 11 0.4172063 1.4 to 1 11.5 0.4335839 1.31 to 1 12 0.4495839 1.22 to 1 12.5 0.4654255 1.15 to 1 13 0.4810361 1.08 to 1 13.5 0.4964154 1.01 to 1 14 0.5115634 0.95 to 1 (favored) From 14 outs on, the player is the favorite, and should call. Half outs are used when a card may or may not give the player the best hand (such as a middle pair, or a high pair but causes straight or flush possibilities), or when adding backdoor draws (draws which require both turn and river cards). In general: Backdoor Flush draw = about 1.5 outs Backdoor Open-End Straight Draw (ex. 5,6,7) = about 1.5 outs Backdoor 1-gap Straight Draw (ex. 5,6,8) = about 1 out Backdoor 2-gap Straight Draw (ex. 5,7,9) = about 0.5 outs You may also take into account the future betting if you hit your draw, using what is called "implied odds". This can add more to the pot in later rounds, making it profitable to continue if the odds are close. This addition requires some amount of estimation based on experience, but for limit games around 1-1.5 the bet size on the turn/river works well. For higher limits, it may be much higher (up to a percentage of the size of the smaller stack in no-limit). The interested player should consult the sources in the Acknowledgement section and their own experiences in calculating these implied odds. A convenient estimate of the probability of hitting, given the number of outs, is known in the poker world as the "Rule of 4", which states that each out on the flop is worth about a 4% chance to hit by the river (so, 3 outs is about a 12% chance to hit by the river). This compares well with the chart above. It tends to overestimate when you have more outs, but, in those situations, you should be more likely to call anyway. After the turn, the calculation is much simpler. For p outs, the probability is: Prob. = p / 46 Giving a calculated pot odds of: Odds = (46 - p) / p to 1 There is also no need of backdoors (and not much need of half outs, either), so the odds are: Outs Probability Pot Odds 0 0 Infinite 1 0.0217391 45 to 1 2 0.0434783 22 to 1 3 0.0652174 14.33 to 1 4 0.0869565 10.5 to 1 5 0.1086957 8.2 to 1 6 0.1304348 6.67 to 1 7 0.1521739 5.57 to 1 8 0.1739130 4.75 to 1 9 0.1956522 4.11 to 1 10 0.2173913 3.6 to 1 11 0.2391304 3.18 to 1 12 0.2608696 2.83 to 1 13 0.2826087 2.54 to 1 14 0.3043478 2.29 to 1 15 0.3260870 2.06 to 1 16 0.3478261 1.88 to 1 17 0.3695652 1.71 to 1 18 0.3913043 1.56 to 1 19 0.4130435 1.42 to 1 20 0.4347826 1.3 to 1 21 0.4565217 1.19 to 1 22 0.4782609 1.09 to 1 23 0.5 1 to 1 (even) After 23 outs, the player is the favorite, and should call. To illustrate how to use these tables, here's an example: Say you have K8 of clubs, and you have check/called all the way to the turn with one opponent left. The pot has $600. The board shows: Ac,9s,Td,4c (two clubs on board) You believe that your opponent has at least top pair (so, pair of aces or better). Your opponent bets $100. Should you call? To win over the long term, you need odds of less than 7 to 1 (the $700 now in the pot versus your $100 to call). You cannot win the hand unless you hit your club flush, so you need one of the 9 clubs left (you have 4, and the deck has 13 total, so 9 remain). Therefore, you have 9 outs. The table for the river cards has 9 outs at 4.11 to 1, which is less than the 7 to 1 in the pot, so you should call. If the opponent had raised $300 instead, you would need odds less than 3 to 1 ($900 in pot verses $300 to call = 3 to 1), so in that case, the pot odds say to fold. ++++++++++++++ [6.2] Cheating ++++++++++++++ The player does have a cheat, of sorts, based on the random number generation techniques used in the game. At the start of a hand, before the cards are dealt, the console randomly determines which cards are dealt to the players. Saving at this point (while the dealer is in the "dealing animation") locks the player's hole cards in place. However, the deck is composed "on the fly", so the board is different on each replay (this is a big difference from WCP, where the entire deck was fixed at the start of a hand). So, if you have a strong hand (say, index 7-8 or better) and are against a opponent's hand that you should win against most of the time, but are drawn out on, you can quit the game, reload, and the board cards will be completely new. This allows you to get an infinite number of boards on any hand, and so you could theoretically win every hand, but it is much more practical to apply this to strong hands that win often. +++++++++++++++++++++ [6.3] The M Statistic +++++++++++++++++++++ Magriel's M statistic is a measure of how aggressive you need to be at a given point in a tournament, and is calculated by dividing your current stack by the total of the blinds and antes put in the pot. For example: If you have $3000 and the blinds are $50/$100 (no ante), your M statistic is: 3000 / (50 + 100) = 20 If you have $3000 and blinds are $150/$300 with an ante of $25, your M statistic is (assuming you have all 6 players at the table): 3000 / (150 + 300 + 25*6) = 5 The lower the M is, the sooner the blinds and antes will break you, and therefore the more aggressive you have to play. In our first example, the M was 20, which is quite high, so you should not feel the need to vary much from basic tight strategy. Our second example has an M of 5, which means that you need to double up fairly soon, so should start looking for a fairly promising hand to push all the way. To determine how aggressive you need to be with a given M, Dan Harrington has developed the "Zone System" for his books (listed in the Acknowledgements), which is summarized below: Green Zone (M = 20+): No need to vary from basic strategy Yellow Zone (M = 10-20): Start to be a little more aggressive with some hands (particularly high cards). Be ready to make a large (or all-in) bet on a good flop/turn. Orange Zone (M = 5-10): Need to become really aggressive on high index hands (7 or above), re-raising all-in if raised before the flop. Your basic options are see a flop cheaply, going all-in if it hit, or go all-in before the flop to steal the blinds and antes. Red Zone (M = 1-5): Probably need to look to go all-in on any calling hand (index 4 or better), especially if your M is 3 or lower. Otherwise try to steal the blinds. Dead Zone (M < 1): Find any hand with an index 1-2 or higher and go all-in (especially if the blind is coming up), and hope for a good board, or everyone folds. For World Poker Tour, it is possible to modify this down somewhat (perhaps to 16+/8-16/4-8/1-4/<1, or maybe even 12+/6-12/3-6/1-3/<1), due to being able to bet opponents out of the pot. The main point here is to avoid having the blinds eat away your stack waiting for good cards. If you are extremely short- stacked, the best course of action is to find a decent hand and push it. +++++++++++++++++ [7.0] Pro Players +++++++++++++++++ The pro players unlocked after completing both Season Modes and winning the All-Pro Invitational are: Antonio Esfandiari Erick Lindgren Evelyn Ng Lyle Berman Michael Mizrachi Mike Sexton Mimi Rogers Phil Laak Vince Van Patton (Lyle Berman and Mimi Rogers are "hidden characters", in that they are not on the cover of the game package). ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [7.1] Earning Trophy Chips ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ As you play, after certain hands you may be awarded a "trophy chip", which can be used after the current game to buy clothing or accessories for your player. These chips come in 5 types: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond, based on increasing rarity, and can be seen in the player's Trophy Case. The requirements to earn chips are as follows: Bronze Chip 1: Having a pair of aces in the hole Bronze Chip 2: Beating a pair of aces or kings Bronze Chip 3: Making a 2-pair hand Bronze Chip 4: Making a straight hand Bronze Chip 5: Making a 3-of-a-kind hand Silver Chip 1: Bluffing Silver Chip 2: Making a full house hand Silver Chip 3: Beating 2-pair Silver Chip 4: Beating 3-of-a-kind Silver Chip 5: Making a flush hand Gold Chip 1: Making a 4-of-a-kind hand Gold Chip 2: Beating a straight Gold Chip 3: Winning a large pot on the river Gold Chip 4: Going all-in, large stack, doubling up Gold Chip 5: Winning a large pot of a bluff Platinum Chip 1: Making a straight-flush hand Platinum Chip 2: Beating a flush Platinum Chip 3: Going all-in, winning a large pot on the river Platinum Chip 4: Going all-in, large stack, tripling up Platinum Chip 5: Going all-in, bluffing, large stack, doubling up Diamond Chip 1: Making a royal flush hand Diamond Chip 2: Making a 5-of-a-kind hand Diamond Chip 3: Beating a full house Diamond Chip 4: Going all-in, bluffing, large stack, tripling up Diamond Chip 5: Going all-in, large stack, quadrupling up (Strategies for earning chips to be updated) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [7.2] Clothing/Accessory List +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (Clothing/Accessory List to be updated) ++++++++++++++++++++++ [8.0] Acknowledgements ++++++++++++++++++++++ The following books are recommended by the author and were used compiling this guide. Getting Started in Hold'Em, by Ed Miller. Two Plus Two Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 1-880685-34-5 A good beginner's guide to the world of Texas Hold'Em. Advocates a fairly tight, conservative betting strategy. Small Stakes Hold'Em, by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, & Mason Malmuth. Two Plus Two Publishing, 2005. IBSN: 1-880685-32-9 The intermediate guide, to be read after the previous book. Expands on the previous book, with pot odds analysis, semi-bluffing, backdoor draws, etc. Focuses on limit Texas Hold'Em. Hold'Em Poker For Advanced Players, by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth. Two Plus Two Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 1-880685-22-1 The third in the series. More tactic oriented, with post-flop concepts. Advocates a little more aggression than the previous books. Harrington on Hold'Em, Vol. 1-2, by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie. Two Plus Two Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 1-880685-33-7/1-880685-35-3 These no limit series books are excellent reads, but written above beginner level. Once a person has some experience, they are invaluable. Come complete with hand strategies, tactics, and an extensive problem set. With a lot of books by Two Plus Two dominating my strategies, I felt it might be best to try some other sources for comparison, so I added the following: The Complete Book of Hold'Em Poker, by Gary Carson. Kensington Publishing, 2001. ISBN:0-8184-0605-4 Advocates a more loose, aggressive style than the previous books. Has some good sections on advanced concepts, theories of poker, and game theoretic approaches. Also, Edward Hutchison has published a guide to opening hands in Hold'Em and Omaha, available online, which I also referenced. Other online poker strategy sites that were used: www.pokerlistings.com www.pokersyte.com Thanks is also in order to Crave Entertainment, Coresoft, Inc., Renderware, and Gamespy Industries for producing the game, and CjayC and the entire crew at GameFAQs for hosting this guide.