Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do you have FPS in Poker?

What is FPS?

My guess is that 80% of poker players believe they are in the top 20% of all poker players. It often results in poker players getting a little too cocky, and getting a little too tricky. After all, why not show everyone at the table how clever a player we are?

The result is FPS. Better known as Fancy Play Syndrome.

Don't Overestimate Your Statistical Edge

The most obvious form of FPS are the cash players who play backwards. They check their good hands and bet their bad hands. Good opponents notice this tendency.

In poker tournaments, the FPS players are the ones who check a big hand hoping to trap their opponent. Instead of setting a trap, they are trapped when their opponent catches up and wins the pot.

Don't overestimate the statistical edge you have in any poker situation. The simple reason is because that edge is usually not that big.

For example, you flop a flush with a King as one of your hole cards. If your opponent holds an Ace of that suit, you are not that big of a favorite. On the flop you are about a 2-1 favorite. And even if your opponent misses on the turn, you are only a little over a 5-1 favorite on the river. (If you've ever bet on a horse race, you know a horse that goes off at those odds is no long-shot.)


Of course, it's important not to be predictable. And you need to mix up your game. Just don't start to get too clever or you will lose hands you should win, and lose more chips in pots you shouldn't have even entered.

If you spot an FPS player, take advantage of their predictable style. In tournaments, these FPS players will do the opposite--calls will mean big hands, bets will mean draws or nothing at all, and checking is a sign of a slowplay.


Steve Brogan said...

FPS syndrome can strike at any time without warning. It can even happen during a #TPT event. But seriously, this is something that all serious players need to be careful of and aware of as well. FPS can lead to tilting if you get caught up in a hand that you should not have played the way you did.

Chance47 said...

I have seen a lot of folks with FPS. FPS happens subtly and usually when asked the offender will quickly defend their play with a response like "I am just trying to mix it up". One thing I do to mix up my game is to take advantage of some truly random elements. For example, I will usually raise/ re-raise with AA or KK but exactly 1/6 of the time I will slow play them. How do I manage "exactly 1/6"? The answer is when my cards are the Club and Diamond cards (e.g. AcAd). The probability of having the paired card suits being C-D (or C-S, H-S, etc.) is exactly 1/6. This is an easy to remember way I can help mix my play up without overdoing it and developing FPS of my own.

What's Your Poker IQ?