Hit and Run: No One Knows What ‘Cold Call’ Means, Humanity One Step Closer to Robot Apocalypse, Educa-p0ker Crushing

Alex Weldon : January 29th, 2016


No one can agree on the correct usage for the common term “cold calling.” The human race is one step closer to irrelevancy as computers close in on the world Go title. TCOOP runner-up IvanHaldi is, according to PokerStars, officially not a bot. Online player Educa-p0ker off to a strong start in 2016.

‘Cold’ might not mean what you think it means, regardless of what you think it means

If you’ve read many forum threads or articles about poker strategy, you’ve almost certainly come across the term “cold call.” The first couple of times, you probably didn’t quite understand what was special about the scenario to make the player’s call “cold,” but after seeing it a few times, you probably inferred some meaning and perhaps began to use the expression yourself. That’s how the English language works, after all; the meaning of words is based on their usage, not what some central authority decides.

You’d expect, then, that a term like “cold call” would have some implicitly agreed-upon usage in the community, but in this case, you’d be wrong. Phil Galfond, having apparently gotten into a disagreement with someone on this subject, did the smart thing and decided to poll the audience on Twitter. His results are disturbing.

For what it’s worth, my understanding of “cold” in the preflop context has always been that the player in question is calling or raising multiple raises (i.e. a 3-bet or more) without having voluntarily entered the pot themselves prior to that point. The results of Galfond’s polls, however, suggest that others use the term in not only a broader sense, but sometimes a contradictory one. Perhaps that means we should avoid the term altogether.

Quick Hitters

- Ever since Gary Kasparov’s defeat at the hands of Deep Blue, the Asian strategy game of Go has been seen as humanity’s next bastion against the advance of artificial intelligence. Now, Google’s AlphaGo has defeated Europe’s champion Fan Hui 5-0, and will face the world champion Lee Sedol in March. We at PartTimePoker welcome our new robot overlords.

- Meanwhile, TCOOP #8 runner-up IvanHaldi is not, in fact, a bot, according to PokerStars security. The player came under suspicion due to his complete unresponsiveness during heads-up deal negotations. No explanation has been given for his behavior, but the team responsible for bot detection is satisfied that a human was at the controls throughout the tournament.

- PokerStars was not always the world’s largest poker site, and in fact was quite small in the early days. Today on their blog, PokerStars celebrates the earliest adopter who has kept his account active until the present day, Sweden’s Frank “SpicyF” Öberg.

- Andres “Educa-p0ker” Artinano is a much more recent arrival to PokerStars, but is rapidly establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. He’s off to a strong start in 2016, with over $700,000 in profit already, more than half of which has come in the past week alone.

- Aussie Millions tournament director Joel Williams spoke with PocketFives. Part of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour, this year’s Aussie Millions is still underway, and has been a big success, albeit not without its controversies.

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