Yesterday I told you about the Wile E. Coyote emulating poker villain Mr. Complexify and today I’m going to tell you about his very strange bedfellow Mr. Oversimplify.
Where Mr. Complexify lives to make everything ultra complicated, Mr. Oversimplify does the exact opposite:
He simplifies ideas down to the point where they do more harm than good. Here are some of his go-to catchphrases:
“Tight is right!”
“Always raise with your flush draws!”
“Always get your money in good!”
“It’s OK to fold a marginal hand and wait for a better spot!”
Is always raising with your flush draws ACTUALLY playing tight?
Some of the tightest preflop players I’ve ever played against torch their stacks in futile postflop spots because they don’t understand the concept of relative hand strength (They’re probably bored out of their minds, too).
Is getting all your money in on the river against an opponent who never has a worse hand “playing tight”?
And after you pass up all of those +EV spots…
Are you magically getting visited by the EV Fairy who lays $100 bills under your pillow while you’re sleeping to make up for all the times you showed “discipline”?
I don’t think so.
And while it may seem like Mr. Complexify and Mr. Oversimplify are polar opposites, the reality is they’re two sides of the same coin.
They’re both Villains who actively choose to take the path of least resistance when it comes to improving at poker.
It’s really easy to oversimplify (Take one concept and apply it across the board) and it’s equally easy to overcomplexify (Is that a word? Who knows. Anyway, just fire up PIO to raise complexity).
By path of least resistance I mean to say they’re both lazy ways to approach improving at poker.
So you might be asking yourself, “How exactly am I supposed to improve at poker?”
I’m glad you asked but I don’t think you’ll love my answer (SEE: It requires hard work).
You need to learn concepts in ways that aren’t so simple they cause distortion, but also aren’t too complex that you can’t execute them, either.
Your sweet spot is right in the middle and finding that area is where your dear old Poker Coach spends almost all of his waking energy.
Here’s a good rule you can use in the middle of your study sessions:
If you’re working to improve your poker game, ask yourself if what you’re studying is something you’re going to be able to execute at the tables. If you can’t pull it off, it’s too complex.
And if what you’re learning feels too simple, try to poke some obvious holes in your heuristic.
If you can easily see how it could cause you to make some major mistakes, you can bet the concept is oversimplified.
There you have it.
In the last two days I’ve described two major villains you’ll see on the WANTED posters sprinkled about town in Greatness Village.
They’ll do everything in their power to keep you lost so be mindful of them in your poker journey.
P.S. If you’d like to stay safe from Mr. Complexify and Mr. Oversimplify I promise you there’s safety in numbers.
Here’s your link to surround yourself with some torch bearing Villagers: