trip reports

Bright Days of Vegas, Conclusion

I can make no sense of the multi-building apartment complex’s non-sequential numbering. Its drives are deserted and the night is quiet. As at the beginning of the trip, my wallet bulges ostentatiously with (even more) cash– I seem to put myself in the most stupid circumstances. I wander in circles, crisscross paths and squares, duck under trees and parking covers.

Lost.

I am only a block behind the Wynn but might as well have been in another city, one that shut down at nine. Maybe one with a corner bar that serves the lonely and outcast and forlorn and resentful. Persuadeo’s. Or maybe The Bucket and Mop. One of those places with no drink list, serving stale peanuts and puffy bags of chips packaged in 1982 to meet legal requirements (think of how the bag has condensed and expanded in the weather pressure for decades, like a quiet mutant potato creature whose respirations take years to complete). Where the bartender never smiles and a bucket and mop are always left out, like an unwanted condiment bottle or an abandoned plate of food, irritatingly visible in its corner, ready to be of service after the next disaster.

Or if the Strip is the theater’s proscenium, this is the alley behind where the stage techs have a smoke and bitch. The giant parking structures of the strip, ugly and oily, loom distantly, like fire escapes for giants.

My host texts me the geographical coordinates, but they might as well have been 45/16/9 – I don’t use HUDs in poker or walking, and couldn’t make any sense of the numbers. We briefed over the phone but couldn’t agree on what “back wall” meant.

Midnight in unwanted Vegas.

Nevertheless, there are only so many corners to a square. When I finally join Doug and his girlfriend Miranda, they are in the midst of what looks like the middle-end of an evening of earned and maybe needed relaxation. The two lounged on a deep and worn sofa, enjoying a particularly action filled Orange is the New Black. Riots. Comeuppances.

I settle in, welcomed amiably. Doug is a generous host. Soon my empty wine glass would join the other drained and stained goblets on a giant footstool-cum-coffee table.

The Hull household tells a story. Convenient to the action and the tourism, it can’t be too expensive, but it’s not friendly to the tourist either, and is no baller pad. This is a place where someone serious, never mind a poker player, can grind out a living from. It’s all plaster and paneling and darkness. The wall to wall carpet – a nicety of post-WW II America – shags its way through a large living room and two bedrooms. In the sixties and seventies, nylon replaced polyester and made this simple luxury even more comfortable and stylish than what housewives luxuriated in when the GIs came home. This apartment’s carpet, thick and vegetal, is the forest floor new Vegasites gave up for the City of Sin’s outlandish desert promise. You can sink your toes into the manufactured moss and dream of home and air and life.

Much of this rug is covered in cardboard boxes, and many of them are open, half-full of poker books. In fact, when you meet Doug and Miranda, you grasp fully that Red Chip is really, or at least started as, a book business, and how this is a non-trivial distinction with consequences for everyone involved. At the beginning of my WSOP stay, I began my now yearly reacquaintance with the RC staff by hauling paperbacks (poker books, except for poker’s bible, are never, ever in hardback) from a car to the Red Chip table at the Rio. It’s well situated, next to the Amazon, after the restaurant but before the bathrooms. You can’t miss it. (And fortunately not too far from the main entrance. Oof!)

Miranda, a slim brunette with a Jewish cast and a will to organize, runs the show. The poker players around her seem a little oblivious and delicate in the field of her administrative zest: men and employees and volunteers are just step behind her need for certainty. For things to be where they should. For books and cups and people to have a place.

Doug HullRed Chip, at WSOP time, doesn’t just sell their own books, I notice, while hanging out a bit. There’s J. Little, but also Sexton and Moorman and others you don’t really think of when you click on your link to the forums. It takes a lot of sweat and hustle, even if much of it is done sitting, to make a living out of poker education, the niche of our niche. I’m daunted by the work they do, what they have accomplished, and unimpressed by how it is still not enough for some folks. The quantification of knowledge, even one as trivial as poker knowledge, is a great human endeavor, and sometimes all you get for it is a dark bungalow where you get to do more of the same. Later, as I examine the piles of books on Doug’s floor, which suddenly seem like so many units of so much product, I see it’s likely not enough for the creators, either.

Then, nothing ever is.

The trip has been a financial success for me. I haven’t played nearly as many big games as I thought I would, but earned my keep and made my monthly nut. In my final hand of the trip I will cooler myself with an underflush, having the dead read on my opponent, but deciding to make one of those endless losing calls which are “correct” or “right”: sacrifices to the poker theorist in us that we all make from time to time, like a tithe to Poker Church.

Players have a peculiar inability to express themselves in English, resorting to the verbal equivalent of Emojis. “Snap” calls. “Fist pump” shove. Tenses get confused. Adverbs become adjectives, as if we were in ancient Rome. Then you realize it’s right: we poker players are fighters and gladiators. The present matters most: it’s all one session. You join the culture and express yourself like they do: I run bad. I made the sigh call.

The Hull household reminds me of many unmarried couples’ haunts. It’s got all the business and signs of work and purpose, but a little rough around the edges. There is a vital kind of energy here that I am envious of, but a stripe of fatigue as well, as if the engine is hot but the gasoline is not quite the right octane and the oil is too light. As if there is work to do but the sun is no longer high. This is natural enough. The underlying strain of uncertainty, as with any theme in our life, permeates all we do, even to the cups on the counter.

For men, the reason for getting married is not what is usually supposed. We can of course still be successful in life without a foundation of personal life. Correlation is not causation. However the real reason a man marries is because he is ready for and suited to embracing his place in the functionality of the world. True rebels are rare. The machine goes on with or without him, but success, entrepreneurship, respect and love are best found by embracing society, not defying it.

Marriage is the great lens of masculine energy. It stabilizes and focuses; it makes women happy and children safe. Energy is restrained and revitalized. Messy carpets are cleaned. Lamps appear. Used cups on the counter disappear. All this, because now the future matters and is known, and he goes about his business, on whatever scale, of changing the world, which is his primary function in human society. The marriage may involve great romantic or sexual interest- these are important non-sequitors- but they are not at the heart of what is going on.

I learn about Doug’s next book and Miranda’s deep desire to live in Minnesota.  While the couple enjoys the evening, I can’t sit for too long on the couch, and spend some more time examining Doug’s place. Most significantly, I discover he has mounted an unusual form of art on his walls: a extraordinary number of Norwegian wood carvings. One, and then another gets your attention, and then you realize, camouflaged in the darkness of the apartment’s slumbering style, there may be a dozen of them or more.

These carvings, for the most part, are flat panels, usually not longer than a few feet long and less wide, that have been cut to reveal ornate, ungeometrical patterns, facades with depth and space. The artist has contained the men and women and objects and creatures of the medieval world within these swirling, sylvan visions. They are Norse picture books – somber and circular, the birth unto its dust, originating from a time when the connection was much closer and life was imbued with a sobriety that a nation consumed by pills and pleasures no longer remembers. The carvings are serious- cut from the flesh of the trees which both house and outlive us.

They are unique, flawed, and beautiful.

The desire to look into the past is the desire to look into the soul. History informs the self, but poker is dry work, and some part of his life must feel missing, must itch at Doug slightly, while he compiles push fold charts, tutors hopeful onetwolets, and looks to the uncertainty of the years ahead.

These sober and eminently thoughtful carvings are Doug’s own work.

We had ended up drinking a bit more, and I wake up late. The angry sun is streaming into the apartment from every possible fissure and opening. Now, the couple, fun to be around and well matched in their similarities and differences, have another day of book hustling ahead. (I think if I were to write an instructional poker book, I wouldn’t market it Red Chip style. Instead, it would be dark and bound and secret, and have a lot of pictures: a bible of poker and poker tradition, tracing strategy from where it came.) I see my room clearly for the first time. There’s a workstation and computer, a wall of poker books, and a collection of chips from a variety of nearby casinos. The poker author’s keep.

Everyone is asleep, and I step out into the unfinished back patio. It’s a dreaded day in Vegas. Everyone has been talking about how the heat is supposed to reach one hundred and fifteen degrees. Later, when my hosts say goodbye, expecting me to be scooped up by Uber in a few minutes, I have already decided my body needs testing: I will walk to the Encore’s new poker room. Doug and Miranda will take his new motorcycle, true Vegasites hanging onto the present. It’s good to see. Godspeed.

It would have been a better choice, as I originally mentioned, to walk by the Sands Convention Center and then into the Wynn. But, being a gambler, it seemed reasonable that Desert Inn would be more direct – it certainly was as the crow flies, and so I took a chance at an easy passage to the entrance of the tertiary but still handsome hotel.  Along the way, guided by plaintive grey columns of the monorail on this I found respites of shade offered by the nearby awnings and the occasional telephone pole.

I remember seeing the children: Why are you walking? Where is your family? Their eyes asked many questions. I remember seeing a boy, once, in my mind, that was either me or my son, when I was inspired to take up my latest chance at redemption, before I saw her disappear into the very night I sent her out into, alone. It had been cool; no, cold. Now it is hot, and my mind wanders into the street and beyond the treetops. It’s only 112 still.

While I was at the Rio the day before, I sniffed out an aspiring young pro with an obviously bogus table talk story. He made a loose call preflop, then got trapped into committing his draw for stacks (getting there, unfortunately for me.) We’ll call him Spitzer. (“I’m just passing through on the way to school.” C’mon Spitzer!) After enough time to establish a few things and get my money back by correctly interpreting a min raise as weakness, I decided I wasn’t interested in the dullish cap game. I racked up after only a few downs.

However, Spitzer tracked me down near the cage and asked for some advice while I fiddled with a mountain of chips I had been carrying in my trusty manpurse. I talked about taking one’s preparation seriously, among other things. I want to help him: he’s young and thin and really doesn’t seem to know what the world has in store for him. Well, Spitzer, maybe you’re somewhere taking my advice, but what I am doing here might not be the best example! I wish him well.

When I have to pause on Desert Inn for an intersection, the heat races up and swarms me like a cloud of mosquitos: walling is actually cooler. A kid in a van stopped at the light, stares at me in shock, now relieved he has to tag along with his dad to work.

When I was last in Vegas, it was dark and cold. Now, I hoped, worn out before I started, the high time of tourism and the World Series of Poker, there was a place for me, even at her most luxurious and warm honey trap, Steve Wynn’s pink, perfumed daughters.

I looked into the sun, gleaming white and gold off the glass and steel of the Encore, the nearest of the twins. I thought of seventh grade, when I was fascinated by the eighth grade girls in my French glass. I told my later girlfriend how this one in particular always wore the slimmest, thinnest white cotton shirts and the darkest bras, seemingly daring us to examine her form. My girlfriend haughtily upbraided me, assuring me no one does this and my assumptions were wrong.

The Encore, so large, grew no closer. I did not understand.

Standing in the shade was more unbearable than moving and having hope of finding real shelter. After only a mile, I stumbled into the only restaurant I could find, a singular Indian Buffet, more dehydrated than I thought was possible. I needed a pause. Electrolyte Biryani. Tikka Liquida. The wine/marinade we had drunk to relax for a fun hour the night before had not left me with a headache or other clues of dehydration: it was the heat alone that slowed me.

The looming Encore kept looming, not closing. I was walking. One of Desert Inn’s sidewalks was closed, pushing me another hundred yards away from the target. Was the Indian Restaurant behind me? When did I get here?

Nevermind.

Once inside I stumbled to a table and asked for water. Some of us have the gift to know what the other needs, or others, like myself, only learned it through experience. In any case, my server, a plump young mother with a very judging gaze, faced with the presentation of a sweating, middle-aged white man with a pained face and labored breathing, took her sweet, oblivious time. Parched, I watch her try out several pitchers, repouring the water until she had some sort of satisfactory presentation for me. I can’t take my eyes of her or the water or her bizarre and very inconveniently timed ritual. I had never seen such a thing before, never thought about optimal water pitcher levels. Because the carafe she chose was opaque it was a mystery as to why she worried about the volume in the container, but did get it right at some point: glad she’s satisfied!

She lifted it in the air like a trophy. I stared at her water, like the girl in the cotton blouse, hoping for what was inside.

I noted that she did not leave the pitcher with me, then drained my glass. I presumed it would be the first in a sequence. Yet in silence she refused to return for the second, clearly giving herself a break from dealing with an annoying customer.

What was inside was not for me.

The server fussed with coupons while I waved my hands at her and soon I found myself talking… to myself. (This is the start of senility I assume. I guess when old men start blubbering away they actually have no control over it.) She eventually caught my eye, but instead of the typical customer service response, she decided it was time to take a quick inventory of my situation. I could see her wondering why she had to return with more water so quickly.

When I was much younger some of us were reading Of Human Bondage, and a very bright girl I knew came to a surprising conclusion about the summary statement. “Everything is an Oriental carpet? Just meaninglessness?” I was both surprised at such a dark interpretation from such a workerbee and believer, a Model UNer, a debate club type – but also at such a misinterpretation.

The weaving of the carpet, or of the carving, or of the life, is the meaning. All things intersect. All things have purpose and fit an order beyond the one we want to give. I wonder what became of that girl. I remember she had bright brown eyes. I heard she had cancer. I heard she went to medical school. Our patterns have not crossed, but then, I have retreated in to the shadows. I have hidden from the world because of too much pain, only to learned this magnifies and refocuses it, hot and gold. Or black, like the shadows and dead space of a wood carving.

Too much oblivion. Throughout the trip, I’ve been smoking. But I only used to smoke for a few puffs. I’d throw it away, having gotten what I needed. Then, disaster, and when I had to deal with the most painful time in my entire life. I sat in a garden at my work, slurping down the smoke like it was liquid, needing to cauterize my insides, to build up some sort of thickness to the impossibility of what had happened. It wasn’t enough. I discovered, having supplied them to a needy addict for so many years, the joys of opiates.

I spent days indoors, finally free from pain, floating through television series after series, going through my liquor cabinet, the death inside me felt by someone else. Only there did anything make sense.

But it’s not another cigarette that I need, but a different fire.

Poker confuses the world, but it’s merely a formality, an homage the concrete pays to the abstract. They need to pretend to not understand our need to compete, nor do they want to understand the interior truth of the game, which is all abstraction: Poker is just one expression of our need to face ourselves through facing each other. We see this in every aspect of the game, from its actual play to its curiously simultaneously conforming and confrontational community. Anyone can do it, and it requires nearly nothing. It is open to us all, and all who seek it need it, but the answer is not there. We fall into it because this need was already there inside us, inside people of all stripes, from every class, every age, every culture.

The world seeks answers, but the answer is not the game. Whoever, whatever you are, The Answer is always the way through, expansion, the movement toward the flame. We go into the abstract when the concrete is not enough, because this is how we grow and return and rejuvenate. This is our pattern, it is our oriental carpet, our carving which we cut out of the earth to remind us of what we are and what we can be.

The day has peaked. On the windless sidewalk, the temperature exceeds the forecast.

It’s not just the sun, it’s the day itself that blazes furiously.

Fire. Heat.

And maybe, somewhere, what I really want to set alight, what I really wanted all those times I stepped away to cauterize myself, what every strike of the match really wanted to create:

Reignition.

I am a poker player. I am here to fight. This is me.

It is us.

Burnt. Tired. Hopeful.

I walk into the Encore and put my name on the lists.

Bright Days: Wood Carving

 

Thank you for reading this series and thanks to everyone involved. You can show your support of my work by subscribing to my site and retweeting my blog posts, which will help leverage a future publishing endeavor. – Chris

 

2 Comments

  1. Bravo! Looking forward to the future publishing endeavor. You should consider crowdfunding or maybe even a Patreon page. Some of the best poker writing being penned today. Best of luck.

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The OOP Lexicon is a user-developed poker glossary.

Absolute Position
Being last to act (e.g. closest to the button) postflop.

Advancing Leverage
Aggressive actions intended to shift the leverage point closer to the current street.

Analog
A bluff or value hand which is a natural candidate for balancing another hand because of their shared qualities, such as AA and AK; usually helps planning range splitting and line construction.

Auto profit threshold (APT)
A bluff made with positive expectation resulting from the opponent under defending vis-a-vis bet sizing. The inverse of MDF.

Balance
Choosing to support either value bets or bluffs with their converse.

Bet
A bet is a proposition.  It’s the first offer on the pot with regard to the outcome of the game. Each player, in turn, has the opportunity to lay or change the price on the pot to the rest of the players. “The language of poker.” The bet, as opposed to the raise, is most often and most easily allied to the merged pricing construction.

Block
To remove combinations of hands from a range based on cards in your hand or on the board.

Blockers
Cards which influence our combinatorial assumptions. Ex: We face resistance on T76ss while we hold As7d. Both our cards act as blockers. Our ace of spades blocks (limits) a number of flush draws our opponent could hold, while our seven blocks a number of two pair and sets our opponent could hold. *See also Block and Unblock

Blocker Bet
A small bet made by an out-of-position player.

Board Texture
The available community cards and the set of conditions which inform its relationship to a logical range.

Bottom
The worst hands in a betting range.  Depending on context this could be the worst hand in a value bet range or the bluffing section of polarized range.

Bounded
A range descriptor indicating a range shape with a specific high or low boundary.  A range bounded high won't contain some number of the best linear hands ranked from the top down.  This is equivalent to a "capped" range.  A range bounded low won't contain some number of the worst linear hands ranked from the bottom up.  This is often useful to describe a range that doesn't include any air or very weak hands.

Capitalization
A strategic mode in which a player is attempting to deny their opponent(s) equity share of the pot through aggression. Often referred to as “denying equity” or “buying up equity”.

Capped
A range is capped when it represents little to no nutted combinations as confirmed by prior action.

Cbet
A continuation bet. A bet made by the player with initiative as a continuation of their initiative on a prior street.

Clarity
The ability to accurately range an opponent based on all available information at a decision point.  An understanding of your hands exact equity.

Closing Action
Acting last where no subsequent action is possible behind you.  For example calling a UTG raise in the BB or calling in position postflop with no players behind.

Cold Call/Cold Bet
An action is considered “cold” when it comes from a player entering into the pot has not previously put chips voluntarily in the pot. Ex: the UTG opens, the BTN 3bets. If the SB were to call or raise, it would be a cold-call or a cold-4bet.

Combinatorics
The branch of mathematics the deals with finite number sets. Used in poker in determining the amount of combinations of certain hands in a range.

Complete
When a blind that is not the biggest blind calls the amount of the biggest blind. Ex: At $2/$5, action folds around to the SB and the SB completes. Meaning they just call. The BB can complete when there is a straddle.

Condensed
A capped range that contains only middling value hands. A range without the polarized portion.

Construction
Logical advancement of combinations across streets.

Dark Side of the Deck
The large swath of hands, often off-suit, that fall outside of conventional playable recommendations. Counter-equity hands.

Dead Money
Money in the pot that is not being fought for.  A passive player creates dead money when they call a bet preflop and looking to play fit-or-fold postflop. Dead Money is often confused with the money in the pot.

Delayed Cbet
A cbet made on the turn by the preflop raiser when the flop checked through.

Delaying Leverage
Passive actions intended to maintain a likely late street leverage point, or possibly to avoid a leverage point entirely.

Deviation
A strategic break from one’s standard construction as an exploit of a particular player’s profile or construction.

Diminishing Medium Value Category
A Seidman concept in which when one’s middling value hand range is too small and transparent to our opponent and thus either that range should be shifted into the top of a polarized range or the nutted portion should be shifted into the medium value range. Ex: AQo or TT being 3bet preflop.

Downbet
A cbet that is less than the preflop raise. Ex: BTN opens to $25, we 3bet to $90 from the SB, BTN calls. On the flop we cbet $70.

Dry Board
A board texture that yields relatively few logical hands value. Often containing one medium or high card and disconnected low cards. Ex: Q53r, T622r.

Dual Mentalities
A Seidman concept in which when we decide to go postflop with a weak hand against a nutted range, we should either be looking to out flop it or steal the pot away. We base our decision against the player type we are up against and never go post with both mentalities at once.

Dynamic Board
A flop texture in which the runout is very likely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: 954tt, 742r.

Effective Stack
The smallest stack to VPIP in a given hand. Their stack decides the amount of money that can be played for or threatened before an all-in.

Effective nuts
A value hand that can be played for stacks as if it were the actual nuts.  This is a relative hand ranking based on range assumptions and opponent type.

Efficiency
A measure of how well the equity of a hand is deployed. Efficiency can also be used as a measure of what is risked vs what is gained for a given bet size.

Either/Or Philosophy
A Seidman concept in which a particular street can be a very good spot for value, meaning our opponent is never folding, or a very good spot to bluff, meaning our opponent is never calling, but that those spots cannot be concurrent.

Elasticity
Borrowed from economics, a measure of the sensitivity of a range or hand relative to the price offered.  Ranges (or hands) described as elastic will narrow, sometimes quickly, in response to increases in price.  Those described as inelastic will not.

Equity
The percent pot share of a holding or range on any given street if the hand were to go to showdown with no further betting action.

Equity Pusher
A analytic approach to the game in which a player views the correct actions only through the lens of their hands equity vs. their opponent’s range. Often this player type has a lack of understanding of overall strategy and plays their range face up with few bluffs.

Expected Value
The mathematical formula for how much a player’s action is expected to make with their hand vs. their opponent’s range. EV = ($towin * %ofwin) - ($tolose * %ofloss)

Face Up
A player is playing their range “face up” when their actions directly correspond with their desired outcome. Ex: A player bets half-pot three streets with a range that has no bluffs. A player 3bets to 7x with JJ.

False Polarization
Otherwise known as Faux-Po; a polarizing action taken with a merged range.

Felted
The result of losing your entire table stakes. All the way down to the felt.

Float
A call of a cbet with a weak holding with the likely intention of taking the pot away when the opponent shuts down. Often done by an in position preflop caller.

Formation
The convergence of positions, stack depths, and preceding actions at a given decision point.

G-Bucks
A mathematical formula developed by Phil Galfond for calculating the expected value of one’s range construction vs. an opponent’s holding.

GIGO
A computer programming term that means "garbage in, garbage out" which also applies to poker forums when a poster seeks an in-depth conversation about a hand, but fail to provide pertinent information such as stack sizes, bets sizes, table dynamics and player tendencies.

Game Theory
The applied science of combining mathematical models with logic to craft winning poker strategies.

Game Theory Optimal
A set of strategies is GTO if no player can unilaterally deviate and increase his average profit. ~ Will Tipton.  GTO does not mean best possible response, highest EV, or maximally exploitative play.

Implied Odds
Additional value likely to be accrued if you make your hand on a later street.

Initiative
Sometimes referred to as the betting lead, a common situation in which the passive player yields to the aggressive player postflop, or the last aggressor continues betting on subsequent streets.

Isolate
A bet or raise intended to force out the rest of the field in order to play heads up against a weaker opponent who has entered the pot through limping, raising, or posting the blinds.

LAG
Loose aggressive player type. Generally overused and inaccurate.

Lead
A bet made from out of position after a passive action. Often referred to as a donk bet on the flop.

Leveling
He knows that I know that he knows I know.

Leverage
A bet or raise that signals the hand will be played for stacks.  Within reason, it is accomplished by betting with a sizing that will create RSP equal to 1 on the following street.

LFI
Limp First In

Linear
A consecutive range of hands decreasing in strength from top to bottom; generally meaning value hands. Equivalent to "merged."

Lockdown Board
A board on which the nuts have often already been made.  More prevalent in PLO but sometimes useful in no-limit, for example on monotone flops and boards with available common straights e.g. JT9, T98, 987, etc.

Merge
1) A range of hands that includes both strong and medium value; 2) in reference to medium value; 3) the merged construction describes the natural representation of a wide range through a bet.

Mini Stop-N-Go
A Seidman concept, a line taken by a OOP PFR where flop is check/called and turn is lead.

Minimum Defense Frequency (MDF)
The necessary defending (calling/raising) frequency to prevent an opponent from auto-profiting.  The inverse of APT.

Natural Action
A check, bet, or raise which is exactly suited to a player's range and situation (e.g. a pfr's continuation bet on AK2r).

Nit
A player who will not put chips into the pot without a very strong and sometimes only nutted hand.

Nuts
The best possible hand.

Nuts-To-Air Ratio (NAR)
In a polarized betting line, the ratio of value to bluff.  As used by Seidman, not limited to polarization but sometimes used to label general opponent tendency of value to bluff.

OMC
Old Man Coffee. Typically an older, retired player that likes to play bingo with ATC, but will only continue with the nuts.

Open
The first voluntary action. The first action or bet to voluntarily enter the pot.

Overbet
A bet that is more than the size of the pot.

Perceived Range
Refers to the range of hands that your opponent thinks you could have in a certain playing situation. This can be interpreted and thus misinterpreted from your playing style and position at the table.

Polarized
A range consisting of very strong and very weak hands.

Post Oak Bluff
A small bluff on a late street that has little chance of winning the pot.  Generally interpreted as “gutless” in the past but now fulfilling certain functions as betting efficiencies are understood.

Positional Protection
When the strength of a range is perceived to be capped or uncapped based on which position an action is taken from.

Protected
When an action or player is perceived to have strong hands in its range.

Protection Bet
A wager which denies equity to hands which will only give action if they significantly improve; "a value bet which does not want a call."

Raise
The rejection of the offered price and the laying of a new higher price.  Raises represent a more narrow range of hands and trend towards polarization.

Range Advantage
Implementation or study tool that refers to 1) most basically, equity measurement of one range against another; 2) or also including a combination of further factors including availability of nutted hands, the nuances of the runout, and positional protection.

Range Manipulation
Deliberate line work/bet sizing made to narrow a range or keep a range wide.

Range Switch
A deliberate change in range composition made to thwart a player who is reading our range too accurately in any spot.  Reduces transparency, fights assumptions, and wins the leveling war if implemented correctly.

Ratio of Stack To Pot
RSP. The stack to pot ratio at any point in a hand, generally used post-flop as opposed to Stack to Pot Ratio.

Realization
Taking a hand to showdown and realizing its full equity.  Generally used with regard to passive actions.

Reciprocity
The mutual exchange of chips resulting from similar play and ideas.  Reciprocity is a common bi-product of group-think.  A true edge by definition cannot be reciprocal.

Relative Position
A player’s position measured against the aggressor's position.  Generally this is used going to the flop.  For example, if UTG raises and several players call behind, calling in the big blind would give you the best relative position.  You will act after seeing how the field responds to a likely continuation from the preflop aggressor.  In the same scenario calling immediately after the preflop aggressor results in the worst relative position.  You will have to act immediately after a continuation without seeing how the remaining players will respond.  Strong relative position confers an information edge.

Retention
The ability of hand to maintain equity across streets against a betting range or as part of a betting range.

Reverse Implied Odds (RIO)
Hands that often win small pots or lose large pots suffer from reverse implied odds.

Robustness
Popularized by Mathew Janda, a descriptor for how well a hand retains equity over streets of play.  Hands described as robust have equity that does not suffer as an opponent's range becomes stronger.  Often these hands are currently both strong and invulnerable, or have the ability to become very strong by the river, relative to the opponent's range.

Runout
Fourth and Fifth Street cards following a given flop texture.

Scale of Protection
Poker theorem which states that the more protected or strong an opponent's range is, the higher the degree of denial or retention a counter will require.

Sklansky Bucks
Dollars won (or lost) in expected value regardless of actual hand result.

Smurf
Any one of many possible poker archetypes found at low stakes games.

Squeeze
A reraise made after a player has raised and one or more players has called in-between.

Static Board
A flop texture in which the runout is unlikely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: AK7r, KK4r.

Stop-N-Go
A passive action followed by an aggressive action, out of position.  For example, a call followed by a lead on the next street.

Streets of Value
A crude shorthand measurement for how much betting a hand can tolerate and still be best at showdown more often than not.

TAG
Tight aggressive opponent type. Generally overused and misapplied.

TAG's Dilemma
The paradox created by having a top-heavy range played so aggressively that it misuses equity vis-à-vis position and holding.

The Great Range Fantasy
The common idea that we know our opponent’s range and frequencies precisely; most commonly seen in post-hoc analysis to justify microedge decisions.

Thin Value
A bet that is only slightly more likely to be called by worse than by better. Associated with the merged pricing construction and bet-fold lines.

Three Fundamentals
The most fundamental variables for decision making: position, stack size, and community cards.

Top
The best hands in a given range.

Two-Way Bet
A bet that expects calls from worse hands and incorrect folds at the same time, a simultaneous value bet and bluff line.

Upstuck
The psychological effect of feeling like you’re losing because your stack size isn’t as large as it once was during a session, even though it’s more than what you’re in the game for.

(e.g. You bought in for $100, ran it up $450, but now only have $175 in front of you.)

Unblock
A hand that has no negative card removal effects on the target range.  Bottom set, for example, unblocks top pair top kicker.

Uncapped
A range that is perceived to contain the nuts in any given line.  Capped ranges may become uncapped during transitions for example from preflop to flop, or flop to turn.

Unicorn
A turned nut straight after raising flop with a gutter.

Value Owning
Making value bets with a hand that has less than 50% equity when called.

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP)
The frequency at which a player limps, calls, or raises preflop.

Volatile Board
A flop texture where equities will often shift on the turn and river.  See “dynamic”.

Warmer
An illusory cooler where one player makes a massive mistake equity mistake and loses his stack with a strong but second best hand; also known as a Jam Basket.

Wet Board
A board texture that allows for a lot of logical hands to continue. Often made up of medium rank connected cards. Ex: KT9tt, Tc8c6s-7c-Ac.

WIFSUWO
“Walk In, Fuck Shit Up, Walk Out” a hashtag used by instagram poker players.

Winning Player
A forum poster who offers reciprocal advice under the guise of questionable positive low stakes results. A weak player or fish, in general.

YMC
Young Man Coffee. Is very much an OMC, but younger.  They usually only continue with the nuts, often under the illusion of playing a GTO style.