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Old 03-08-2019, 09:03 PM   #6701
onedollars
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Yes. I agree with DGAF when he says professional poker is without question at least a "soft hustle" and that it's "far from noble." But at the same time I strongly disagree with some of the guys out there ****tting on the pros like it's a joke of a profession. It's actually one of the very few professions out there where top earners have significant skin in the game (i.e. when negative variance happens, they take a personal hit). This can't be said of many/most jobs that the haters would think were respectable (e.g. many/most high-level finance jobs, corporate positions, high-level medical professions, and these days even many high level military positions). Nassim Taleb makes convincing arguments that only when someone takes on a symmetrical risk distribution are his actions ethical, and notes professional gamblers among one of the few professions he finds respectable. Also recommend his "Fooled By Randomness" book for all you guys obsessed with seeing the reality of variance.
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Yeah wasn't trying to exclude entrepreneurs/small business owners. They are way more respectable since they are also providing major value when they succeed (usually). Was just pointing out that poker pros (not necessarily the ones that have Mommy and Daddy as backers) are more respectable then many seem to want to give credit. Still far from noble like DGAF says, and a bad life choice for most, but definitely more respectable then many other "respected professions" in society.
I have a really hard time getting behind much of this, especailly the bolded part, just because some smart dude who sold a bunch of books said so. Perhaps I'm not understanding the underlying theory properly, but you (or Taleb?) seem to do a lot of mental gymnastics to prop up poker as a profession (despite the heaps of evidence against it) while denigrating most high earning 9-5ers.

First, Taleb's opinion is infinitely more philosophical in nature than it is practical in the real world; he's also just a guy speaking his opinion, not a saint delivering gospel. Second, I just don't think humans are primarily driven by integrity or morals, so the jockeying over the ethical high ground is silly. In any case, in my opinion it is extremely ethical to support oneself and one's dependents in a way that does not harm others - I don't think this applies to poker, but it does apply to the majority of high paying careers.

By your standard, would a thief be more respectable than a lawyer who represents him? After all, if the thief performs poorly and gets caught, he will likely feel direct consequences such as going to jail. If the lawyer representing him screws up, there is little direct hit, ie they are not going to jail or paying for it out of their own pocket.

Or maybe we can tweak your definition of "skin" to account for the work and discipline it takes to get into that situation, which you may have discounted or overlooked. There is plenty of skin in the game for a lawyer who spent upwards of 300k and 3 years acquiring their degree and skills, and whose past performance will be a major factor in his future earning potential. Instead of risking their bankroll, they are risking their reputations that took years and years to build.

By the way, poker IS a joke of a profession, at least in 2019. I mean, if like 95% of professional poker players burn out or fail, it's extremely unhealthy mentally, you're not guaranteed anything, you don't build equity for your future, no mentors, no benefits, no paid vacation, no stock option upside, etc....these things matter when assessing a profession, making poker a ****ing terrible profession whether it gives you the ethical high ground or not.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:34 PM   #6702
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by onedollars View Post
I have a really hard time getting behind much of this, especailly the bolded part, just because some smart dude who sold a bunch of books said so. Perhaps I'm not understanding the underlying theory properly, but you (or Taleb?) seem to do a lot of mental gymnastics to prop up poker as a profession (despite the heaps of evidence against it) while denigrating most high earning 9-5ers.

First, Taleb's opinion is infinitely more philosophical in nature than it is practical in the real world; he's also just a guy speaking his opinion, not a saint delivering gospel. Second, I just don't think humans are primarily driven by integrity or morals, so the jockeying over the ethical high ground is silly. In any case, in my opinion it is extremely ethical to support oneself and one's dependents in a way that does not harm others - I don't think this applies to poker, but it does apply to the majority of high paying careers.

By your standard, would a thief be more respectable than a lawyer who represents him? After all, if the thief performs poorly and gets caught, he will likely feel direct consequences such as going to jail. If the lawyer representing him screws up, there is little direct hit, ie they are not going to jail or paying for it out of their own pocket.

Or maybe we can tweak your definition of "skin" to account for the work and discipline it takes to get into that situation, which you may have discounted or overlooked. There is plenty of skin in the game for a lawyer who spent upwards of 300k and 3 years acquiring their degree and skills, and whose past performance will be a major factor in his future earning potential. Instead of risking their bankroll, they are risking their reputations that took years and years to build.

By the way, poker IS a joke of a profession, at least in 2019. I mean, if like 95% of professional poker players burn out or fail, it's extremely unhealthy mentally, you're not guaranteed anything, you don't build equity for your future, no mentors, no benefits, no paid vacation, no stock option upside, etc....these things matter when assessing a profession, making poker a ****ing terrible profession whether it gives you the ethical high ground or not.
1) To say that I argued that poker is respectable because “some
smart dude who sold a bunch of books said so” is a really disingenuous spin on what I said. I didn’t present any detailed arguments, because I’m not going to type out a summary and you can go read a book if you want those. I was just pointing readers to something they may be interested in.

2) I never said that poker is more respectable of a profession then all other professions in society or put it on an ethical high ground like you imply that I did. I just said that it’s more respectable than it’s given credit, and more respectable then many other professions that pro haters respect. So I actually was just raising it above the ethical low ground it’s often put at, not putting it on a high ground (see where I said “it’s far from noble”.)

3) I never said it wasn’t a joke of a life choice for most. It is. But that doesn’t mean that someone willing to take on absurd personal risk in order to break free of a system they aren’t fond of and/or play a game they thoroughly enjoy doesn’t deserve some respect for that.

So basically, you completely misrepresented what I was saying.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:54 AM   #6703
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Gdude, thanks for the reply. I re-read my post and realized it didn't convey what I wanted to, but it was too late for an edit. I admit to misrepresenting where you place poker on the continuum of respectability/career choice, and my tone was too confrontational; I regret not choosing my words more carefully and engaging in such a reactionary fashion.

However, since you say I completely misrepresented everything you said, I'm willing to engage in discussion, learn, and admit I was wrong when necessary -- if you are willing to answer some simple questions, since I still think the crux of your argument is too parochial to be applicable to the real world. As a starting point, I'd like to know what you think of the following questions:

What is more "respectable", bank robber or bank teller? Drug dealer or pharmacist? Because the former examples are both "someone willing to take on absurd personal risk in order to break free of a system they aren’t fond of". I'm also interested in which "respected professions" you think deserve less respect than than poker?
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:21 AM   #6704
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Gdude, thanks for the reply. I re-read my post and realized it didn't convey what I wanted to, but it was too late for an edit. I admit to misrepresenting where you place poker on the continuum of respectability/career choice, and my tone was too confrontational; I regret not choosing my words more carefully and engaging in such a reactionary fashion.

However, since you say I completely misrepresented everything you said, I'm willing to engage in discussion, learn, and admit I was wrong when necessary -- if you are willing to answer some simple questions, since I still think the crux of your argument is too parochial to be applicable to the real world. As a starting point, I'd like to know what you think of the following questions:

What is more "respectable", bank robber or bank teller? Drug dealer or pharmacist? Because the former examples are both "someone willing to take on absurd personal risk in order to break free of a system they aren’t fond of". I'm also interested in which "respected professions" you think deserve less respect than than poker?
Bank robbers and drug dealers are harming others for personal gain. So, even though they are taking on personal risk as well, they’re putting others at risk with their actions. Poker players are not doing that. Sure, they may be sometimes winning EV from people who can’t afford to lose that’s EV, but those people are losing that money in gambling anyway. It’s actually better that they win the money than a billionaire casino mogul win it and use it to open another casino that induces more harm on society. And if a bank robber was actually a Robin Hood (stealing from very wealthy/corrupt people to feed starving people), one can argue that’s perfectly ethical. But this gets into utilitarian vs deontological ethics, which is way to extended of a debate to get into here. The point is I never said that people who put themselves at risk but simultaneously actively inflict significant harm on others are within the realm of an ethical risk distribution.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:59 AM   #6705
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

@DGAF - Just caught up on the podcasts....CHAMPIONS!!!! Nice job. I was way too invested in that.

Nice job winning a few lives too. But I think you were 100% right and you need to tighten up that preflop game in this era.

Good luck man
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:22 AM   #6706
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Bank robbers and drug dealers are harming others for personal gain. So, even though they are taking on personal risk as well, theyíre putting others at risk with their actions. Poker players are not doing that. Sure, they may be sometimes winning EV from people who canít afford to lose thatís EV, but those people are losing that money in gambling anyway. Itís actually better that they win the money than a billionaire casino mogul win it and use it to open another casino that induces more harm on society. And if a bank robber was actually a Robin Hood (stealing from very wealthy/corrupt people to feed starving people), one can argue thatís perfectly ethical. But this gets into utilitarian vs deontological ethics, which is way to extended of a debate to get into here. The point is I never said that people who put themselves at risk but simultaneously actively inflict significant harm on others are within the realm of an ethical risk distribution.
Poker is competition. The fish willingly play to try to beat the pros. No one should feel bad for the fish. Sure, there is some predatory behavior in poker, but the fish arenít defenseless. They have the same chance of winning as everyone else. They can improve their game and become a shark or quit if they canít afford to lose
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:26 AM   #6707
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Originally Posted by WasitacatIsaw? View Post
@DGAF - Just caught up on the podcasts....CHAMPIONS!!!! Nice job. I was way too invested in that.

Nice job winning a few lives too. But I think you were 100% right and you need to tighten up that preflop game in this era.

Good luck man
NO SPOILERS DAMMIT!
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Old 03-09-2019, 03:34 PM   #6708
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

those of you struggling to keep up with Sessions like me, highly recommend 1.5x (unless you're one of the weirdos listening to fall asleep)

hi weirdos
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:30 PM   #6709
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I listen at 1.2x.

I wish they were twice as long!
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:33 PM   #6710
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I love you dgaf but Buffalo Wild Wings is turrible!


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Old 03-10-2019, 12:45 AM   #6711
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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NO SPOILERS DAMMIT!
My bad.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:12 AM   #6712
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Poker is competition. The fish willingly play to try to beat the pros. No one should feel bad for the fish. Sure, there is some predatory behavior in poker, but the fish arenít defenseless. They have the same chance of winning as everyone else. They can improve their game and become a shark or quit if they canít afford to lose
FWIW I think you guys need to have two separate discussions here:

1) Is poker a respectable profession in terms of making a contribution to society. In general, lawyers, doctors, and even bankers/financiers serve a necessary function without which modern society could not function properly. Thieves, con artists, etc. basically do not. What is the contribution that poker players provide?

2) Regardless of their contribution to society, Do poker players, on average, have better ethical and moral standards than those in other professions. Every profession, regardless of their contribution to society, has a general moral compass. Doctors are generally viewed positively on the ethics scale. Lawyers, on the other hand, are viewed much more negatively. As the saying goes...ďHonor among thievesĒ.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:38 AM   #6713
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Picked up one of the sessions tees at the poker rags site. Looking forward to more sessions, DGAF. Run good brother.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:59 PM   #6714
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

@dgaf just got to the episode on sessions that you included a story about your high stakes gambling because of 808s request so not sure if you continued the degen or high stakes poker stories but I definitely think it adds another cool element.

Its interesting how you tell the story throughout that you can't tell if you're gonna come up it down in the end of a session, always waiting for the end to hear you came up fat
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:00 PM   #6715
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Straddle? hat is on the way, canít wait!
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:14 PM   #6716
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Started at episode 1 the other day as a new listener. Totally digging it thanks for putting it out there. Good vibes to you, hope you end up running better (only on episode 9 or 10).

Glgl
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:28 AM   #6717
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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@DGAF - Just caught up on the podcasts....CHAMPIONS!!!! Nice job. I was way too invested in that.
When he said that the only team ahead of them had a surprising loss I blurted out "That opens the door for the Lakers!" to no one in particular in my car.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:29 AM   #6718
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

The storytelling of the little league basketball storyline was masterful, not just as a standalone story but in the way that your (the storyteller) experience of it was so enmeshed with your experience of the Abyss. The emotional exposure provided by the stream of consciousness, un-edited format make's it possible.

I have zero interest in BBall in general but that playoff run had me more fired up than when the Karate Kid dropped that Cobra Kai punk.

Obvs I'm a big fan, gl
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:22 PM   #6719
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

@ DGAF

I am way behind on sessions, but just finished Stuck at the Bellagio - DGAF, I am in the abyss for the 3rd time in my 12+ years of professional poker, mostly online. You are so incredibly therapeutic listening to you while I'm hitting this ridic rough stretch. This stretch of runbad I have been going through for almost 12 months has been by far the most trying of my career. You are probably helping way more people than you can ever realize. Not just recs with small sample sizes or newbs who have been playing for a couple years, not just people who have a tendency to tilt or have big mental game leaks. I have a really good mental game, I can take a lot. But everyone hits their breaking point at some point. When you first posted about the abyss, I was nowhere near it, and I didn't appreciate it. I appreciate it now, I can assure you of that. I just bought your book and gave you a review for your podcast. Keep fighting the good fight, your resilience is inspiring
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:41 PM   #6720
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

how do you guys stick with it after year long stretches of breakeven or downswings? would there ever be a point where you just call it?
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:09 AM   #6721
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Hey. Just wondering ether then next Sessions podcasts on their way?

Last edited by cametopunt; 03-15-2019 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:49 AM   #6722
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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Hey. Just wondering ether then next Sessions podcasts on their way?
Time to blow into that cartridge

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Old 03-15-2019, 01:01 PM   #6723
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

DGAFís basketball coaching exploits have been the highlight of Sessions thus farósuch a treat, narrative-wise, compared to his raw descriptions of Venetian hell, which, of course, many of us love, perhaps for the wrong reasons. Agree entirely with pattay, a few posts back, about how Sessions serves as some form of oxygen for those who have been under the influence of the abysmal, for a bit longer than would seem probable, let alone fair. His optimism has been helping me a great deal, recently. Sticking to your game when running bad/at the bottom of the barrel is so dam hard to do (much, much harder in practice than theory); having Ďheartí in poker can sometimes be such a dangerous thing.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:56 PM   #6724
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

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I was one of the laggards about leaving a review, mainly because I was listening on DGAF's blog site, and no review function there. I tried listening on ITunes and review function is right there in case anyone has a similar excuse.
You were one of the last people in the world that needed to leave a review. You have done so much to be supportive over the years. That you did though--you figured out how even thought it wasn't easy (I couldn't tell you how because I am a tech idiot)--says a lot about you.

Good **** man. Very much appreciated.

The rule of the world ime is that people are self-serving, greedy, and will never pay it back (or forward). So many itt seem to be the exception. That **** makes me feel good always, even when I can't turn over a winner to save my life.

Spoiler:
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:57 PM   #6725
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I tunes review worked just fine for me also a few weeks ago. Seriously, anyone who enjoys this thread absolutely has to give DGAF's "Sessions" podcast a listen. It's the real deal.
You are def in the same boat as JRR63. TY.
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