I havn't read the book yet, although I'll get around to it eventually. If this article is typical of the level of analysis in the book it will be down towards the bottom of my reading list for a while.
Twoplustwo.com only keeps such articles available online for three months, so download that article if you want to refer back to it.
I'm going to spend a few posts talking about the article.
The article starts with an example hand to illustrate that sometimes a check raise bluff will be more effective than just betting as a bluff.
I certainly don't disagree with that, but it's unclear to me what the point is. Yes, if you use a betting pattern that shows great strength you'll more likely be effective in the bluff than if you use a betting pattern that doesn't show great strength. That's true. But, does it really mean anything?
A check raise bluff puts more chips at risk than just betting out as a bluff. For it to really be effective it'll probably be a lot more. So, even if it does have a higher frequency of success it's not clear it's the preferred alternative.
In their article they pull some numbers out of the air, such as the bad guy will call a bet 70% if the time but fold to a check raise about 75% of the time. In their contrived example it pays to make a small check raise.
Well, gee. Putting arbitrary numbers to something doesn't make it logical, it does sometimes make it appear logical. This example isn't logical. They assume the opponent almost never makes thin value bets but makes complete bluffs often. Well, against an opponent like that checking then bluff check/raising will pay off a lot. But, it's those particular characteristics of that particular opponent that matters. It's not an outcome of some easy to do algebraic analysis. But, sometimes it's better to let a player like that win a small pot, it encourages them to make a big bluff later.
It's not so much that what they're saying is wrong, it's that the explanation just ignores the factors that matter in making the decision.
Am I missing something here?
There's something else about that example I don't like. It looks like the hero is focused almost exclusively on being cute, missing a simple straightforward opportunity on the turn. I'll get back to that in a later post.