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Old 05-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
jzc
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Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

I read the excerpts of this 3 volume series but I still don't have a great idea on which games most of pages are focused on. From what I read though, it seems well written and insightful. Would you still recommend the series as of 2013?
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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I read the excerpts of this 3 volume series but I still don't have a great idea on which games most of pages are focused on. From what I read though, it seems well written and insightful. Would you still recommend the series as of 2013?
The books are still very good.

Short and easy to understand essays. Some ideas not covered so succinctly elsewhere.

Many practical (money making/saving) ideas. Some essays are Big Picture essays with ideas that pervade many games and situations.

Essays covering things like: moving up, most important skills in various games, skills necessary to hit the big time, bankroll, etc.

I liked how in a few essays the author went out on a limb with conjectures, opinions and predictions that he knew may ultimately not prove correct... while giving the reader a sense that this was the flavor of the essay.

Perhaps a new volume reflecting the changes in poker (internet, new games, scandals, etc) should be written.

Last edited by tuccotrading; 05-11-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

I have all volumes and they definitely are food for thought.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

I got the first one a couple of months back, think there's still plenty of use there given that (as mentioned above) there's plenty that's bigger picture/game theoretic, rather than trying to tell you how to beat a given game at a given time period that may not be relevant in today's climate
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

i have all 3 and take them every time i go to vegas to think about....and i go alot.
they are definately still useful
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Each chapter is the perfect length for an informative bathroom read.


Spoiler:
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Each chapter is the perfect length for an informative bathroom read.


Spoiler:
LOL wp
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

We have a great deal on the three pack - Get all three books for the price of one...
http://www.professionalpoker.com/Cat...-Essays-3-Pack
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:45 PM   #9
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Mr. Malmuth, would you answer?
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:45 AM   #10
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

A lot of the articles are either on Stud or limit Holdem. Some of the Stud material is very good imo and worth it for that. Limit Holdem had certainly changed abit over the years so others may need to comment on that
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:33 AM   #11
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Does the new Sklansky/Malmuth essay collection include anything by Sklansky on teaching algebra?

If not, did he ever write anything about it in the end? I know at one time he was planning a book.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:30 AM   #12
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Mr. Malmuth, would you answer?
I think so.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:33 AM   #13
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
Does the new Sklansky/Malmuth essay collection include anything by Sklansky on teaching algebra?

If not, did he ever write anything about it in the end? I know at one time he was planning a book.
No and no. It's still something he occasionally talks about. Just like I occasionally talk about writing a book called The History of the World from a Gambler's Perspective.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:08 PM   #14
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
Does the new Sklansky/Malmuth essay collection include anything by Sklansky on teaching algebra?

If not, did he ever write anything about it in the end? I know at one time he was planning a book.
Why do you ask?
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:10 AM   #15
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Why do you ask?
I have a nine year old daughter with a talent for Mathematics who is attending a fairly standard elementary school. In 18 months she can start at an 8 year high school with a programme weighted towards Mathematics and in the meantime I'd like to teach her myself.

I know about Maths (bachelor's degree) and teaching (of English for foreigners) but not so much about Maths teaching.

If there is no essay or book planned then are there any forum posts?

Incidentally, one of the things I credit her Maths to is playing poker from a young age. A lot of the basic rules that arithmetic is built on, such as
a+b=b+a, (to small children it's not instinctive that 4+3 must be the same as 3+4, but you swap the position of the stacks and it's obvious the total number of chips hasn't changed) and
where a+b=c, then c-b=a and c-a=b
are a lot more obvious when shown with poker chips rather than on paper.
Another one was multi-digit arithmetic. when you're already doing maths and giving change with both the blue (10) and white (1) chips it's easy to do it on paper.

Last edited by LektorAJ; 02-12-2017 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:28 PM   #16
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Well I expect that the book will be titled Algebra For Ten Year Olds (And Maybe You) so I see I need to get it done fairly quickly.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:37 PM   #17
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Just like I occasionally talk about writing a book called The History of the World from a Gambler's Perspective.
That would be an interesting addition to the world's literature on history, especially wars (I assume), if done well. If only you could both write it and get it read by a wide audience. It could provide valuable insight to some in positions of power. Considering how quickly you wrote your last book, what's stopping you?

And light a fire under David. There are a lot of books he should write while he can--even if they don't sell well.

Maybe we can get the Bellagio Poker Room to ban you two for a couple of months, for the benefit of society.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:30 AM   #18
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Well I expect that the book will be titled Algebra For Ten Year Olds (And Maybe You) so I see I need to get it done fairly quickly.
That would be fantastic.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:44 PM   #19
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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No and no. It's still something he occasionally talks about. Just like I occasionally talk about writing a book called The History of the World from a Gambler's Perspective.

Best wishes,
Mason
Excellent idea. If you're serious about it, go for it, Mr Mason. It's going to attract large audiences. Doesn't everybody gamble?
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:57 AM   #20
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Excellent idea. If you're serious about it, go for it, Mr Mason. It's going to attract large audiences. Doesn't everybody gamble?
Hi tritep:

In my book Gambling Theory and Other Topics, the last section is called "Gambling Fantasy" and, if you're interested, some of this type of material appears there, and here's one of the chapters.

Self-Weighting Disasters

One of the themes of this book is that correct non-self-weighting strategies are the way to success. Does this mean that self-weighting strategies are the path to disaster? Well, sometimes this is certainly the case. This essay provides some examples from history of disasters that were caused by self-weighting strategies. You should notice that all of these disasters could have been avoided if appropriate non-self-weighting strategies had been followed.

Disaster No. 1: The Spanish Armada. In 1588, Philip II of Spain decided to do something about England, which had become an irritant to Spain in the Atlantic Ocean and in the New World. Consequently, Spain sent a great fleet to England for the purpose of destroying the English fleet and then invading the British Isles. This fleet, known as the Armada, was to be defeated in one of the most one-sided battles in naval history.

Up until the battle, the Spanish had been successful by fighting at close range with large, slow-moving ships, and they planned to continue this tactic. Notice that this was a self weighting strategy. The Spanish planned to engage the English ships and slowly, mainly by force of numbers, devastate their opponents.

Unfortunately for the Spanish, the English adopted a different strategy, one that was non-self-weighting. They built smaller, faster ships with long-range guns. Their plan was to maneuver into position out of range of the Spanish guns, to take a few shots, and then as the Spanish fleet came toward them, to quickly move out of range and take some more shots.

Notice that the Spanish were playing every hand, while the English were playing only when they had an advantage. Needless to say, the battle was one-sided, and when the great Armada tried to take refuge off the coast of France, the English changed tactics. They set fire to many small boats and allowed them to drift into the harbor where the Spanish fleet had moved, causing much of the Armada, in its effort to escape, to be destroyed first by fire and later by bad weather.

The result was a dramatic victory for Sir Francis Drake and the English. Spain would now go into decline, while Britain would slowly become the dominant power in the world.

Disaster No. 2: The 1929 stock market crash. The market was going up, and everyone was buying stock. The typical investor didn’t care what stock he bought. The idea was just to accumulate stocks, and the more he had, the better. In addition, ways were created, such as buying on margin, that allowed the typical investor to accumulate even more stocks. Of course, this was done at tremendous leverage. Needless to say, this type of self-weighting approach doomed the typical investor to disaster, and in the fall of 1929, the market crashed and the country was plunged into depression.

Disaster No. 3: World War I trench warfare. Most of World War I was fought in the trenches, due to the fact that the machine gun had become such a potent weapon. Each side had adopted the same strategy. They bombarded their opponent’s lines, and when the shelling stopped, the next step was an attempt to move forward. Of course, the soldiers in the trenches were protected from the bombardment, and when the enemy tried to move forward, the side remaining in the trenches would again demonstrate how effective the machine gun was.

This pattern of shelling, trying to move forward, and being machine-gunned down continued for several years. Notice that each side was playing many hands with similar size bets. That is, self-weighting strategies were followed, and millions of soldiers were killed and wounded.

A correct non-self-weighting strategy would have been to stay in the trenches (not play so many hands) and wait for some development that would finally allow penetration of the enemy’s defensive lines. Eventually, something like this did happen. The British developed crude tanks (allowing them to move forward), the United States joined the war effort, and Germany became exhausted.

Disaster No. 4: The Battle of Fredericksburg. The year was 1863, and this was one of the major battles of the American Civil War. The Union Army of the Potomac, under the leadership of General Ambrose Burnside, met the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Robert E. Lee, at the town of Fredericksburg. Lee had his army well entrenched in excellent defensive positions on high ground. Burnside, in his desire to be on the offensive, launched many repeated attacks, but each attack easily was beaten back by the Confederate forces.

Instead of stopping the attacks after the first one failed, General Burnside adopted a self-weighting strategy and kept up the attacks for a full day, suffering almost ten times the number of casualties as the Confederates. In fact, Confederate General Peter Longstreet announced during the battle, “We can kill them all.” Finally, after a full day of fighting, Burnside had endured enough, and he called off the self-weighting massacre.

Disaster No. 5: George Foreman versus Mohammed Ali. In 1973, George Foreman appeared to be the most devastating boxer there ever had been. Not only had he knocked out almost all of his opponents, but he also had destroyed such formidable adversaries as Joe Frazier and Ken Norton. Foreman literally hit too hard for anyone to stay with him. It seemed that after a few punches, his opposition would just fall. Now it appeared that in Zaire, Africa, he also would destroy Mohammed Ali, who was trying to regain his title.

The fight began as expected. Foreman threw the punches, and his opponent seemed helpless as he just covered up. But Ali did a better job of covering up than anyone who was watching the fight realized. After a few rounds, Foreman was too tired to keep punching, and the former champion was not only unhurt, but fresh as well. Notice that Foreman had followed a self-weighting strategy. Constantly throwing punches led to his defeat. Ali, on the other hand, had followed a correct non-self-weighting strategy. He fought only when it was to his advantage, mainly at the end of each round when Foreman was most tired, and stayed out of trouble when fighting would have been to his detriment. This strategy, coupled with Foreman’s incorrect self-weighting approach, produced a stunning victory for Mohammed Ali.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:34 AM   #21
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Thanks. Well written and refreshing. I'll buy the book.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:48 PM   #22
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Disaster No. 5: George Foreman versus Mohammed Ali. In 1973, George Foreman appeared to be the most devastating boxer there ever had been. Not only had he knocked out almost all of his opponents, but he also had destroyed such formidable adversaries as Joe Frazier and Ken Norton. Foreman literally hit too hard for anyone to stay with him. It seemed that after a few punches, his opposition would just fall. Now it appeared that in Zaire, Africa, he also would destroy Mohammed Ali, who was trying to regain his title.

The fight began as expected. Foreman threw the punches, and his opponent seemed helpless as he just covered up. But Ali did a better job of covering up than anyone who was watching the fight realized. After a few rounds, Foreman was too tired to keep punching, and the former champion was not only unhurt, but fresh as well. Notice that Foreman had followed a self-weighting strategy. Constantly throwing punches led to his defeat. Ali, on the other hand, had followed a correct non-self-weighting strategy. He fought only when it was to his advantage, mainly at the end of each round when Foreman was most tired, and stayed out of trouble when fighting would have been to his detriment. This strategy, coupled with Foreman’s incorrect self-weighting approach, produced a stunning victory for Mohammed Ali

Seconds before Ali delivered the KO, the legendary BBC London boxing commentator Harry Carpenter uttered the famous words "And Ali is so tired he can barely lift his arms up".
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:01 PM   #23
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

There was something left out in the WWI analysis. The use of mustard gas.

In regards to the stock market crash, not everyone was buying stock. And the crash was not a sudden occurence.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:17 PM   #24
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

Something, which deserves an overlook, if not a detailed read, is Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod. By no means a poker book, but covers that if you're in competition long enough, you are likely to adopt a cooperation rather than defection.

In the example of trench warfare, eventually, those shelling would get to know each other and simply shell at certain times and certain places. This became so routine, officers would impress their visiting superiors by walking within range of the enemy shelling (knowing full well they only fired at certain times and never deviated from this strategy, for fear their opponents would do the same). Essentially, since they spent so much time in the same trenches staring at the same enemy, they decided on a mutual "live and let live" policy without ever saying a word to each other. Reasons for how this came to be, here or elsewhere, is up for debate.

Applied to poker, this would be comparable to two regulars who do not try to bluff and steal with large bets against each other. They play straightforward poker to go against each other without large variance so they can focus on easier fish.

I wanted to point this out. As anything along the lines of cooperation theory came out in the essays or elsewhere?
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:53 PM   #25
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Re: Mason, are your poker essays still relevant?

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Originally Posted by AxeJack08 View Post
Something, which deserves an overlook, if not a detailed read, is Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod. By no means a poker book, but covers that if you're in competition long enough, you are likely to adopt a cooperation rather than defection.

In the example of trench warfare, eventually, those shelling would get to know each other and simply shell at certain times and certain places. This became so routine, officers would impress their visiting superiors by walking within range of the enemy shelling (knowing full well they only fired at certain times and never deviated from this strategy, for fear their opponents would do the same). Essentially, since they spent so much time in the same trenches staring at the same enemy, they decided on a mutual "live and let live" policy without ever saying a word to each other. Reasons for how this came to be, here or elsewhere, is up for debate.

Applied to poker, this would be comparable to two regulars who do not try to bluff and steal with large bets against each other. They play straightforward poker to go against each other without large variance so they can focus on easier fish.

I wanted to point this out. As anything along the lines of cooperation theory came out in the essays or elsewhere?
Wouldn't such a thing in poker be collusion and against the ethics of poker?

Getting back to the U.S. stocket market crash, absent it the nation would still have gone into depression because the crash was only one of many factors.
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