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Old 02-27-2019, 02:52 PM   #6626
upswinging
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTyman9 View Post
This is a really great post.



It's just an online variance calculator. They aren't completely accurate because they won't account for the human element of playing worse when running bad, but it should be close enough if you are using honest numbers in your inputs for a long term winrate. Even if you set the winrate pretty low even the unluckiest players result is going to be a very positive one after that kind of sample.

"I think ~ 100% of the very few that earn for 10 years run above expectation..."

This may be true I have no clue. But I don't think it's very important tbh. Every player over 10 years is extremely likely to have some death run, soul crushing downswings in their sample. So no matter who you are if you made it 10 years you will have had some very trying times that you will have battled through. However, I think what you are saying about running above expectation is very meaningful when we are talking about the beginning of peoples poker careers. You've def touched on this before I believe, but basically there are definitely people out there who had potential to succeed over 10 years who never got the chance because they ran so poorly right at the start of them playing that they gave up before they had a real understanding of the role variance plays. Likely ~100% of the ones that do well over 10 years were lucky enough to run at least decently well at the beginning to the point that they were able to build up some success and learned a bit about variance which allowed them to battle through when the first tough downswing hits them. So basically being on the right side of variance is extremely important at the beginning.

Just to be clear though, variance is still a huge factor in peoples results even over these 10 years samples. Even with a large winrate you could easily have two players with the exact same ev winrate who's profit differs by 300+ buyins. My point was just that no one just luckboxed their way into making a good amount of money at live cash poker over 10 years of consistent volume. If they won a decent amount over that sample they are clearly a long term winner. We just can't know if their true winrate is 3bb/hr or 10bb/hr because of the variance in results.
The data being used as inputs for the variance calculators are certainly skewed. Poker, particularly live poker is mired in winners bias. The only data the poker community tends to accept is from the 10+ year live unicorn sun runners. ~100% of them have run above ev to get where they are... and yet this is the exact data people are using to estimate averages. Itís insane.

Calculators donít do much good if the inputs you use arenít accurate.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:10 PM   #6627
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by upswinging View Post
The data being used as inputs for the variance calculators are certainly skewed. Poker, particularly live poker is mired in winners bias. The only data the poker community tends to accept is from the 10+ year live unicorn sun runners. ~100% of them have run above ev to get where they are... and yet this is the exact data people are using to estimate averages. It’s insane.

Calculators don’t do much good if the inputs you use aren’t accurate.
What are you talking about? What exactly is skewed? You can put whatever input you want into it and it will still show that you are way off base. Go ahead and put their winrate in as only 3-4bb/hr and it still completely invalidates your entire point. And if you think that winrate isn't realistic for plenty of people than why are you even ever playing poker or on a poker forum? No one in this thread (except I guess you?) is taking short term lucky winrate numbers and using that to estimate averages.

Seriously what is the general point you are trying to prove? Because it's really not clear. It feels like you are trying to invalidate statistically significant results that are based on math in order to justify why you haven't had whatever results you wish you had. Why don't you start providing some actual facts/numbers to back up whatever point you are trying to make?
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:21 PM   #6628
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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What are you talking about? What exactly is skewed? You can put whatever input you want into it and it will still show that you are way off base. Go ahead and put their winrate in as only 3-4bb/hr and it still completely invalidates your entire point. And if you think that winrate isn't realistic for plenty of people than why are you even ever playing poker or on a poker forum? No one in this thread (except I guess you?) is taking short term lucky winrate numbers and using that to estimate averages.

Seriously what is the general point you are trying to prove? Because it's really not clear. It feels like you are trying to invalidate statistically significant results that are based on math in order to justify why you haven't had whatever results you wish you had. Why don't you start providing some actual facts/numbers to back up whatever point you are trying to make?
Your posts are pretty emotional bro. Why don’t you take a step back, re read my posts and take some time to think instead of immediately dismissing my points and trying to discredit me as some kind of agenda maker.

How in the world can you think data from players who’ve run above ev life time is statistically significant in estimating variance and win rates? You don’t use outlier data or cherry picked data if you want an accurate answer/ representation irt variance/ win rates etc in poker. Or at the very least you don’t ignore or try to invalidate mediocre results.

Last edited by upswinging; 02-27-2019 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:42 PM   #6629
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

It's like he doesn't even read the posts he's responding to. I can't even get him to state what the point is that he's trying to prove. If anyone else feels like trying to talk sense into him more power to you but when someone wants to ignore basic math what's the point.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:56 PM   #6630
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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It's like he doesn't even read the posts he's responding to. I can't even get him to state what the point is that he's trying to prove. If anyone else feels like trying to talk sense into him more power to you but when someone wants to ignore basic math what's the point.
If you look through this guys post history, he has spent years chiming in on every post about pro poker players and how they cannot possibly succeed. This dude clearly has something against pro players, perhaps he hates them because they make the game tougher for him, or he has tried and failed and don’t want to accept that he’s just not good enough. Dont waste your energy trying to talk sense into someone like this.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:14 PM   #6631
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Great discussion flowing. I love that someone finally pointed out that we are not wired to handle as much variance as a full time pro will experience at his/her job. That is reason enough to never make poker a career (ldo).

I also love the mediation angle, to at least help us cope with the constant variance we are not wired to handle--until we can GTFO.

@Tyman, that totally makes sense from an online perspective. My point is that while 10 years is a good sample for live, it is still very susceptible to variance outliers. I believe the incredibly inconsistent/volatile/fluctuating game conditions (quality/type of opponent, stack depth, etc) combined with the super slow mo pace (compared to online) make this true.

@InTheNow, thanks for the kind words earlier itt. I felt them when you posted them but was too wrapped up in my own **** to say thank you at the time. Now... I'm not fact checking here lol, but you say you and Tyman have been making a living in poker for over 10 years. Are you saying that you both have been playing full time live for 10 years+ as your sole income? If so, it would be great if you guys posted graphs. You can do it in code like I did, as to keep the details private. The number of hours and the shape of the line is all that matters imo. Much appreciated in advance if you guys do this.

If you guys have played mostly online, that's cool too. I'm just interested in the 10 years of live results though.

Back to the abyss/staring at the wall. Keep it up guys...

Last edited by DGAF; 02-27-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:26 PM   #6632
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I've been around gaming for over 50 years.

I got of to a good start when guys from the men's league at the Putt Putt course I worked at started playing for money after regular play. The let me & a friend of mine play & had no chance to win. We didn't ease up & our no variance profit situation died a quick death.

Over the years other opportunities, mostly real but some imagined, came up in poker, backgammon, card counting blackjack, and other games. All of these faded or at least were transformed. The reasons for the changing conditions varied & were often gradual & not readily apparent. None of them became progressively easier. This doesn't mean that there was no continuing success for anyone. People still beat blackjack now, for example. It seems like there's always someone intelligent, creative, aggressive, or maybe lucky enough to win some money.

I think that the "incredibly inconsistent/volatile/fluctuating game conditions" (mentioned by DGAF above), combined with the variance in results brings or should bring up the question of how much current value is in any game for each of us on a regular basis. For some the answer is an easy yes, great value. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I currently see little value for me in 5/T+ NLHE. This also has business & investment applications.

For some reason, a 3 buyin loss at 5/T is a much more emotional event for me than having a $60,000+ down day in the financial markets. It seems a lot more personalized, maybe because you interacting with the person who's now stacking your beautiful chips.

The best thing that ever happened to me in gaming was losing my entire bankroll twice in a short period of time. In both cases, once by blackjack, the other a poker/blackjack combo, I was between jobs & had family obligations. Since then I've always had combinations of jobs (early, but not in a long time), businesses, & investments along with whatever I'm looking at in the gaming sphere.

Kudos to all of you that go out there every day and face the variance beast to make your living.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:47 PM   #6633
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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To anyone saying it won't be possible to make a living in the near future from poker....can you be specific with how many years that will be the case and if talking about live/online? If for example you say 10 years, but have been saying the same thing for the last 4 years, can we agree it's only fair to say in 6 more years now?

Also since this is a gambling site, and it's obvious and agreed upon online's demise will be much sooner than live, therefore making a bet much easier, anyone want to throw out a number of years for online? I'd most likely be interested in a bet..
Good stuff in your other post. Got me thinking. But before I respond I think itís now necessary to go back to this. What kind of bet did you have in mind? Provide specifics obv.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:56 PM   #6634
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by sarganaga View Post
I've been around gaming for over 50 years.

I got of to a good start when guys from the men's league at the Putt Putt course I worked at started playing for money after regular play. The let me & a friend of mine play & had no chance to win. We didn't ease up & our no variance profit situation died a quick death.
This brings up another hugely important point. LeBron James couldnít make a living at basketball if he had to do it hustling. I have no doubt that DGAFís soft skills are every bit as good as he says but theyíre still only doing a tiny fraction of what variance does to keep the customers coming through the door.
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:26 AM   #6635
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I have really enjoyed following the thread since SSC-Ry's post. So many interesting and insightful posts.

One thing I think is worth noting is that peoples brains go to mush when money is involved quite often. Not just with poker, just with money in general. The concept of money seems to have the unique ability to be whatever we desire most in our minds at that moment even though we will probably spend it on boring things like rent, auto insurance etc.

We all seem to think we are worth more than we are making or are entitled to win more when we play than we are. The most successful people I know are able to minimize but not fully eliminate this irrational behavior. Once of my least favorite things to do is to hand out the annual performance raises to staff. So many are unhappy since their expectations and view of their own effort and performance is out of line with the measurable performance.

Second I think part of the reason why the swings in poker hurt so much is that we feel we have control when in fact in any given hand or session we have little control. We subconsciously fool ourselves that we could have played "better" when many times we play correctly and still loose. This makes the loss "ours" In addition since we all expect to win (even rec's like me that are not that good) meaning we not only take the loss but also loose the "winnings" we mentally accounted for when we walked in the casino.

I contrast this to the swings I see in my stock accounts. Yes it is money at risk but since I choose index funds, it is so much easier to convince myself it is only a loss if I sell, that the swings are to be expected and I will see a long term return. The loss is temporary and "on the market" not me. I think this would be much harder if I were following an active strategy vs a more passive one. This is irrational thinking as well but I think it has a positive impact on both my returns and my life.

I would be curious to hear from the pro's here if any of them employ mental tactics to help with the swings. Does anyone try to grade there play and focus and tell themselves yes I lost X today but played my A game and in review I just ran into better hands and therefore it is not really a loss?

Do you segment bankroll from life roll and pay yourself an hourly regardless of results to mitigate the feeling of the swings? Some other tactic?
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:39 AM   #6636
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

When are some straddle related shirts and hoodies going to be available?

Any chance of ordering some merch in a tall size? I would love to buy a bunch of 3xlt and 4xlt shirts and hoodies.
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:43 AM   #6637
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
Great discussion flowing. I love that someone finally pointed out that we are not wired to handle as much variance as a full time pro will experience at his/her job. That is reason enough to never make poker a career (ldo).

I also love the mediation angle, to at least help us cope with the constant variance we are not wired to handle--until we can GTFO.

@Tyman, that totally makes sense from an online perspective. My point is that while 10 years is a good sample for live, it is still very susceptible to variance outliers. I believe the incredibly inconsistent/volatile/fluctuating game conditions (quality/type of opponent, stack depth, etc) combined with the super slow mo pace (compared to online) make this true.

@InTheNow, thanks for the kind words earlier itt. I felt them when you posted them but was too wrapped up in my own **** to say thank you at the time. Now... I'm not fact checking here lol, but you say you and Tyman have been making a living in poker for over 10 years. Are you saying that you both have been playing full time live for 10 years+ as your sole income? If so, it would be great if you guys posted graphs. You can do it in code like I did, as to keep the details private. The number of hours and the shape of the line is all that matters imo. Much appreciated in advance if you guys do this.

If you guys have played mostly online, that's cool too. I'm just interested in the 10 years of live results though.

Back to the abyss/staring at the wall. Keep it up guys...

No, I used to be mostly online and now for the last 6 years or so Iíve been about 60/40 split between live/online. Iíve only got a little over 4K hrs of live tracked in my phone at this point. Around a month ago my wife randomly threw out my old (2 phones ago) iPhone which had all my old live results of another 3k or so hours. Was so pissed, even though never looked at them anymore or anything.

I just mentioned that there to SSC to give context that we arenít just newbies and had a good back and forth about med-long term future of online specifically (which we somewhat disagreed on) in my thread if he wanted to check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSC-Ry View Post
Good stuff in your other post. Got me thinking. But before I respond I think itís now necessary to go back to this. What kind of bet did you have in mind? Provide specifics obv.

Are you considering it now? If so, pm me and we can talk there. Donít want to clutter up here. Predictions wouldnít clutter, but actual bet negotiations definitely would. It would be a lot of back and forth and logistics, and would be tough to set up for sure.




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Old 02-28-2019, 01:55 AM   #6638
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Congrats on that win. Have had guys make similar comments to me and it makes me feel like I'm doing my job right. People really don't care if you are a nit. They notice, but they care a lot more if you just suck to play with. The nice thing about pretty much every variant except no ante NLHE is that you actually have to gamble to win.



So going off what @atenesq said, I think one of our biggest weaknesses is (correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth) how frustrating it is to be the guy at the table doing all the right things in terms of both fundamental poker and gamesmanship while the deck bends you over for hundreds (thousands) of hours,.


I don't really think it's realistic to eliminate all negative thoughts when it comes to poker results, but focusing on the results of others both independently of and relative to our own is definitely not healthy. It's not that it has nothing to do with us, as them pulling money from the game does cost us money, but it is absolutely something which we have no control over and something that shouldn't take up any of our mental energy dwelling over. And I think it's definitely something that has contributed to us being worn down.




Thanks. So you've brought up a psychological issue which I've mentioned on DGAF's pod I think. Maybe others are different, maybe others are similar. But for me, I can take a beating worse than you've ever seen over a short period of time. A couple weeks or even a couple months of poor results really won't bother me at all as long as it's surrounded by business as usual. For me it gets the worst when we get into the 3+ month territory, even if the result is not particularly poor. My losing year in 2018 wasn't for an even remotely large number (I have won more than that in each of my last 3 real stakes sessions this month), it is more that it just becomes so mentally exhausting to know that you have a task that you must do and that the result of the past 500 or whatever hours of trials is so very different from the result of the past over 20,000 hours worth of trials. Again, something that is completely in my head. However, what is not in my head over a 12 month break essentially break even flip flop around year vs a short few weeks of taking a beating is that after the couple weeks of losing, I still have the rest of the year (arbitrary but not really because taxes exist) to actually make money. The end result of my 2018 was pretty catastrophic financially, not because I lost a few dollars in poker, but because I failed to make money in poker while the rest of life continued. I had no reason to believe I wouldn't have another good year of poker.

Sorry I rambled a bit there but the tldr of it is that it's not really the short term or even necessarily the long term poker results that bother me. It's the long term financial result where basically putting myself a year or more behind "the plan" ****s with my head. Definitely partially a psychological thing since in reality it had essentially no impact on the games I am able to play.
the bolded is really good IMO, poker really isn't a good option for most people.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:59 AM   #6639
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by icanadd View Post
I have really enjoyed following the thread since SSC-Ry's post. So many interesting and insightful posts.

One thing I think is worth noting is that peoples brains go to mush when money is involved quite often. Not just with poker, just with money in general. The concept of money seems to have the unique ability to be whatever we desire most in our minds at that moment even though we will probably spend it on boring things like rent, auto insurance etc.

We all seem to think we are worth more than we are making or are entitled to win more when we play than we are. The most successful people I know are able to minimize but not fully eliminate this irrational behavior. Once of my least favorite things to do is to hand out the annual performance raises to staff. So many are unhappy since their expectations and view of their own effort and performance is out of line with the measurable performance.

Second I think part of the reason why the swings in poker hurt so much is that we feel we have control when in fact in any given hand or session we have little control. We subconsciously fool ourselves that we could have played "better" when many times we play correctly and still loose. This makes the loss "ours" In addition since we all expect to win (even rec's like me that are not that good) meaning we not only take the loss but also loose the "winnings" we mentally accounted for when we walked in the casino.

I contrast this to the swings I see in my stock accounts. Yes it is money at risk but since I choose index funds, it is so much easier to convince myself it is only a loss if I sell, that the swings are to be expected and I will see a long term return. The loss is temporary and "on the market" not me. I think this would be much harder if I were following an active strategy vs a more passive one. This is irrational thinking as well but I think it has a positive impact on both my returns and my life.

I would be curious to hear from the pro's here if any of them employ mental tactics to help with the swings. Does anyone try to grade there play and focus and tell themselves yes I lost X today but played my A game and in review I just ran into better hands and therefore it is not really a loss?

Do you segment bankroll from life roll and pay yourself an hourly regardless of results to mitigate the feeling of the swings? Some other tactic?
ya this is interesting stuff.

as proof that the human brain is poorly suited to handling variance in poker, ask yourself honestly if you don't look at results on a per-session basis? the session data sampling point is only useful out of convenience. in reality, it is an arbitrary and poor choice.

or ask yourself if you feel the same when you chip up to 3 buy-ins, and then back down to your actual winrate before ending your session, versus when you lose 2 buy-ins, and then chip up from the 3rd one to your actual winrate before ending your session.

these are utterly basic, everyday situations that occur within statistically irrelevant samples of hands, and even this basically takes us on a little emotional ride. even those who have been around and taking hits for a long time.

i am also interested in others' mindset strategies or tricks to mitigate the effect of variance. personally i am currently working on:

1) not tracking whether i'm up or down, or by how much, during a session (i find that i play better when i do this)
2) thinking about poker both on a per-hand basis (each hand is separate, there is no session) and a per-2000-hour basis (variance across 10, 100, or 500-hour stretches doesn't seem too relevant then).

-> a fun trick that helps me here is to always keep my graph with a super long x-axis. whatever 5x your hours played is. it puts your latest run bad in perspective. if you can visualize this long time axis while you're dealing with run bad, or maybe beginning to tilt, it helps.
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:54 AM   #6640
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

gotta save the princess!

Anyone else remember those arcade machines that let you play unlimited lives with games like super mario bro 2, but with a timer? You slam in a quarter, and get like 3 minutes of play? There used to be one in the video store on the corner of prospect & essex in Hackensack NJ back in the 90s.

Good times. Toad was the best, mostly because of his hit box advantage.

DGAF: I heard the princess is staying at the Wynn Macau. Save up enough quarters and maybe after the kiddos grow up, you can go find her there.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:23 AM   #6641
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Are you considering it now? If so, pm me and we can talk there. Donít want to clutter up here. Predictions wouldnít clutter, but actual bet negotiations definitely would. It would be a lot of back and forth and logistics, and would be tough to set up for sure.




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As attractive as that offer sounds, I'll have to pass. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, as they say
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:58 PM   #6642
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by icanadd View Post
I have really enjoyed following the thread since SSC-Ry's post. So many interesting and insightful posts.

One thing I think is worth noting is that peoples brains go to mush when money is involved quite often. Not just with poker, just with money in general. The concept of money seems to have the unique ability to be whatever we desire most in our minds at that moment even though we will probably spend it on boring things like rent, auto insurance etc.

We all seem to think we are worth more than we are making or are entitled to win more when we play than we are. The most successful people I know are able to minimize but not fully eliminate this irrational behavior. Once of my least favorite things to do is to hand out the annual performance raises to staff. So many are unhappy since their expectations and view of their own effort and performance is out of line with the measurable performance.

Second I think part of the reason why the swings in poker hurt so much is that we feel we have control when in fact in any given hand or session we have little control. We subconsciously fool ourselves that we could have played "better" when many times we play correctly and still loose. This makes the loss "ours" In addition since we all expect to win (even rec's like me that are not that good) meaning we not only take the loss but also loose the "winnings" we mentally accounted for when we walked in the casino.

I contrast this to the swings I see in my stock accounts. Yes it is money at risk but since I choose index funds, it is so much easier to convince myself it is only a loss if I sell, that the swings are to be expected and I will see a long term return. The loss is temporary and "on the market" not me. I think this would be much harder if I were following an active strategy vs a more passive one. This is irrational thinking as well but I think it has a positive impact on both my returns and my life.

I would be curious to hear from the pro's here if any of them employ mental tactics to help with the swings. Does anyone try to grade there play and focus and tell themselves yes I lost X today but played my A game and in review I just ran into better hands and therefore it is not really a loss?

Do you segment bankroll from life roll and pay yourself an hourly regardless of results to mitigate the feeling of the swings? Some other tactic?
I do my best to not look at results super often. At the minimum you shouldn't be tracking your result during your current session. Although obv you'll always have a decent feel for how it's going. I definitely try to keep the focus on making the right decisions in each individual hand vs acting emotionally based on recent hands. I also think it's super important to be properly rolled for whatever game you are playing. Some are obv better than others with their back against the wall but everyone will have a clearer mind if that individual pot doesn't feel like it decides if you can afford your bills the next couple months. No matter what your profession is, if it's not able to both pay your bills and allow for a reasonable savings rate, it's best to try and find something else.

The hourly thing is a cool idea but I don't think it would work that well in practice since we can't actually know what our real hourly is. You could make an educated guess I suppose and pick the lower end of what's reasonable and go off that. That's sort of what I do when budgeting/planning for the future. I make calculations off of extremely conservative numbers even though I'm very likely to make more, and then everything past those conservative numbers is just more money to save for the future.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:12 PM   #6643
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by callingstation44 View Post
A large part of the variance pain comes from how un"natural" it is.
2Xing the river with air is pretty unnatural too and you figured out how to pull the trigger. The modern age is fraught with stuff that is at odds with how your brain works. So you saddle up and show the bastard who's boss because if you don't the horse ends up riding you. I still have yet to hear anything approaching a satisfactory explanation as to how catching feels off protracted runbad is uniquely insurmountable in this respect.

Again, this is hard. Coming to the conviction that it can be done is hard. Committing to doing it is hard. Figuring out how is hard. And it gets worse. Because when the variance obsession fog starts lifting, the mental space that had been occupied by things you can't control gets occupied by the things from which it had afforded a welcome distraction. Like, for example, the fact that the tenacity that got you to the top of the mountain in the first place has atrophied into a stubbornness that is no longer doing you any favors. After that it will be something else.

And that's just how it goes. Because sharks don't tread water.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:39 PM   #6644
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by atenesq View Post
2Xing the river with air is pretty unnatural too and you figured out how to pull the trigger. The modern age is fraught with stuff that is at odds with how your brain works. So you saddle up and show the bastard who's boss because if you don't the horse ends up riding you. I still have yet to hear anything approaching a satisfactory explanation as to how catching feels off protracted runbad is uniquely insurmountable in this respect.
agree with the bolded, but i think it's unique in that it's constant and enduring if you play poker 1000hrs+ per year for a decade+, particularly if you run close to or below EV. yes we can successfully confront unnatural things in small occasional doses, but the ones that are constant and long term tend to be unhealthy for us (e.g. any of poor diet, drug abuse, working night shifts, etc., when done consistently and long-term). obv those have physical effects, and i'm not saying variance has the same effect, but things don't work all that differently on the psychological side in my estimation.

on the flip side i like and agree with your fighting spirit (i am still playing after all, and don't intend to quit). it can be done, it's just really hard. as long as people understand just how hard it is, and why, which this thread has dived deep into, then i think the message is being heard. most aspiring "pros" are not reading this thread though, or having these reflections. i would settle for just changing one or two people's minds about making poker their primary income versus secondary.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:50 PM   #6645
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

@dgaf

i played in the game you mentioned with the guy who robbed the bellagio
it rotated at southpoint, nugget and palms
i got very lucky to stumble upon that game
i remember berkey being in it all the time
there were whispers that he was the guy who robbed the bellagio. he would call massive overbet all ins with pure gutters. i just figured people were joking about him having robbed the bellagio but a few days after i left vegas and went home sure enough i saw him on the news.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:07 PM   #6646
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by atenesq View Post
Again, this is hard. Coming to the conviction that it can be done is hard. Committing to doing it is hard. Figuring out how is hard. And it gets worse. Because when the variance obsession fog starts lifting, the mental space that had been occupied by things you can't control gets occupied by the things from which it had afforded a welcome distraction. Like, for example, the fact that the tenacity that got you to the top of the mountain in the first place has atrophied into a stubbornness that is no longer doing you any favors. After that it will be something else.

And that's just how it goes. Because sharks don't tread water.
Ive been wanting to say something similar to this in this thread for a while, but I knew it would turn into a very long essay.

The bottom line is, that if you're going to play poker for any amount of time, with the expectation of winning and not just playing for fun, focusing on variance is literally the most unproductive thing you can do. Its incredibly counterproductive. It promotes thinking that is the opposite of being in the moment, which leads to anxiety, depression, fatalism, feelings of being out of control, desperation, etc.

This is also true, no matter what aspect of life we're talking about.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


As someone who has a lot of friends with mental ailments, and a history of my own, this has been the one thing I constantly try to focus on.

We love to focus on the things we have no control over and its a literal waste of time and energy. Energy that could be used to help us become better at what we do, more resilient to life's challenges, and more creative in our thinking. Don't discount the "creative" part, because this is where life actually gets the juiciest. Creative, in the sense that, our life is a blank canvas, and we are literally creating it, moment to moment, with every thought, feeling, and desire we have.

AND WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

Last edited by WorldBoFree; 02-28-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:18 PM   #6647
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Also, I would like to say life is full of things that are at odds with how our brain works!!!! (poker variance is chump change compared to our cell phones)

Our brain is mostly run by the psychotic monkey brain that's constantly chattering inside our heads and distracting us with nuerotic thoughts. Its literally how our brain is wired!

What in life IS actually in accordance with how our brain works?

Life is full of pain, struggle, and entropy. Its built into nature.

Budhism seeks to reduce suffering, by acknowledging this fact, and practicing being in the moment, using mindfulness and meditation. Its the only thing I've found to help reduce the suffering personally. and meditation for 2 minutes a day, unfortunately is not enough to really make a dent.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:55 PM   #6648
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by icanadd View Post
Second I think part of the reason why the swings in poker hurt so much is that we feel we have control when in fact in any given hand or session we have little control. We subconsciously fool ourselves that we could have played "better" when many times we play correctly and still loose. This makes the loss "ours" In addition since we all expect to win (even rec's like me that are not that good) meaning we not only take the loss but also loose the "winnings" we mentally accounted for when we walked in the casino.
Very much this.

imo the feeling of personal responsibility for individual sessions and even hands also ties in to something that makes live big bet poker really good, especially for people that are willing to put a lot of pressure in the right spots with a very unbalanced range. People hate making big calls and being wrong. You can see it in their faces when they call and see a winning hand. They "knew" you had it but called anyway. They'd often rather just fold and not face the embarrassment. Folding and getting shown a bluff isn't nearly as demoralizing for people. People in general are very bad at accepting that they made the right decision when they call a big bet and lose in big bet poker even if they called pot in a spot that they win 40% vs their opponents range. Conversely, in limit poker people will happily call 100% of the time on the river in a spot where they need to win 15% of the time but will actually win 5% or less of the time. The psychological nature of facing river bets in both poker types have some very nice exploitative benefits that people don't talk about much. Though this may be be largely because most live pros couldn't tell you what % they are bluffing in the first place.

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I contrast this to the swings I see in my stock accounts. Yes it is money at risk but since I choose index funds, it is so much easier to convince myself it is only a loss if I sell, that the swings are to be expected and I will see a long term return. The loss is temporary and "on the market" not me. I think this would be much harder if I were following an active strategy vs a more passive one. This is irrational thinking as well but I think it has a positive impact on both my returns and my life.
Same on all counts. This is exactly why I do not have an active strategy. I see the results every 6-12 months. Sometimes they are great, usually they are decent and sometimes they are painful. But it's easier to just look at the long term graph and accept it when I am not actively participating in the result.

Quote:
I would be curious to hear from the pro's here if any of them employ mental tactics to help with the swings. Does anyone try to grade there play and focus and tell themselves yes I lost X today but played my A game and in review I just ran into better hands and therefore it is not really a loss?
When I played predominately limit holdem, I think this was one of my strongest suits as a player. I feel like I was able to be very objective about my play. Not to toot my own horn but I felt like I was 10+ years ahead of most my live competition in that game and while I recognized that I often made opponent specific errors, I felt so good about my game on a fundamental level that running very poorly even for months in LHE didn't bother me nearly as much as in other games.

It's much different these days. I paid for an Upswing PLO course that I have spent a ton of time studying but the reality is that an online 6max strategy and a live 9 handed limpsprayfest strategy couldn't be much more different and I am really just throwing darts and hoping I am right while also hoping that I win. I'm fundamentally decent at most 1 winner limit games but there are a ton of games where I don't even know if I'm playing the right starting hands let alone if I'm betting them properly after choosing to play the hand. And hoping that I'm playing well against my opponents' strategies. There is such an unknown factor for me in pretty much anything but NLHE/LHE that it becomes easy to second guess the cause of my most recent batch of results. Not to mention the fact that I imagine almost all of us have the unhealthy tendency to ignore everything other than the result when things are going very well and focus our mental energy on when the results are poor. This can be very dangerous as many people have a tendency to pick up some poor habits when they are running well that they don't notice until things turn for the worse.

And without a doubt, the fact that I'm drunk in >90% of sessions isn't doing me any favors in my personal review of my own play.

This is something that is much easier to do online where you're very easily able to objectively evaluate your decisions whether it be over a single hand or your entire career. It also happens to be much easier to deal with a downswing over X hands as those X hands will probably take about 10% as long online as they would live. And for me at least, there is something less personal and frustrating about losing online where you can just log off and its over compared to a casino where you need to stand up, cash out and then drive home.

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Do you segment bankroll from life roll and pay yourself an hourly regardless of results to mitigate the feeling of the swings? Some other tactic?
My "bankroll" is the money I have sitting in players banks and casino safe deposit boxes. My liferoll is my checking account. With very rare exception, money only goes from bankroll to liferoll. If I only played at 1 casino and within a reasonable range of stakes, it would be much more feasible for me to move money from poker roll to life roll with regularity. The reality is that my most recent session was a 25/25 full ring PLO game (that plays very big) that ended up being shorthanded 1000/2000 mix at the end of the night, and the previous session was 5/5 PLO/Big O in a game that is typically pretty tame with me often being the most willing to play big pots. The big game was a private game anyway, but even if it was public, it's not feasible or reasonable for me to have enough money to cover regularly losing in 1000/2000 in one specific location out of the half dozen locations I would be likely to play. The reality is that for games toward the top end of what I'm willing to play, it's not at all unusual that I only have 1-3 buyins in my possession at that location, even if I have 50 buyins (or whatever the limit equivalent is) in my poker roll alone for that game spread between cash and various casino chips elsewhere. For a lot of pros, this is why borrowing is so common. Unfortunately it is 2019 and you really just get what you get when it comes to poker games. Playing live $5 blind games really isn't a viable long term option and I've got very little readily available to me above that level. If I could choose my game, it would be something like 10/20 with a 20 ante holdem or like 10/20 with a 2-3k cap big bet mix. Unfortunately neither of those things exist anywhere that I'm aware of let alone where I live, so I take the games as they come to me. I've tried living in LA twice. It's not for me.

I think I kinda just rambled and didn't really address what you were saying, but if I was able to play X stakes at X casino every day, I'd be much less likely to endure a money downswing while on a unit upswing (2018 might have been my best year ever in units despite losing money) and I'd be much more likely over any given period to be able to move money out of poker.


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Originally Posted by 8o8 View Post
as proof that the human brain is poorly suited to handling variance in poker, ask yourself honestly if you don't look at results on a per-session basis? the session data sampling point is only useful out of convenience. in reality, it is an arbitrary and poor choice.

or ask yourself if you feel the same when you chip up to 3 buy-ins, and then back down to your actual winrate before ending your session, versus when you lose 2 buy-ins, and then chip up from the 3rd one to your actual winrate before ending your session.
There is no better example for how terrible humans are at accepting variance than to ask a player how he feels when he wins 1 buyin in a game that he was winning 5 buyins in at peak compared to how he feels after he loses 1 buyin in a game he was losing 5 buyins in at reverse peak. Almost without fail, the guy who is upstuck is frustrated because he didn't win enough, and the guy who lost 1 buyin feels like king of the world because he escaped a terrible session with only a minor loss.

Quote:
1) not tracking whether i'm up or down, or by how much, during a session (i find that i play better when i do this
Checking session results online mid session is the kiss of death to me. If I'm doing poorly in a session and accidentally see my balance I start seeing red and just immediately blind out. I can barely breath when I sweat a friend online and they obsessively check their balance. However, I'm not sure how relevant this is to live poker since I don't really know how a person would not know how they are doing in a session. Maybe if you are Andy from LATB and stack your chips so high and have so many of them you won't be able to guess exactly but even then you are going to notice if you lose a couple towers of antes or any meaningful amount of big chips.

That does bring me to a curious thing in a poker game, which is that my experience is that people seem to play significantly worse against people that they perceive to be winning. Back in the LHE days everyone generally bought a lot of chips but myself and a friend were often especially ridiculous and would just constantly reload to make sure we always had 4+ racks of chips in front of us. The amount of times a player would be in the game with us for an entire session, watch us lose almost every pot, and comment on how many chips we have and that we never seem to lose was remarkable. Additionally, players seemed to play much more cautiously against the lucky big stacks in a limit game. The extremely rare occasions we'd have just a few stacks of chips in front of us, they'd comment on how we were finally losing and they'd seem to play much more confidently against us.

It becomes even more extreme in big bet. I guarantee that the great pro with 50k in front of him (who is stuck 15k) in a 25/50 NL game has more fold equity against the average player with a 7k stack than the great pro with a 7k stack (who is winning 2k) has against that same opposing 7k stack.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:10 AM   #6649
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by borg23 View Post
@dgaf

i played in the game you mentioned with the guy who robbed the bellagio
it rotated at southpoint, nugget and palms
i got very lucky to stumble upon that game
i remember berkey being in it all the time
there were whispers that he was the guy who robbed the bellagio. he would call massive overbet all ins with pure gutters. i just figured people were joking about him having robbed the bellagio but a few days after i left vegas and went home sure enough i saw him on the news.
I only played with him for like 3 days at the Nugget. I was partying with him/slamming Jaeger Bombs the whole time. Pretty sure Doug Polk was too lol. I know Matt and Bob were there the first night. It's all kind of a blur.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:18 AM   #6650
Sean Snyder
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Wow, today's LATB game was epic. Takes a lot to get me excited while I watch other people play poker and it takes even more to get me glued to my seat for almost 10 straight hours. If you don't have a subscription, it's honestly worth paying for a month just to watch this 1 episode.

Amazing how much better a holdem game can be with a nice ante in there.
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