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The Foundations of Poker

By Nicholas Stonnington All Rights Reserved ©

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Blurb

The Foundations of Poker is a mathematically based book on the fundaments, mastery, and business of poker shown through the world's most popular card game, No Limit Texas Hold'em. In this book, businessman and poker savant Nicholas Stonnington, Jr. walks his readers through everything from the rules of poker through the mastery of the game, justifying every decision through math. Stonnington addresses the fundamentals of decision making in poker through an algorithm he creates and explains to his readers how each decision operates. Stonnington provides a framework for players to approach the game and encourages his readers to start with the framework he provides them, the standard poker framework, and evolve it into a powerful strategy that suits them. He further explains how one's framework for cards allows them to be profitable in the fabulous imperfect information games of poker. Stonnington, connecting to his businessman side, inspires his readers to take the skills he teaches them as well as the methods he gives his readers to acquire unique strategies of their own and then monetize those skills through poker.

Chapter 1: What is Poker?

In economic terms, poker is an imperfect-information based strategy game in which the goal of the game is to collect as many chips as possible. While there are many different types of poker games, they all follow the same principles governed by the rules of poker, to which the next chapter is dedicated. The impact of poker on people ranges from entertainment to lifestyle. At the entertainment stage, there are many people who play on occasion such as my father, who once every 3 months plays in a tournament hosted at the home of a good friend of his. In the lifestyle stage, everyone from degenerates, using poker as a medium to ruin their lives, to top professionals are encapsulated in this category. While many have made fortunes by playing this game, many more have had their lives ruined; for most who play this game as a lifestyle it is anything but glamorous.

The initial goal for someone learning how to play poker should be to have fun and enjoy developing one’s game. A person should start off by not spending money or by spending next to nothing and then play for more money when they are not losing money. One’s goal should be to avoid being a degenerate at all costs and one should learn how to make money off of degenerates. The game can truly be an enjoyable thing even if one does not wish to make it an incremental part of their life. Through this book, I will teach you everything you need to know about Texas Hold’em so that you can advance your game.

For great players, the game is something between a hobby and a passion. The better a player, the more passionate he or she is for the game. Poker is so complicated that, to be the best one must have immense passion for the game such that it will drive him or her to learn the mathematical, statistical, and economic principles required for success in the game. In addition, one must learn how psychology determines actions and how to exploit inefficiencies in others while still remaining in the framework of the mathematical, statistical, and economic principles. Lastly, to make serious money one must work out the logistical issues which allow one to maximize profits per time unit on the basis of things like optimal times at which to play cards and which games to attend in order to profit-maximize. This may seem intuitive, though in practice the single biggest determinant separating players who have the framework to profit from those who actually profit is not deviating from the above rules and being able to maintain focus.

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