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Old 05-30-2008, 02:15 PM   #1
Pokey
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Exclamation Going for "Rostucko."

I see lots of players talking about how they "got rostucko" or they are "going for rostucko" and it worries the hell out of me. I wanted to write up a little something about why the entire "rostucko" concept is a dangerous one, especially at uNL.

First, a quick definition for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about:

Rostucko: when you lose a significant amount of money at the tables and then win it all back.

Well, rostucko certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing. I've been in the rostucko world on a number of occasions, and it always feels mighty fine. So what's the problem? Well, the problem isn't getting rostucko, it's trying to get rostucko. When you know you're stuck and you're trying to win back your money, very bad things happen entirely too often, and for some really predictable reasons. Let's look at 'em.

1. Players who are stuck are often emotionally attached to the game. We've all been there. It's not a sin, but it's an expensive mistake when you ignore it. There are some really good reasons to make a bet/call/raise, but none of them have to do with your emotional state at the moment. However, when you are stuck you will often make moves on the table because you are angry or depressed. Have you ever said any of the following?

"He's definitely got me, but I've just got to see it."
"There's no WAY he could have the flush AGAIN."
"That son of a ***** is NOT going to push me out of the pot this time."
"I call because eff you, that's why."
"Bah, what difference does it make if I'm down six buyins or seven?"

Now, think back: did you ever say those things when you were playing your best? When you were NOT emotionally attached to the outcome of the hands? Alternatively, put it this way: would you have made the same plays if you were NOT stuck? In hindsight, were the plays you chose +EV or -EV? Being emotionally invested in the game is expensive, because our emotions are stupid, and they play stupid poker. Calling all-in because you have an OESFD with two cards to go is a smart play. Calling all-in because your opponent is a complete douche who has 3 buyins of your money is NOT a smart play.

2. When your goal is to get back to even your mental payoffs are completely skewed. In the 1970s and 1980s, academic researchers named Kahneman and Tversky created a brand new field of study. Alternatively called "behavioral economics," "behavioral finance," "hedonistic psychology" (great name, eh?), and "cognitive psychology," the field explores people's decision-making systems. Their research, and further research by dozens of academics, found that people make some systematic mistakes when they let their lizard-brains do the thinking: in other words, our instincts lead us astray in predictable ways. One of these situations where we make consistent mistakes is when we "frame" the problem differently. See, "framing" is how you describe the problem at hand. A classic study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_%28economics%29) talked about a disease outbreak, as follows:

Imagine that the U.S. is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual Asian disease, which is expected to kill 600 people. Two alternative programs to combat the disease have been proposed. Assume the exact scientific estimate of the consequences of the programs are as follows.

Researchers asked participants in the exercise to choose between two programs:
• Program A: "200 people will be saved"
• Program B: "there is a one-third probability that 600 people will be saved, and a two-thirds probability that no people will be saved"
72 percent of participants preferred program A (the remainder, 28 percent, opting for program B).

Nothing wrong so far. Then the researchers gave a second group of participants the same setup and asked them to choose between two differently-phrased programs:
• Program C: "400 people will die"
• Program D: "there is a one-third probability that nobody will die, and a two-third probability that 600 people will die"
In this decision frame, 78 percent preferred program D, with the remaining 22 percent opting for program C.

Notice the problem? Program A and program C are identical, and programs B and D are also identical, but people flipped from about 3-to-1 in favor of the safe choice in the first situation to about 3-to-1 in favor of the risky choice in the second situation.

How does this relate to rostucko?? Well, imagine that you are in a HUGE pot and deciding whether to call an all-in bet or not. The pot currently has three buy-ins and you're deciding whether to throw in the last buy-in from your stack. You also happen to be *exactly* three buy-ins down right now. Your brain starts doing some stupid things. Instead of saying "do I risk losing a buy-in to win three buy-ins?" you start saying "do I take a chance at rostucko (with a chance at down four buy-ins) or do I stay down three buy-ins with certainty?" You just framed yourself into calling. See, when rostucko is your goal, there's no mental difference between down three buy-ins, four buy-ins, or seven buy-ins; it's all "stuck." Any chance at rostucko starts to look mighty sweet (since that's your goal), and you start making -EV risks and taking bad chances to try to get there.

3. The fastest way to rostucko is at the higher-stakes tables. The ultimate train-wreck of a rostucko challenge comes when the player decides to chase his losses by moving up in stakes. It seems so darned logical, too -- "well, I'm down five buy-ins at $10NL. There's no way I can make that back tonight. But hey....five buy-ins at $10NL is only ONE buy-in at $50NL! If I move up, I only have to stack someone ONE TIME to be rostucko! Even, here I come!" Uhm....

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! DISASTER AHEAD! PISO MOJADO! BEWARE OF FALLING BANKROLLS!

Think about this trifecta of destruction: you're (1) playing while emotionally invested, (2) playing when losing money doesn't hurt and all you care about is winning, and (3) playing out of your depth. Let's face it -- moving up is scary and dangerous even when we're at our BEST; and yet, when we're going for rostucko we try it while we're at our WORST. Moving up for rostucko is where entire bankrolls go to die. When I play at the $200NL tables I see it all the time: someone I've never seen before sits down and buys in for...$153.77. Everybody at the table sits up straight and looks over. You can almost hear every other player start drooling. The newcomer starts playing way too loose and way too passively. (While this is possibly a profitable style at the $25NL tables where he usually plays, at the $200NL tables it's about as effective as bringing double-chocolate chip cookies to a Weight Watcher's meeting and saying "I know you're all on diets, but take these home for your kids.") The guy doesn't know the style of play, doesn't know the opponents, and doesn't have the chops for the game -- quite soon someone stacks him when his (incredibly obvious) overpair runs into a LAG's two pair, and ... that's it. His rostucko dreams have evaporated, along with his entire bankroll. He's either got to redeposit (*shudder*) or wait for his rakeback so that he can start over at the $2NL tables and spend four months of scrupulous play to build himself back to where he was an hour ago.

--------------------

Sure, we hear stories all the time about rostucko, but that's not the end of the story. What about the stories we hear about the person who blew their entire bankroll? At some point in their playing session they were probably hoping that they would be able to make a "ROSTUCKO!" post the next day. Don't fall for it.

The very best way to get rostucko is the most horrible and boring: shut 'er down. You're off your game, and you're done for the night. Go hang out with your family or friends, watch a movie, get hammered, or whatever it is that will get your mind completely off the game. Then tomorrow, or next week, or next MONTH -- whenever your mind is back where it belongs -- you come back, play your "A" game, and reclaim your precious monies in the usual fashion. In other words, the best way to get rostucko is to not be thinking about getting rostucko, but just playing your usual game and making good decisions as you go.

(P.S.: Yes, I know "piso mojado" means "wet floor," but it sounds so darned dangerous that it seems to fit nicely in the warning-warning-warning sentence.)

Last edited by Pokey; 05-30-2008 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Because thac was right.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

FIIIIIIIIIRST

Edit: Def a good read. Go Pokey imo.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

I giggled like a schoolgirl when I saw this is a pokey thread that is long. Reading now.

edit - fwiw the word you meant was "rostucko" - I can edit it for you if you want.

edit 2 - Good article. I absolutely agree that people put too much emphasis on GETTING EVEN. What they don't realize is that the same game will be there tomorrow when you're in a better mindset. "Getting even" is such a huge fallacy because you're not "even", you're only trying to get even from TODAY, but getting even TODAY is dumb because you're still profiting if you say that your session is a week long, or if you're really good - your session is a lifetime long.

Basically, stop thinking of every different time as a "session" and start thinking about how it all becomes one long session. Playing when you're playing bad and when you're not in a good mindset MIGHT get you even today, but it's gonna hurt your OVERALL session for the month, year or lifetime or however you wanna say it.

If you're not playing well, just quit. Pokey, you rock.

Last edited by thac; 05-30-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

3rd?

Think of a bookie trying to get back his losses by giving punters better odds. What could go wrong?
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

nice thread... i thought #3 was standard for chasing losses i'm pretty sure it works out 95% of the time lol
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #6
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

Quote:
Originally Posted by thac View Post
I giggled like a schoolgirl when I saw this is a pokey thread that is long. Reading now.

edit - fwiw the word you meant was "rostucko" - I can edit it for you if you want.
"Rostucko" and "robusto" seem to both have kind of variable definitions. I always thought of "robusto" as meaning "I was stuck and now I'm out of the hole," and "rostucko" as meaning "I was robusto and then I got stuck again." Have I got that boofed?
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

good read

also...how do you know so much ????
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:23 PM   #8
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

Nice post. Especially enjoyed the weight watchers line.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

interesting read, like always.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokey View Post
"Rostucko" and "robusto" seem to both have kind of variable definitions. I always thought of "robusto" as meaning "I was stuck and now I'm out of the hole," and "rostucko" as meaning "I was robusto and then I got stuck again." Have I got that boofed?
I've always assumed rostucko = unstuck, and robusto = ballin'. Possibly not. I'll leave it how you have it unless I hear otherwise. Fwiw I edited my post again with my analysis of the article. Loved it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #11
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

Quote:
Originally Posted by thac View Post
I've always assumed rostucko = unstuck, and robusto = ballin'. Possibly not. I'll leave it how you have it unless I hear otherwise. Fwiw I edited my post again with my analysis of the article. Loved it.

thats what i always thought as well

robusto = heater at higher than normally played stakes
rostucko = heater at normal stakes to break even
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:34 PM   #12
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Re: Going for "Robusto."

A++++++++++++++++++++

This should be required reading.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:34 PM   #13
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Quote:
Originally Posted by thac View Post
I've always assumed rostucko = unstuck, and robusto = ballin'. Possibly not. I'll leave it how you have it unless I hear otherwise. Fwiw I edited my post again with my analysis of the article. Loved it.
I just checked some of the posts around here, and you're completely right. I changed everything but the title -- any chance you can edit that one?
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Done.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #15
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Quote:
Originally Posted by thac View Post
Done.


Thanks for the save.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:38 PM   #16
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Seriously though, good freaking article (you don't need to hear this because every one is gold, but you win again). I'll add it to the sticky.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:39 PM   #17
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Wait, pokey's back?
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:14 PM   #18
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

um, can't believe i almost let this one get away

glad i scroll up and down now and then

will read tomorrow but thanks in advance
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:22 PM   #19
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

PISO MOJADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:30 PM   #20
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Good read, I seem to do this once a week I'll get down 2-4 buyins and play till 5 am and try and win it back, and all it does is make me tired or late for something the next day.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:25 PM   #21
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Just chiming in. Good to have you back.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:31 PM   #22
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

all-time... pokey!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:49 PM   #23
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Pokey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:53 PM   #24
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

nh pokey, aren't we talking about tilt here?
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:53 PM   #25
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Re: Going for "Rostucko."

Yeah I have been there, you're right on. Good read.
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