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It depends

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Tuesday, 17 December 2013, at 10:20 p.m.

In Response To: Question for Neil or Anyone Else (Paul Weaver)

Changing your play to "take advantage" of weaker players can often backfire, and in the case of a 4-1 slot it could really be true. For one thing, when you slot, it makes some of his next roll plays even easier than if you split.

But the biggest problem in changing plays is that not all worse players are worse in the same ways. You might be playing into their strengths with certain kinds of plays.

Here's a much clearer example. Suppose you have a position that you know is not a cube but is a little scary. It might be right to double, quickly and with authority, in the chance that the weaker player might drop. But if you happen to be playing a weaker player who has a tendency to take deep and likes to gamble far too much with the cube, not only would he not drop your early cube, but he might still be taking 5 rolls later after you've lost your market. So you are making a mistake into his "strength" (he is not afraid to take the cube).

So unless you know your opponent well, any time you deviate from the right play you are taking a risk that may hurt you as much as it may help.

Now, to be specific about this roll, the last time I played Mochy in a tournament he slotted with a 4-1 on the opening move of the opening game. I laughed and told him I think I have just been insulted, and he said it was not that he thought little of my game, but he thought so much of his own.

So, I would say this was pretty close to a money situation, and we now know that Mochy thinks it is right to slot if the difference in skill is the difference between him and me. I am around a 4.8 PR player live (everyone is worse live than against XG because you're not just playing for PR) and Mochy, I guess, is around 3 or maybe a little less. So there you have it.

But again, it depends. Is a 2 PR difference from 3 to 5 the same as a 2 PR difference between 5 and 7? When it comes to the second roll moves, I think the 7 PR player is a lot more likely to make an error than a 5PR player. Therefore you don't really gain with a 4-1 slot against the better player.

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