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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 07-25-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
ToTcH
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Lightbulb Achieving a better version of yourself

Achieving a better version of yourself


Who am I?

Hello to you, handsome reader, welcome to my blog “Achieving a better version of yourself”. I am Hervé, aka ToTcH, a 25 years old man from Switzerland. French is my mother tongue so bare with me even if my writing and linguistic skills are not on point yet. As the title indicate, this blog is about improving each and every day, striving towards being great in your fields of interest. You will quickly realize by looking at my posts or reading the lengthy introduction that I wrote about me that poker is a key component of my journey but far from the only domain I will work on. I have no clue of how many people my blog will reach but quantity is not a factor for me, I would even write this if I knew that nobody would read it. Putting things on paper change the way you view them and keeps you honest. I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the original post if you would like to know what I am all about.
In any case I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading that online diary that I will make as engaging and as interesting as I can. If you have any comment, question, or would like to interact with me in anyway do not hesitate. On that note, I wish you a nice read.

Why blogging?

Long term goals;
o Increase my motivation to work towards a better version of myself
o Track my progress, keep a written document of what I have been through
o Interact, discuss, answer questions, share stories, tips, get feedback or anything you guys want to converse about
o Increase my poker knowledge, move up limits
o Get better at writing and communicating
o Stop being so introverted, express myself, get more vulnerable by sharing not only my progress but also my views on all sort of topics.

Monthly goals;
At the beginning of each month I will have a list of goals that I will strive to reach. They will include;
o Poker volume
o Study volume
o Life habits change
o Nutrition
o Physical activities


Weekly post content;
o One hand history review per session
o A poker concept that I picked while studying during the week
o One book review
o One lesson from one of my favorite podcasts
o Quotes that resonated to me recently
o A small assay on random topic
o Review of a scientific/financial paper
o Strength, running and weight update

More about me

Poker

Spoiler:


Education

Spoiler:


Books

Spoiler:


Sports

Spoiler:



Fitness

Spoiler:


Strength training

Spoiler:


Running

Spoiler:



Meditation

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Games

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Old 07-26-2017, 06:51 AM   #2
edouard.milosev
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Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

I like your approach. You seem like a dedicated and motivated young man. I'll follow this blog!
Good luck for your future!
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

Blog post #1, 28.07.2017


Getting started

    Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
    Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37802149

    BTN: $2.85 (142.5 bb)
    SB: $2.39 (119.5 bb)
    BB: $2.19 (109.5 bb)
    UTG: $1.37 (68.5 bb)
    Hero (MP): $2.40 (120 bb)
    CO: $2.33 (116.5 bb)

    Preflop: Hero is MP with A A
    UTG raises to $0.04, Hero raises to $0.16, 4 folds, UTG calls $0.12

    Flop: ($0.35) J K 7 (2 players)
    UTG checks, Hero bets $0.22, UTG calls $0.22

    Turn: ($0.79) 6 (2 players)
    UTG checks, Hero bets $0.58, UTG calls $0.58

    River: ($1.95) 9 (2 players)
    UTG bets $0.41, Hero calls $0.41




    Get the Flash Player to use the Hold'em Manager Replayer.


    Villain is VPIP: 37, PFR: 23, 3B: 3, AF: 1.3, Hands: 165

    Pre flop
    Villain has a wide rage when min raising PF and he rarely fold to 3 bet (14%) so I 3 bet for value. He will call wide. Villain seems pretty passive even though it is only 165 hands so I could see him flat AQ+ or JJ+.

    Flop
    His fold to Cbet is only 33% so I bet for value and can see him continue with a range looking like;
    AJ, AK?, QT, JT, QJ, QK, KJ, KT, AT, AQ 77-TT
    (61% favorite against that range)


    Turn
    He probably folds 88-TT, QT, AT but I am still 57% favorite against that rage. It is also possible that we call with the same range as on the flop.

    River
    His bet gives me 5.76 to 1 odds, so Ineed to be good 15% of the time. I am pretty much never folding on that river. QT get there but other than that it is pretty much a blank.

      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37802150

      BTN: $2 (100 bb)
      SB: $2.36 (118 bb)
      BB: $1.96 (98 bb)
      Hero (UTG): $2.20 (110 bb)
      MP: $2.17 (108.5 bb)
      CO: $2.28 (114 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with Q Q
      Hero raises to $0.06, MP folds, CO raises to $0.20, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.14

      Flop: ($0.43) 7 J 9 (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $0.20, Hero calls $0.20

      Turn: ($0.83) 9 (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $0.40, Hero folds




      Get the Flash Player to use the Hold'em Manager Replayer.


      Villain is a total unknown. I usually don’t 4 bet in such conditions as players in the ZOOM pool tend to 5 bet (only with better) or fold, so I want to keep his range wide even though I am out of position.

      Flop
      Relatively drawy board so guess he Cbets his AhQx, AK, AJ, JJ, JT, KK, AA
      Villain is unknown so guess I should not include suited connectors in his PF 3 betting range
      In need 25% and against that range I have 57%

      Turn
      He bets ½ pot but, as we are playing ZOOM, not sure he fires another street with AQ or AK. Even against that rage I am still 57% favorite so my I guess that my fold is a bad play. He did not imagine being favored when I imagined that range. I still have a lot of work to do.

        Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
        Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37802151

        BTN: $2.24 (112 bb)
        SB: $2.01 (100.5 bb)
        BB: $4.10 (205 bb)
        UTG: $2.12 (106 bb)
        MP: $2.43 (121.5 bb)
        Hero (CO): $2.59 (129.5 bb)

        Preflop: Hero is CO with J Q
        2 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, BTN folds, SB calls $0.05, BB folds

        Flop: ($0.14) 6 T A (2 players)
        SB checks, Hero bets $0.07, SB calls $0.07

        Turn: ($0.28) K (2 players)
        SB checks, Hero bets $0.18, SB calls $0.18

        River: ($0.64) 8 (2 players)
        SB checks, Hero bets $0.48, SB raises to $1.70 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.22

        Spoiler:



        Get the Flash Player to use the Hold'em Manager Replayer.


        Flop
        I Cbet to make him fold his pockets pairs. I guess he calls w A5-AJ,TT-JJ, T9o, T8-9, KQ, JTo, JT-J9s
        Seeing his extremely low 3bet % I can not exclude monsters like QQ, KK, AA from his hand, although he probably does raise them considering that the board is wet.

        Turn
        Turned the nuts so I bet as pure value. I guess he folds JJ, JT, Tx. Still totally crushing.

        River
        The flush get there. There is not possibility of boat. He checks I bet for value. When he raises I am in a tough spot. Giving the odds I need to be good 30% of the time. But what is he raising on the last street with? Giving the strength that I am showing by better flop and turn, what value hand does he not raise on the turn other than a flush draw that hits? To me it is a crying call but what do you guys do?


        Do you agree with my assessment of the ranges? If you have any advice or spot any flow in my thinking process I would be very grateful if you cared to share your opinion.


        Discipline against short stacks

        Playing against short stacks can be tricky. The first think to realize is that there are different types of short stackers. Some play a very specific strategy, playing well defined ranges and following a plan with precision. Those villains can be frustrating to play against as the decisions that they have to make are often straight forward whereas you as a full stack player have to take several parameters into account. However, I almost never face such players in 2NL. Most short stackers at nano stakes are recreational player that do not bother to auto top up and look to gamble their money when getting under a certain threshold. Here I present you the strategy that I use to deal with them.


        What I usually do when a short stack is left to act behind me;

        In early position I do not really change my game plan whether or not short stacks remain to act. Even when short stacks are left to act, my range is usually pretty strong in EP meaning that I can continue profitably against most short stacks 3-bet shove. However, I pay special attention to stack sizes when I am in the CO or BU. In late positions I choose a 2.5x raise instead of my 3x standard raise. Independently of the initial rise size, in their mind there is only two options, short stacking villains either push or fold. In either case you are happy with the hand. A fold collects you blinds with limited risks, if they shove you can fold your junk hands without thinking twice and try again next time. Folding intermediate strength hands in such situation is crucial as a min raise is limiting the profitability of a shove and force villain to play tighter as you cut down on his immediate odds. In SB vs BB situations, I min raise almost any two for those same reasons.

        I usually like to underrepresent the strength of my hand. With strong holdings I will often slow play, by flatting an initial raise instead of 3 betting, incentivizing the short stacker to shove when he sees what looks to him like a lot of dead money. You probably guessed it, this strategy applies against relatively agro short stackers. Trapping a 24/3 passive villain will not do any good to your win rate.

        On the other hand, when short stackers act before me, they mostly either instant shove (as an initial raise or as a 3 bet, they usually end up with similar ranges) or limp.

        What took me a lot of time (arguably too long and too many BB/100, ouch) is that their shoving range is often stronger that one expects. Unless you have a special read on the player (when this situation present itself and I do not have a strong enough hand to continue in the pot I usually stay to observe how the hand unfolds, which allows me to take notes on the type of holdings that villain is doing that with) you should only continue with a solid range. In my experience those villains have 0 position awareness so I tend to treat shoves from every position the same. I was guilty of faulty thought process, telling myself “oh well, it is only a few big blinds, let’s hope he does that with pretty much any two, let’s gamble on this one” and call with hands that are too often behind or at best break even over the long run, raking up money for the site.
        I am far from having a set strategy for calling those short stack shoves but for now it looks like;
        99+, A9s+, AT+, TJs+, QJ+
        Writing this I realize that I should look up my database to see how I fair in all in pre flop situations against short stacks with that calling range.


        GETTING TO YES, Negotiating agreement without giving in by Roger Fisher and William Ury and for the revised editions Bruce Patton, 2011


        Right of the gate I would like to point out that, even if you are skeptical looking at the title, telling yourself that you do not want to learn more about that book because your work or hobbies have nothing to do with negotiating, is making a mistake. This book is much more than techniques to get a lower price on an iPhone case sold in those little street stands. This book completely changed the way one looks at negotiations and is filled by key concepts that will be “ha ha” moments for you. I know it has been for me. My first realization that negotiations are not limited to the clichés that are portrayed in movies, the classical one on one with your boss arguing about a raise. It goes way beyond that. You negotiate every day, most of your interactions are a form of negotiation. It can be with your spouse about whether to cook a meal this evening or go to a restaurant. If you choose the latter, where do you go. What is the best choice to satisfy both sides? It can also be at your job, if you are convinced that you are not tackling the project that you work on efficiently enough but the way you do it has always been the way it has been done. Challenge the status quo, what is the best way to do that? How can you lead a good conversation about it? It is nothing more than a form of negotiation.

        The book is extremely well presented, condensed, straight to the point and uses lists to compare the different negotiation methods and rely on concrete examples to illustrate their points, leading to a comprehensible text that does not require you to have any previous knowledge in the field to enjoy the read and implement key elements. It is clear that the authors know the subject well, as members of the Harvard negotiation project, they have proven success in their field and can attest that the methods presented do work.

        The text is nicely structured, each chapter following a logical thread. The titles of each part are self explanatory and represent the philosophy of each concept as well as the tactics they rely on. Here are the said titles;
        o Separate the people from the problem
        o Focus on interests, not positions
        o Invent options for mutual gains
        o Insist on using objective criteria

        My key takeaways are;
        The negotiator in front of you can be seen as an ally. Together you are forming a team and your goal is to tackle the said problem. Being able to change how you perceive the “other side” was an eye opener to me.

        Creativity plays a huge role in negotiations. The authors use the metaphor of a pie. It is not always about trying to get as many slices of that pie as possible. Sometimes, if you think creatively, there is ways to expand that pie, make it bigger. “Yet too often negotiators end up like to proverbial children who quarreled over an orange. After they finally agreed to divide the orange in half, the first child took one half, ate the fruit, and threw away the peel, while the other threw away the fruit and used the peel from the second half in a baking cake”. To me that quote is a perfect example of how the authors are achieving an “ha ha” moment through simple yet efficient examples. Using that story of two kid as a proxy to highlight that our mind is often too narrowed by seeing a negotiation as a confrontation.

        Understand what are the negotiator motivations, what are his ideas and desires. If they do not like your idea, try to understand what seems wrong with it, what is their thinking process behind that reject. “Statements generates resistance, whereas questions generate answers” summaries the mindset of the book.

        All in all, I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in expanding their knowledge and striving to improve the way they handle such situations in their life.



        Tactics, strategies and tools to master hard subjects and learn better
        (Sigma Nutrition Radio episode #188, with Barbara Oakley, PhD)



        Do the more complicated things, the ones that take the most of your energy in the morning, when your brain energy level is at its highest. Get out of the habit of starting off slowly, checking Facebook, Twitter, your free newspaper filled by flashy titles and bad content. Plan your day, study your craft, write that novel that you thought about three months ago but never put a single word on paper. It is one point that seemed evident to me when I heard it, but, that for some reason, I never applied in my life. From now on I will work on my blog, read scientific or financial papers or take notes on a poker video in the early hours of my day. I will check later if a buddy tagged me on a meme on Facebook, it probably will not require my complete attention to have a silly rictus and move on.

        The Pomodoro technique was also mentioned. The concept is very basic; put a timer of 25 minutes, dive into the activity that you want to complete, be completely focus, no smartphone, no nothing, just do the job. Only when 25 minutes have passed by, that your alarm goes off, you can allow yourself a pause. A quick walk, or something very different from what you did during those 25 minutes is advised. If you worked on a text, I suggest you to take your eyes off a screen, you will extract much more value out of the pause. And then you can go back at it. I am giving this method a go for some of my daily routines. I am currently writing this little paragraph using the Pomodoro. Give it a shot, I bet you will be surprised of how hard it actually is to accord 100% of your attention on one thing during that amount of time.

        Dr. Barbara Oakley then stated that when explaining something, to allow your target audience to soak up as much information as possible, using metaphors is crucial. The brain has a much easier time understanding concepts, especially in a relatively unknown field, when able to make associations. As someone that is pretty big on spreading and explaining science to as many people as possible I will keep that in mind and use that communication tool more frequently.



        “If marketing is the art of spreading ideas, then teaching is a kind of marketing”

        “Apparent risk: something that the competition (and your coworkers) believe is unsafe but that you realize is far more conservative that sticking with status quo”.


        Seth Godin, WATCHA GONNA DO WITH THAT DUCK?, Penguin, 2017



        The power of quotes?


        Should they even be commented? Is there a right way to use them? Are they a form of art? When should one use them? Do they serve a purpose or are they merely used as decoration? Who decides what deserves to be quoted? Who deserves to be quoted? You? Me? How long do they stick with you? Should everybody interpret a quote the same way? How powerful a few words following each other can be? Do you appear smarter when you use them?

        The truth is, quotes have an impact and a signification that is deeply personal and I do not believe that there is a right answer to those questions.


        Horner, K. et al., G.J., 2015. Influence of habitual physical activity on gastric emptying in healthy males and relationships with body composition and energy. British Journal of Nutrition, (March).

        Discovery
        Katy Horner and her collaborators measured that gastric emptying (the speed at which food is emptied from the stomach) is approximately 25 minutes faster in active compared to inactive males. They established that gastric emptying was influenced by the activity energy expenditure (more = faster) and percentage of fat mass (lower = faster). In appears that the body mass index (BMI) do not have an impact on gastric emptying. This result highlight a specific importance of body composition and not simply the weight of an individual.

        Techniques
        In that study, 44 males (22 active, 22 inactive) ingested meals consisting of food filled with marked atoms of carbon that can be detected and quantified when rejected in the breathing after going through the digestion process. This technique, called the [13C]octanoic acid breath test, allows to assess gastric emptying. Body composition was determined using air displacement plethysmography (most often, blood pressure cuffs measuring volume changes). The resting metabolic rate by quantifying heat transfers (calorimetry) and the activity energy expenditure by recording acceleration with an accelerometer.

        Significance
        Such discovery is a step forward for the understanding of the fundamental relation between exercise and appetite regulation. One hypothesis could be that the earlier the activation of satiety signals, the better the regulation of food intake between meals. The relationship between gastric emptying and obesity remains to be further explored and other well designed experiments like this one need to continue taking place.

        Strength training, how should I proceed?


        During the first several weeks of strength training I mostly followed a linear progression style of training. I performed each of the three main lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) once a week and added a small amount of weight every time, doing 3 sets of 5 repetitions. I did that until I was no longer able to increase the weights. I quickly reached that plateau and will now look to learn more about programming and finding the best way to increase my numbers if each of the lifts that I perform. I guess it will come down to increase frequency and volume, but I do not have any detail on how I should go about it. I was thinking of picking up the book Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition, by Mark Rippetoe which appears to be a well received book presenting the key elements of correct form, illustrations, mechanical principles of weight training, how to program to achieve long term progress, and much more.

        As far as running goes;
        2x 20 minutes up-tempo run. Slightly faster pace than my long run pace
        2x 18km long run
        1x ladder and cone drill workout training reactivity, change of direction. The exercises were based on an NFL combine type of workout
        (illustrative youtube video)



        Last edited by ToTcH; 07-30-2017 at 02:15 PM.
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        Old 08-03-2017, 08:43 AM   #4
        KP24
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        Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

        In, GL!
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        Old 08-04-2017, 04:40 PM   #5
        Vai123
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        Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

        sub gl man
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        Old 08-05-2017, 09:15 PM   #6
        ToTcH
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        Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

        Blog post #2, 05.08.2017

        “It’s not the giant breakthroughs, it’s the willingness to take little chances”

        “Persistence is having the same goal over and over”

        Seth Godin, WATCHA GONNA DO WITH THAT DUCK?, Penguin, 2017



        Is Physical Therapy Fraud?, Starting Strength Channel, 04.07.2017


        The starting strength channel is a collection of podcasts about, you guessed it, strength training. In those podcasts, Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, is either answering questions of people attending his seminar or talking about various training topics. For what I gathered so far listening to his material, he strongly believes that strength training should performed by pretty much everybody as, in his view, it goes way beyond getting stronger. In this instance he talks about the legitimacy and benefits of physical therapy. Here are a few take away that I noted while listening to this podcast;

        - When someone gets injured, physical therapy aims to isolate the injured part and work on it separately. But the issue is that a muscle does not function that way when healthy. The normal function of the muscular skeletal system involves coordinated relationship with the other components of the system and cannot the simulated in isolation. Mark takes the example of a knee injury. Physical therapist will have their patient do exercises like knee extensions, aiming to isolate the injured part from the rest of the skeletal system. A therapy would not include squatting, running or jumping even though knees are designed to do exactly that.

        - To him, physical therapist treating “muscle imbalances” use less than optimal techniques to do so. To him, instead of doing isolation movements, the patient should be coached to do symmetrical techniques. When done correctly, with proper form, and with adequate weight, the weak side will catch with the strong side because it has to. Good barbell training will correct imbalances but as physical therapists are, for the most part, unable to teach it correctly, the movement is blamed and used to hide the therapist incompetence.

        - Physical therapy relies on isolations movement that cannot be done with heavy weight and that are easy to coach. To Mark they are so popular because they are easier to perform, easier to advertise on the internet and easier to promote to people that will get more interested when presented brand new, seemingly complex exercises to treat them.


        What do I think of it? I can completely get behind the fact that exercises performed during a physical therapy session are easier to coach and perform than compound movements (squat, bench, deadlift). It seems to me that people that are asked to perform kettle bell / medicine ball exercises perceive it to be more targeted and feel like the therapist knows exactly what he is doing. But what Mark highlights here, and in most of his work, makes perfect sense on a conceptual level. The body is way better at adapting and compensating than we give it credit to. I get that there are often compliance problems that arise when someone is asked to perform compound movements as a rehab tool. After all, squatting is way less glamourous than most of the physical therapy exercises. Yet which one is better or more efficient to achieve the desired results?

        I admit that I do not know enough on the subject and I will take a look at the scientific literature. Maybe there are already studies that compare the two methods. In any case, none was cited in that podcast. If it has never been done, I hope that such studies can be funded and put in place using a well developed experimental design.


        Structure your though process during a poker hand

        This week I worked on improving my reflection while playing a hand. I focused on a video made by a French community called Kill Tilt (original video). All the elements that I summaries here should ultimately be implemented during live play. To make that easier I should highlight those elements during hand history reviews so I can implement this “check list” efficiently during live play. Why is it necessary to work on the questions that each player should ask himself while he plays a hand? Simply because too many players, myself first, are in autopilot mode. The author of the video argue that autopilot is the true plague of today’s poker players. People ask key questions too late in the hand.

        So, without further ado, here are the notes that I took on concepts that probably everyone here knows, but too many do not applicate them while playing.

        • Take your time! Make sure you are able to take every crucial element into account. Do not rush your decision and play too fast.

        • Make sure to play in good conditions. Do not be too tired, do not have your desk covered in junk, and play in a calm atmosphere. Try to have something to drink and maybe a small healthy snack. Having enough sleep, being in adequate physical conditions and in a positive atmosphere can only be beneficial to your ability to diagnose a hand.

        • Importance of anticipation: Each street has a tremendous impact on the rest of the hand, so if you start truly analyzing a hand only when it gets complicated, you may have already lost a significant advantage. It is especially easy to play in autopilot when playing too many regular tables or spamming the fast fold button in ZOOM tables. Anticipating how you will adapt depending on which cards are coming, what cards will help your range, what cards you do not want to see because they smash your opponent range. Asking those questions about future street help you on a technical level help. As an example, if almost every deck in the card is bad for you maybe you should not commit too much in the pot. It also helps with the mental aspect. If you anticipate which card you will have to give up on, it will reduce the frustration and the tilt that you expose yourself to during your session.

        Objective info that you should gather pre flop:

        • Always be aware of the presence of bad players at your table. If you have any, where is (are) he (they) situated? This can change the whole table dynamic and have an impact of everybody’s ranges.
        (If you are playing regular tables only you should always have at least one fish at the table. When playing ZOOM you will have some tables full of nits. It is okay though, take notice and adapt your game.)

        • Be aware of stack sizes! Did short stacks put money in the pot before your action, are there any left to act? If so, take a look at my previous blog post (#1) where I discuss some key elements to play against them. If you are deep, is there a possibility that you engage in a hand with another deep stack? If so, anticipate that the ranges will be wider than a typical 100 BB hand.

        • Verify your notes and HUD stats on a player BEFORE getting into a tricky situation. Having notes on a villain can be extremely beneficial and guide your decision making. However, too many times I find myself reading them too late. If a villain is way tighter than normal in certain spots you probably should have folded before getting into that close river decision. If you caught villain call you down with straight garbage, maybe you should have bet bigger than your standard bet size on the previous streets.

        • Having HUD stats on a villain is nice but using them as efficiently as possible is even better. If someone enters the pot before you, what is his range? How good is your hand compared to his potential holding in that spot? If your raise is called by several villains, what are their ranges? The sooner you think about what hands you potentially will face post flop the better you will respond on specific post flop. This comes back to the importance of anticipation.

        How should we exploit those pre flop information?

        • Keep their range in mind. Do not freak out about being way behind when all the hands that are ahead of you are never in villain range. Do you fear a 3-8 double pair if villain is a nit that raised from EP? Do not add hands and get scared!

        • Telling ourselves what villain has not is also an efficient way to rationalize and see that, sometimes, the number of hands that are ahead of use not that big.

        • Realize options you legitimately have. In some case you have several options that are all +EV. Do not automatically settle for your default choice, instead take some time to decide if the higher variance play could also be the most +EV.

        • It is great to think about ranges, it is even better to think in term of combos. Enumerating the hands that you think villain will fold is good, realizing what proportion of his range it represents is even better. Same goes when you decide whether or not you should place one more value bet to get as much $ as possible. If you list hands that he will call with, but those combos represent only 25% of his total holdings, are you sure you want to risk facing a raise that would force you to fold you hand?

        • Focus on sizing. You should go so used to the “stack to pot ratio” that it takes you almost no time to calculate it and decide how it will affect your sizing strategy. Do not wait for the turn to realize that you will need to overbet twice to get all the money in after your autopilot 50% Cbet on the flop.

        • Get used to calculate the odds quickly and precisely. Making a mistake when trying to figure out the percentage of times you need to be good to make a call profitable can really cripple your win rate.

        • Plan in advance! Anticipation is a crucial concept that comes again and again in those blog post alone. Anticipate which cards can possibly come and change the course of the hand. Which cards will come and improve your hand, which ones will smash villain range? If you know in advance the type of cards that will force you to give up, you will build less frustration when it pops on the board. And it always does, right?

        • Take the dynamic into account! In that video they also spoke a lot about dynamics, but I will not expand on that since it is not too relevant to me when playing 2NL ZOOM, with a huge player pool.

        Most of those advice can look obvious but putting the obvious on paper sometimes have advantages. If such post can help me be more alert in some situation, it will already be a great success. All those advices are extremely relevant for me since I lack discipline in every single one. I am the worst autopilot sucker out there for sure. As I strive to achieve a better version of myself on and off the table, I will make a consent effort to implement those changes.



        Blog Inc., Blogging for Passion, Profit and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho, Chronicle Books, 2012


        What is it all about?

        This book is presented as a guide to blogging. An “authoritative handbook” supposed to give you a “leg up” as presented by the publishing company.

        In reality it turns out to be a general introduction to what blogging is and a few tips about key subjects about blogging. The sections include “finding you voice and niche”, “powering your blog” and “making you blog a business”. To illustrate how blogging can change a life several interviews of well established bloggers are present in-between the main sections. The author asks her interlocutor why they got into blogging, what changed in their life, what are their sources of inspiration, who are reading their posts, that type of community did they create.

        What did I think of the book?

        This book is well structured, nicely presented and very nicely flowing, easy to read. It is very much written like an informal conversation, as it was one of your friend that explained to you, over a cup of tea, how she got into blogging and what lessons she learned.

        Although Joy Cho is a successful blog author she does not promote her work in the book. At least at no point it felt like a lengthy add for her work. The author genuinely tries to highlight the vast possibilities of blogging.

        This book takes a very candid approach and stays very general. With today widespread information, pretty much everything can be found online for free. On forums, on blogs, in YouTube or any of the resources available on the web. To me books of today must go further than that. I am buying a book hoping that it will deliver a kind of unique content, put together in a way to makes you change your point of view on something, or really forces you to ask yourself key questions, reflect on your life, your action, your way of acting… with this book I did not feel that. I know, I know, I picked up a copy of a book meant to introduce you to blogging not solving the meaning of the universe (it’s 42, by the way) but still, I perceived the world of blogs exactly the same way, which to me is disappointing from any book. I may be setting high standard, but in this day and age, there is just so much material, so much competition, that we can hope for the value of printed book to be pushed up by the free alternatives. In that case it was not. It is nicely put but the technical part can be summarized in a pretty short online post and the interview do not give you true insight but merely serve a motivation. It can be attractive to you but I did not look for books to motivate me to blog.

        Would I recommend it? It is priced at 10$ so it is not like you are ripped off. It is a nice gateway into blogging, I picked it up without expecting too much and didn’t learned too much.



        Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males, Moro, T et al., 2016, Journal of Translational Medicine

        Let’s start off by defining the terms used in that study. Fasting must not be mistaken with caloric restriction. Caloric restriction is chronically reducing the daily caloric intake while keeping a similar meal frequency. Fasting is to abstain from all food for a specific duration. This study uses a specific form of fasting that is called time-restricted feeding (TRF). This implies that a person keeps the same daily caloric intake as usual but ingest all the food in a specific window of time. This dietary approach is increasingly used and studies for weight loss in overweight or obese people. Results showed improvement of overall health, including lower blood lipid. However, the data is very limited for TRF in athletes, especially for weight training performance.
        In this experiment, thirty-four healthy trained males had to follow a strict resistance training program. One group had to eat all their food during an 8hour widow (leaving 16 hours of fast each day). The second group, followed a normal diet and consumed their food in a 12hours period (12 hours of fasting). Both groups followed a similar diet, meaning total calories intakes as well as macronutrient distribution (% of carbohydrates, protein, and fat).
        Both groups were exposed to a battery of tests before the beginning of the study and after 8 weeks. A wide array of biological markers was measured, including fat mass, fat-free mass, level of testosterone, insulin-like growth factor 1, blood glucose and insulin. Strength was assessed by bench press and leg press maximal testing.
        A statistical analysis comparing both groups showed a significant decrease in fat mass in athletes follow the TRF plan while keeping the same level of fat-free mass and strength. In the TRF group, adiponectin increased (regulate lipid and glucose metabolism, high levels reduce risk of type II diabetes) in TRF while total leptin decreased (regulates fat reserves and hunger), which can be explained by the reduction of fat mass. In addition, inflammation markers (TNF-α and IL-1β) were reduced in the TRF group. Blood glucose and insulin levels were also lower in TRF. Surprisingly, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1 also decreased in TRF.
        Those results are extremely interesting. In my opinion other studies need to be performed to understand the underlying mechanism leading to such differences. Notwithstanding that TRF appears to be a promising method for improving overall health and that it can be implemented relatively easily by tweaking the meal timings.



        Fear of being a copycat

        As I am writing my first blog posts, I often ask myself; Can one use other people work as an inspiration and guidance or should you aim to be different from the rest from the get go?

        I personally find very useful to start off by finding inspiration in other members of your field. I am, often without noticing it at first, basing my writing style on well known authors that I often read.

        I think that as long as you are not ripping anyone off, using a structure, or as a like to call it a skeleton, that is working for others can be a great way to start things off. Of course my goal is to write about things never explored before, talking about common subject in a completely different manner, have a writing style that defines me and that is not only enjoying to read but also well structure and engaging. Nevertheless, I do not believe that a single well respected and successful person is the same now as back when they started. Every creative process, weather it is blogging or anything else that you want to do, is a constantly evolving art.

        I don not know how easily it comes for others but for me writing is not a natural process. Do not get me wrong, I adore doing it, because it has a lot of benefits and I love to share my point of view. But as a beginner I often forget or misuse key concepts. For example, I struggle getting my point across in an efficient manner. I either write too little, which leads to missing part of the story, the reader gets the idea but not the full message even though in my head in sounds very clear. Or, on the other hand, I sometimes diverge too much, write things that I mean but are not pertinent with the point I am trying to make. Here enters the inspiration of other peoples work. I find very beneficial to analyze what successful people in your field do, deconstruct their way of thinking and putting it into practice. Reverse engineer the way they do it and use that as a learning tool.

        Writing is much more complicated than it appears. Keeping the reader engaged is much more than just talking about a great subject. Having a sweet balance between your own life experience, valuable information and a cheeky sense of humor can make wonder. The fact that there is no step by step guide to perfect writing, despite what some online gurus wants to promise you, is maybe what is so attracting. It can be done is so many different ways, by so many people and about an infinite variety of subjects. That diversity allows anyone wanting to write to create unique content. But as the blogs, podcasts and various websites explode in number, writing about subject never discussed before gets harder and harder. Sure it will boost each writer creativity and will force him to separate himself from the mass if he wants to construct any following. But it also means that a lot more of those posts, those discussions will be a form of copycat. Take a very popular subject, creating tons of reactions, like religions or Donald Trump. Weather this influential journalist or this TV news channel talks about the subject, does it mean that you cannot give your opinion? Of course not. You can talk about similar subjects, as long as you create your own material, I would even encourage anyone that wants to try to do it. Once you have to put it on paper you will have to rationalize your thoughts. You no longer can get away with fallacious reasoning, if you want someone to agree with your arguments or oppose them in a constructive manner, creating an enriching discussion, you will have to work on a well thought piece.

        Does the expression “Fake it until you make it” work in a blogging context? I guess it sort of does. Think about it. It is not by waiting that you will create the revolutionary blog post, on a subject explored as never before. It is by doing. If doing requires you to model your work after a role model in the field, hell, let’s go. Strive to do it better each and every time. This does not mean that one should write pure garbage and not reflect on his text. It means that as long as you strive to progress and work towards achieving a better version of yourself, it can only lead to success.

        “Learn to be happy with what you have today and not dream about what you could have tomorrow”

        Your blog post is due. Ship it.


        Let's get some hands in!


          Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
          Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37805504

          Hero (BTN): $2.09 (104.5 bb)
          SB: $3.69 (184.5 bb)
          BB: $2 (100 bb)
          UTG: $3.83 (191.5 bb)
          MP: $2.31 (115.5 bb)
          CO: $2.66 (133 bb)

          Preflop: Hero is BTN with J K
          3 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, SB folds, BB calls $0.04

          Flop: ($0.13) 8 3 K (2 players)
          BB checks, Hero bets $0.08, BB calls $0.08

          Turn: ($0.29) 5 (2 players)
          BB checks, Hero bets $0.16, BB calls $0.16

          River: ($0.61) J (2 players)
          BB checks, Hero checks




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          Villain is an unknown.

          Pre flop
          This hand is on the good side of my opening range. Is see villain calling with all sort of hands BB vs BU. 22-TT, A9-AT, broadways, connectors.

          Flop
          I hit my top pair. Flop is relatively dry. I cbet for value. I can see villain continue with his pocket pairs, a weaker K, 8x, T9.

          Turn
          It is pretty much a blank. Still betting for value. I expect him to fold his T9, 22-77, but call any Kx or 8x one more street.

          River
          I hit two pair. Of course it is a good card for me but it hits my range much more than his. Do I still have a lot of value river? All the flush draw missed, if I bet I get called by his few Kx (I do not assume 8x to call 3 streets when playing ZOOM) but if he somehow c/r the river, probably doing that with a set, I would kick myself.

          Is it a nit move? Thoughts?



            Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
            Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37805505

            BTN: $2 (100 bb)
            SB: $3.16 (158 bb)
            Hero (BB): $2.69 (134.5 bb)
            UTG: $1.46 (73 bb)
            MP: $2.18 (109 bb)
            CO: $0.76 (38 bb)

            Preflop: Hero is BB with K Q
            4 folds, SB raises to $0.06, Hero raises to $0.18, SB calls $0.12

            Flop: ($0.36) K Q 3 (2 players)
            SB checks, Hero bets $0.16, SB calls $0.16

            Turn: ($0.68) T (2 players)
            SB checks, Hero bets $0.48, SB calls $0.48

            River: ($1.64) 7 (2 players)
            SB checks, Hero bets $0.79, SB raises to $2.34, Hero calls $1.08 and is all-in




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            Villain is an unknown.

            Pre flop

            SB vs BB I raise for value. In position, people trying to steal pretty wide at ZOOM. I guess I will use a similar range as the hand before. 22-TT, A9-AJ, 9T+

            Flop

            Bet for value. Villain will continue with worse Kx, any Qx. 77-TT could call one street.

            Turn

            AJ gets there but can get a ton of value from KJ, QJ, Kx. Qx probably calls one more street.

            River

            It is a blank. Facing this raise I need to win the hand at least 20% of the time. At 2NL I think villain goes bonkers often enough with a worse K or random junk to call here. Too optimistic? Thoughts?
            ToTcH is offline   Reply With Quote
            Old 08-06-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
            matko
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            Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

            h1) bet turn bigger,getting a few bb more for value will add up long term on your wr
            river is clearly a bet,huge mistake
            h2)flop-bet bigger,the board is really wet(flush draw+straight draws),turn is good,river depends on a villian
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            Old 08-07-2017, 07:56 AM   #8
            ToTcH
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            Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by edouard.milosev View Post
            I like your approach. You seem like a dedicated and motivated young man. I'll follow this blog!
            Good luck for your future!
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by KP24 View Post
            In, GL!
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Vai123 View Post
            sub gl man
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by matko View Post
            h1) bet turn bigger,getting a few bb more for value will add up long term on your wr
            river is clearly a bet,huge mistake
            h2)flop-bet bigger,the board is really wet(flush draw+straight draws),turn is good,river depends on a villian
            Thanks for the interest guys! Welcome on board!

            @Matko: I agree that my sizing are too small. You are right, I could squeeze a few BB here and there. That's noted.

            For the first hand, without any read on villain, would you then bet fold? Or it is a bet cold expecting villain to go ham with a Kx or a Jx that hits OTR in your opinion? In any case, thanks a lot for the input.
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            Old 08-07-2017, 11:51 AM   #9
            matko
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            Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

            it's a bit paranoid to expect that you would ever get raised otr bc everything that want's to raise would probably raise you on the turn or flop.it's a 2nl and from my memory you can easily expect them to call you with Kx all 3 streets especially in those late positions. I would bet around ~0.5$ and fold to raise only against a nit.
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            Old 08-08-2017, 09:47 AM   #10
            ToTcH
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            Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by matko View Post
            it's a bit paranoid to expect that you would ever get raised otr bc everything that want's to raise would probably raise you on the turn or flop.it's a 2nl and from my memory you can easily expect them to call you with Kx all 3 streets especially in those late positions. I would bet around ~0.5$ and fold to raise only against a nit.
            You raise an interesting point. I agree with you that most of the raises that I would face in such situations are OTF or OTT. Thanks for you analysis!
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            Old 08-15-2017, 04:12 AM   #11
            ToTcH
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            Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

            Blog post #3, 15.08.2017



            “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring”
            Alfred Adler



            Grit Happens, with Crisis Text Line’s Nancy Lublin, From Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, 14.06.2017

            Nancy Lublin is a successful business woman that founded several non profit organizations. One of them being Dress for Success, that lends stylish clothes to women for their job interview when they can not afford to buy such liability. In her view, the journey to build non profit organizations is even more filled with landmines than in the commercial world. It is harder to raise capital and more difficult to recruit talent. But Nancy had a trump card. Grit. For this entrepreneur, grit represent the power of persistence and good plans B. It is not, as noted by Reid Hoffmann (co-founder of Linked in and investor at Greylock), only a matter of rushing headlong into something. One should not rely on brood force but develop ingenuity and capitalize on the benefice of laziness. In what world could being lazy called an asset? Well, smart but lazy people aim to “minimize frictions and find the most efficient way forward”. As often mentioned, time should be treated as a precious commodity.

            Grit is not building an entire system from scratch either, a trap that too many wannabe entrepreneurs fall into. Put every resource available to you to contribution and use your own grit to inspire other people to join you. Others can display real strength in their respective domain and a savvy person should channel those strengths instead of trying to silence them. Nancy explains that creating an environment in which entry level employs feel motivated to experiment was the best culture change she made in her organizations. Knowing how to get out of the way at the right time and elevating smart ideas from others was key to successful development of the organization.

            One has to recognize when too much grit can harm you. It is the very same trap that many multi-potentialite fall into. Some CEOs are addicted to problem solving. They had to overcome so many obstacles, find so many ways to reach their destination, that when things finally click they risk boredom. It is thus crucial to be able to detect this by product of grit and take a step back before deciding to move on and try something challenging once again.

            “True grit is relentlessly forward moving”
            Reid Hoffman






            Why I stopped reading/listening to basic self development material?


            I could not tell what exactly got me interested in personal development in the first place, but, as most people, I started off by reading motivational blog posts on the internet. I liked the short formats giving advice on how to get motivated, achieve goals, be happier, less stressed, less materialist, overcome your fear and strive for success, and all that jazz. Like it is often preached I began a small routine in which I listened to a short format podcast reading blog posts (Optimal Living Daily) when I was commuting from the train station to my work place. I found that very inspiring and fulfilling. I felt more motivated and my outlook on things changed considerably. To me, going trough that process of listening to as many personal development subjects as possible, even if the talk only scratched the surface of the problem, was greatly beneficial and if you want an easy immersion into the field I strongly recommend you to give it a shot.

            But after a dozen podcasts or so I figured that only a few authors are truly original, otherwise you often hear/read the same information over and over and over. You should value your time higher than that. Yes, personal development is a vast domain that deserves to be explored but there is only so many general topics that you can talk about. I am all for getting a solid base, but at a certain point it is paramount to dig deeper into each aspects and put them into practice.

            Other than the repetitive aspect I also asked myself how effective it really was. I became fully aware that this made me feel a form of complacency and had the opposite of the desired effect. I realized that I used this routine as an excuse for not having to take concrete actions as I convinced myself that reading or listening to this basic material was sufficient to work on my personal development.

            I then decided to take the situation under control, take the matter into my own hands and try to look for solutions that were really effective. One important aspect of my current practice is to read books that expand on the subject, get into interesting details and can truly change your perspective on things. Getting deeper into a subject, taking notes and reflecting on it is a game changer. In the beginning, I wanted to cover as many subjects as possible and as fast as I could, but now I realize that having a strong understanding of one element is much more beneficial that knowing the very basics on a lot of them. There is arguably much more complete and concrete advice in the books available. Since a book author is generally not restrained on the length of his text, he or she can develop the matter in much more detail. The fast consumption of blogs forces bloggers, the majority of the time, to write short posts and ultimately reduce them to the same cheesy advice over and over again. Do not get me wrong, there is good resources using a short format, freely available on the internet. To give you one example, I still listen to the podcast “Tiny Leap Big Changes” that is a bi-weekly personal development podcast with a format of 10 to 15 minutes. This show is without too much fluff, straight to the point, and nicely produced.

            One other way to learn a great deal about personal development while increasing your general knowledge is to look for interviews of successful people in the field that you are working in or passionate about. With the explosions of podcasts that aim to deconstruct and reverse engineer the careers of world class performers and pick their brain on many topics (The Tim Ferris Show being one of the most popular one) you have amazing opportunities to get inspired by their journey and implement what helped them succeed into your own life.

            However, even if those resources are a gold mine for ideas, motivation and self improvement, I do not recommend to only listen or read on the subject, staying passive will not get you anywhere. Those advices and tactics can only be beneficial if you act. You’ll get way more of it if you force yourself to implement what you learned into your daily life. I also advise everyone of you to join a community and help other of the subject, spread what you learned. This blog is, among others goals, my journal for what I learned on anything that I get my nose into. It is too easy to let information go through one ear and leave through the other. We all need to make personal development, or anything that we strive to improve, a long term fix.

            So ask yourself this question, is what I am currently doing going to improve my life? For me, as I did it, it simply was not. Get you act together, do not choose what appears to be the easy path when it is, in reality, a dead end. Do the right things!




            Treat your poker like a business, How to turn a hobby into an empire, Dusty Schmidt with Scott Brown, Cardoza Publishing, 2012

            This is a book that I read years ago but made a strong impression at the time and wanted to review. The author of this book is Dusty Schmidt, known in the online poker world as Leatherass. This dude was a massively successful grinder. After earning more than 4 million $ by playing close to 10 million hands of online poker, he decided to write a book explaining how he was able to reach such scores. This dude talks a lot about commitment in his book, and after spending more than 12’00 hours battling low/mid stakes online, I guess it is worth reading what he has to say about it. Judging by his track record, Dusty knew what he was doing.

            A significant portion of the book is general advice about poker like studying, having a strong mental game, bankroll management, balancing poker and life or the importance of setting goals. All that information is nicely written, concise and straight to the point. This material can serve as a fresh reminder or be extremely valuable for a beginner, but there is nothing ground breaking to see here. But the part of the book that is very valuable and had not, at the time, been display in such terms, is the way he compared poker to a traditional business. How, when all things considered, a poker player is similar to an entrepreneur? Leatherass family was managing a small store when he grew up and he draws a lot of eye opening parallels between the intricacies of the business world and poker.

            Key elements such as the importance of dedication, setting up a schedule and staying disciplined are highlighted in great detail and explained as I have never seen it before. As I have no interest in turning poker into a career I picked up this book to treat poker like a serious hobby. Even with that mindset I strongly recommend reading it. The way the book is written and structured ended up being extremely motivating to me. It can not only change the way you see poker but also make you realize what you need to implement to be successful at it. If I had to boil the book to two sentences it would be;

            “Until you design a plan for how you will convert your ideas into cash it will remain just that – an idea”.

            “My ability to play at this level is not just a function of my poker skills, but my ability to scale my business in a smart and profitable manner”

            To me, those advices go way beyond poker. The author states it clearly in the book, “the field didn’t matter, the business model did”. So I strongly recommend this book weather you are an aspiring pro or an interested passionate.





            How to thin value, Inspired by KT Shishi (Link to video)

            Shishi is a poker coach in the french community “Kill Tilt” and is, to me, one of the very best at being pragmatic and adapting his explications to the audience that he is addressing. For those of you that understand French, I vividly advise you to check his videos.

            Let’s start by defining what a thin value represents. It is the act of betting with a relatively weak hand when villain could call with an even weaker hand. Thin value is mostly collected on river bets, especially at the microstakes, where bluffs are rarer. The thin value bet is an important weapon to have in your poker arsenal. Knowing how to pick your spots and identify villains displaying an adequate profile can be completely game changer for your technical knowledge and, thereby, your winrate. A few big blinds here and there can amount to a significant BB/100 difference if collected consistently. When you get hit by the realization that missing a bet can be equated to loosing money, you look for those spots more carefully. Targeting calling stations, very passive or villain that do not transform their hand into a bluff are the best candidates to extract thin value from. But this can also be done versus regs. Indeed, going for thin value bets will make our range less polarized and thus harder to read. In nanostakes I am under the impression that few players have a real polarized range. For me, very thin value bet constitutes essentially the bottom of my betting rage.

            ShiShi went on and analyzed a few hands, here are the key general concepts that I extracted from his thought process;

            - If hero checks turn after value betting the flop because the turn card appears too scary, it is often a good idea to place a small bet river as you showed some weakness on the previous street, possibly triggering a lighter call.
            - Do not get too afraid on the river. As I said in my previous post, do not add hands to villain range. If you are ahead of villain range and a very small bet can induce a call from the bottom of his range, jump on the occasion.
            - On a double pair board, if you hold hidden 2nd pair, do not hesitate to bet the river. You can easily get value from Ax hands or worse pairs.

            To conclude this short strategy post, I would like to put the emphasis on a point that often is a major tilt inducer for people trying thin value bets;
            You have to stay disciplined! Do not call if you face a raise!
            If you go for thin value, you know it is to bet fold the vast majority of the time. This is especially true at the microstakes, I strongly believe that there is often a tendency to overestimate villains willingness to turn their hand into a bluff after being so called induced by facing a small bet.




            Gut feelings: the emerging biology of gut-brain communication
            , E. Mayer, 2011, Nature Reviews Neuroscience

            Brain and gut are closely connected and this review, regrouping findings of dozens of recent neuroscientific studies highlight how this relation work and the importance that it has. The gut is the host of the enteric nervous system (ENS), composed of an estimated 200 to 600 million neurons, which is equivalent to the amount of neurons in the spinal cord. Those neurons are able to treat numerous stimuli generated by gut cells or the gut microbiota. The gut-brain crosstalk is a complex bidirectional communication system whose role is to preserve homeostasis. I focus on the influence that it can have on the cognitive functions and emotional state, like affecting motivation or even intuitive decision making. A perturbation of the crosstalk can lead to a wide array of complications, including inflammatory intestinal disorders, that will not be described in this blog post. The gastrointestinal tract cells are able to tightly regulate the signal it’s sending by selectively expressing as much as 20 different gut peptides. Once released, those peptides can impact adjacent cells or reach, via the circulation, remote sites of the gastrointestinal tract or the brain. The input transmitted by ENS neurons can have an influence on memory formation, emotional arousal and affective behaviors. A few concrete examples can be used to illustrate that point. When an individual goes trough a pleasant food intake episode, meaning that he feels pleasant gut-related emotions while he is eating, his social interactions will also often be warmer and more pleasant. On the other hand, I am sure most of you can testify that when going through a rough digestion process, feeling nauseous or abdominal pain, we try to withdraw from the social interactions that we are having. But was is felt in the gut can have influences that goes way beyond your mood and willingness to converse in society. A study demonstrated that food consumption can have a pain reducing effect in rats.

            The sensory information hatching in the gut can also impact your decision making. Using your “gut feeling” to make decisions is apparently actually a thing, and is accumulating more and more scientific evidences. Using memories of previously felt stimuli, the gut can signal to the brain his assessment of the probability of a positive or negative outcome. Previous perceptions are thus, in some situations, key for decision making, more so than deductive reasoning.

            The brain can send signals and trigger a response in the gut even in the absence of a physical stimuli. It might for example happen when looking at the expressions representing the feelings displayed by an individual or imagining a particular feeling state, memories of that state can reemerge and affect our current physical status. The memory of such experiences, even when disconnected from the actual sensation, can trigger an hypervigilence towards gut-related sensations and enhance an emotional state.

            In other cases, a physical stimulus is correctly sent to the brain but there can be a mismatch between the actual sensation and the memory of the stimuli. Such mismatch can lead to disorders such as obesity or food addiction. Indeed, it is possible that an individual will not perceive the sensations that he is hoping for when he is eating and so will continue to eat to try to reach that feeling.



            Poker hands


              Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
              Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37810685

              BTN: $2.65 (132.5 bb)
              SB: $1.91 (95.5 bb)
              BB: $3.17 (158.5 bb)
              UTG: $2.45 (122.5 bb)
              MP: $2.05 (102.5 bb)
              Hero (CO): $2.05 (102.5 bb)

              Preflop: Hero is CO with A 5
              2 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, BTN folds, SB calls $0.05, BB folds

              Flop: ($0.14) 4 6 7 (2 players)
              SB checks, Hero bets $0.07, SB calls $0.07

              Turn: ($0.28) 2 (2 players)
              SB checks, Hero checks

              River: ($0.28) A (2 players)
              SB bets $0.14, Hero calls $0.14




              Get the Flash Player to use the Hold'em Manager Replayer.


              Villain is 27/18 over 22 hands. Not a serious sample size but he does not appear to be completely insane.
              Pre-flop
              To me this looks like a standard raise. A5s is a hand with a lot of potential that should be ahead of villain calling range or can be a good 4 bet bluff hand if facing a 3 bet from a player that is not a total nit
              Flop
              If have an open ended straight draw plus an overcard. I cbet for value here and expect to be called by most of villain range on such a low board.
              Turn
              Here I check because except a few pockets pairs I do not know what better hands I am making villain fold here. But maybe it is too weak. I have trouble evaluating when to put a second barrel or not. I should study that for the week post.
              River
              I do not put villain on many aces. Plus, I showed weakness turn so for me it looks like a clear call. Thoughts?

              I feel like I messed up the hand but I do not know at which point exactly

                Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
                Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite. View Hand #37810686

                BTN: $2.03 (101.5 bb)
                SB: $1.88 (94 bb)
                Hero (BB): $2 (100 bb)
                UTG: $1.31 (65.5 bb)
                MP: $2.57 (128.5 bb)
                CO: $3.13 (156.5 bb)

                Preflop: Hero is BB with K Q
                3 folds, BTN raises to $0.05, SB folds, Hero raises to $0.16, BTN calls $0.11

                Flop: ($0.33) A J 9 (2 players)
                Hero checks, BTN checks

                Turn: ($0.33) T (2 players)
                Hero bets $0.18, BTN calls $0.18

                River: ($0.69) J (2 players)
                Hero bets $0.38, BTN folds




                Get the Flash Player to use the Hold'em Manager Replayer.


                Villain is 17/13 over 26 hands.

                Without read would you guys Cbet here? I usually Cbet most on the A high boards when I have the initiative but in that case I feel like this board is hitting villain’s range pretty strongly too. Thoughts?
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                Old 08-15-2017, 05:33 AM   #12
                JohnnyJam
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                I am in. Not for poker but for the rest.
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                Old 08-17-2017, 02:19 AM   #13
                Vai123
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                can you show some graphs of nl2 ?
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                Old 08-17-2017, 02:26 AM   #14
                wowsooooted
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                gl dude im in too!
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                Old 08-17-2017, 03:43 AM   #15
                Colin_Piddle
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                You seem like a smart guy and this is a great blog. Your certainly the underdog, based on your previous struggles but good luck.
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                Old 08-17-2017, 04:27 AM   #16
                IHaveThreePair
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                In for this - seem to be on a similar journey to me - just trying to improve all aspects with Poker as a driving force. GL!
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                Old 08-18-2017, 07:06 AM   #17
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by JohnnyJam View Post
                I am in. Not for poker but for the rest.
                Welcome on board! I understand that my journey in poker is not that interesting since I am starting at the lowest limit possible and do not play many hands per month but I sincerely hope that the rest of the content will keep your interested. Thanks for following my journey.

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Vai123 View Post
                can you show some graphs of nl2 ?
                Absolutely. As you may expect, I'm almost break even at 2NL so there is nothing impressive to see.



                Quote:
                Originally Posted by wowsooooted View Post
                gl dude im in too!
                Welcome on board fellow! Do not hesitate to jump in if you have any advice, request, recommandation!

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Colin_Piddle View Post
                You seem like a smart guy and this is a great blog. Your certainly the underdog, based on your previous struggles but good luck.
                Welcome on board! Thanks a lot for those comments. I absolutely am an underdog to crush poker in the coming months/years but I'd love to think that I am a favorite to get better and smarter even if I do it at a slow pace.

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by IHaveThreePair View Post
                In for this - seem to be on a similar journey to me - just trying to improve all aspects with Poker as a driving force. GL!
                Welcome on board dude! Glad to hear that you are also striving for a better version of yourself. However I wouldn't say that poker is my driving force but rather my curiosity and my willingness to learn as much as I can and get better in every area of life.
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                Old 08-18-2017, 08:33 AM   #18
                Vai123
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                https://gyazo.com/9ab49091756b63bc8004039470b13009

                This is my nl2 graph from lately, I havent had time to play nl2 but I have been doing it very well in the past even on the large sample. I can help you improve your game for sure, if u want to do some skype calls etc.
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                Old 08-21-2017, 03:39 AM   #19
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Vai123 View Post
                https://gyazo.com/9ab49091756b63bc8004039470b13009

                This is my nl2 graph from lately, I havent had time to play nl2 but I have been doing it very well in the past even on the large sample. I can help you improve your game for sure, if u want to do some skype calls etc.
                That surely is a nicer winrate than mine Good joob!

                That's very kind of you to try to help me improve. I would gladly chat with you from time to time about some hands. You can PM me your skype ID and I'll add you. Thanks a lot!
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                Old 08-22-2017, 06:17 AM   #20
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Guys I will put a blog post online a bit later this week. I hope that you will like my topic selection, it is pretty science and psychology heavy but I'm having a blast writing on the subject. After that I will take a 3 weeks hiatus from blogging because I'll be doing a road trip around the north east of the USA.

                As far as the blog format goes I decided to watch on poker video a week and instead of doing a complete write up on a subject I will just post cliffs notes on what I learned, going for a bullet point list style. This will hold me accountable to still watch at least one video and be as engaged as possible, noting interesting spots that I could apply to improve my game. As most of you guys are not here for the poker anyway it shouldn't impact your reader experience. And there is tons of blog posts/threads/books that have much better articles anyway.
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                Old 08-25-2017, 06:59 PM   #21
                ToTcH
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Blog post #4, 25.08.2017

                Don’t just read books, highlight the hell out of them

                I wanted to go on a little rant because, when looking at the few people that still do read books in the public space, I see none of them highlighting or taking notes.. This increases the risks of you forgetting key elements and nothing feels worse than having already read a book that people brought up but you are completely unable to remember what it says.

                You should not underestimate the power of highlighting and here is why;

                - It assures you to be more engaged and stay focus on the book. If you are constantly looking for nuggets or money quotes, you will constantly ask yourself “How important is this concept?”. Going for a quest of highlight worthy elements will also limit the occurrence of your mind drifting away, resulting in having to read the whole paragraph again. It will keep you on the look out for true “ha ha” moments.
                - The idea is to find the shortest sentence possible that says as much as possible, which is hard but becomes easier with practice. A key idea is often concise. Great authors find amazing ways to illustrate the idea but the concept is often very basic. In the beginning you will probably highlight too much, but with time you will grasp what is truly important, the idea that is used as foundation.
                - If the highlighting job is well done, a single phrase can remind you of a whole concept. It is well known that the brains work by association, if you read one highlighted sentence, it will dig into your memory and will often allow you to remember the context, the examples given, the significance, and much more. I personally often look at books that I already read, going through the highlighted parts only. It is extremely quick and allows me to grasp the essence of a book in a few minutes, reminding me of what key lessons I extracted the first time I did read it.

                There is also tremendous merit in taking notes. Most of the benefits of highlighting can be achieved by taking relevant notes. One additional thing it allows you to do is to write down your perception of what the author is trying to say in-between the lines, what is his hidden message. Those message are sometimes the most important, the ones that your reflection allows to spot and that are not spoon fed.

                While writing this blog post I remembered that I once saw someone using a wrist band in which he stuck his highlighters, so it was handier to use and he didn’t loose time. It’s a funny trick that I personally do not use but had to tip my hat off for the creativity.


                The Biology of Good and Evil, Waking up with Sam Harris Podcast, 09.08.2017

                This edition of the Waking Up with Sam Harris Podcast features Dr. Robert Saposlky, a renowned professor of neurology and neurobiological science and author of «*Behave, the biology of humans at our best and worst*». In this book, he tries to understand the factors that can affect a person’s reaction and the reasons a behavior occurs. This podcast is a fairly deep discussion about the book and Sapolsky’s main ideas.

                I consider extremely difficult to find accessible and easy to process information when talking about the brain. There is so many parts, so many names that it gets confusing extremely quick. This podcast not only does a good job of raising fundamental questions without loosing the listener into the nitty-gritty technical terms. This podcast is filled with topics that got me thinking intensely. Here I highlight some of the key concepts that got me completely enthralled, but I strongly advise you to listen to the entirety of the podcast.

                Sapolsky’s research started off by studying neurons biology into petri dishes in closed laboratories but then, as he wanted to know if his discoveries were relevant into the real world, organized more than 30 expeditions in east Africa to study savannah baboons. During those sessions, he gathered behavioral data as well as physical samples obtained after anesthetizing isolated baboons with dart projected by a blow gun, what a badass. This complementary approach allowed him to be one of the leader in neuroendocrinology and primatology research in the world.

                Professor Sapolsky raised interesting points on why he finds baboons to be a good model organism. First, their genome shares 96% of genes with ours. Then, on a behavioral perspective, those baboons live in an environment where they are rarely harassed by predators, which means that their socio system is closer to us than other primates that need to fight predators on a regular basis. In addition, baboons are pretty efficient at gathering the calories they need for their daily intake. They take an average of three hours for it, which leave them approximately nine waken hours for their social interactions. They often use that time to bother other baboons, generating social stress to each other, which is, by extension, an excellent model to study westernized humans.

                Understanding a behavior is extremely complex. Primarily because to do that one has to answer a myriad of questions such as; what occurred in the brain a second ago, how has neuroplasticity shaped those neurons, what are the effect of the genes, what is the culture an individual is living in, what were his ancestor doing, what are his baseline hormone levels, and many more. You realize that to have an answer that makes sense, one has to use a bunch of disciplines. Looking at a certain aspect independently makes little sense, every thing is fundamentally intertwined. What is scary is that some of those variables can be manipulated. We convince our self that we think the way we do because of whatever reasons, we rationalize our thinking process. But often it is driven by hidden factors that guide our cognition or belief formation. We often are persuaded that we are using reason to take decisions and act most of the time, but often what appears to be rational thinking is in fact our cognitive self “playing catch up, to try to rationalize why our emotional instinct make wonderful sense”.

                The main idea of this talk is that free will is an incoherent idea scientifically. Looking at the massive amount of parameters cited before that influence behavior, the brain development is for the most part out of our control. Ultimately, everything can be explained and nobody really decides what he wants to do.


                “I do not believe in free will. Free will is the biology that we haven’t discovered yet”

                “Every person is a puppet that didn’t choose his own strings and the strings date back to the big bang”

                They then proceed to talk about the example of criminals and to what extend they should be held responsible for their act. For Sapolsky, a criminal act is a biological phenomenon. It is not different that a mechanical system malfunctioning due to a broken piece. Using this metaphor, you do not consider this mechanical object to have an evil soul and throw everything away, you repair it. Taking a human subject as example, they talk about Charles Joseph Whitman, a mass murderer that shot 14 persons at the university of Texas after killing his wife and his mother. When the police searched his home, they found a letter asking to be autopsied because he realized that his behavior was completely irrational. The autopsy revealed that he had a tumor pressing against his amygdala. For Sapolsky, this man is a victim of biology, not one of the evilest man ever.

                Of course there is a widespread perception that justice would not be served correctly if we consider human evil to be a medical condition that needs to be treated and that we should not condemn and help someone responsible for his acts. Add to that the fact that on a neurobiological level, vengeance and revenge are pleasurable. They both activate the dopamine system, and make us feel good. But for Sapolsky, this needs to evolve. He points out that historically the form of revenge is in constant evolution. From beating someone to death yourself, the government then did it, and then they hanged people, and then they did more humane things. A cultural shift is ongoing into that direction.

                I also learned a great deal about relation between certain part of the brain and the behavior. Here I relay as few nuggets that amazed me;

                - “The brain that we know was built as a constraint of evolution. We were not built so as to acquire new cognitive abilities de novo. The only material to use for modern human cognition are they ancient structure that have to be modeled for new purposes. Everything we do is built on the back of the apish structures. As example; the insula that receives the input from the viscera. You find rotting food disgusting, which is a tale told by the insula and the only way to build a mind that has the capacity to find abstract ideas repugnant is to be repurposing or extending the purpose of these brain is that were doing nothing of a kind in the past.”
                - Sapolsky claims that parts of the brain that are feeling the temperature are also active when you try to determine if someone has a cold or warm personality. The pain detection section also activates when you feel empathic about someone else pain, highlighting the place of altruism in the evolution.
                - Frontal cortex: It’s the part that makes you do the hard thing when the hard thing is the right thing to do. Impulse control, emotional regulation, long term planning. If it could speak it would be the part that would tell you “this seems like a good idea right now but trust me, you are going to regret it”. It is king of a moral barometer. It is the last of the brain to be fully wired up, being fully online from approximately 25 years old. This rang a bell to me, understanding adolescent behavior a bit better.



                Convince them in 90 seconds, Make instant connections that pay off in business and in life, Nicholas Boothman, workman, 2010

                The ability to communicate and connect with people is absolutely key in todays society. Weather it is during a networking event for your job or in bars trying to meet new people, the way you establish the first contact with someone is critical and can impact your ensuing relationship with that person. In this book, Nicholas Boothman is giving key tools to create a positive first impression, inspiring trust, enthusiasm and open mindedness. The book also gives concrete and essential advice on how to proceed to keep a healthy business relationship going. The author is basing his recommendation on neuro-linguistic programming, which is a soft science studying how behaviors can be influenced by body language, attitude and voice.

                That was my first book on the subject and to me it appeared to be a good gateway book into that field. It is very accessible and you can relate everything that the author is describing to your own life. Concrete examples are used and you instantly realize how you can benefit from it. In the following days after reading that book I implemented as much advice as I could and felt clearly more confident when talking to someone. To make those implementations easier, the author ends each section with small exercises that you can do to practice. For example, one section is talking about the importance of eye contact and how it instantly signals to your interlocutor that you are showing some interest for what he is saying. One exercise to make sure that you are making eye contact with everybody, even when simply saying “Hi” to a co-worker that passes by in a corridor, is to mentally take a note of the eye color of each person you are talking to in a day. This is only one of the many exercises but I really found them easy to implement and beneficial.

                Some of the advice given in the book will appear very basic but it’s written in a way that you perceive it as a fresh reminder and the author put the emphasis on why so and so is important. Here are a few of the many nuggets present in the text;
                - Smile! As smile goes a long way, it carries a message, you tell your interlocutor “I am happy an accessible”. Even through the phone you can communicate a smile, everyone speaks slightly differently, with a different voice tone, when smiling.
                - Ask open questions! Nicholas Boothman explains that a person answering a closed question uses his brain and logic, whereas an open question get you answers from his heart.
                - Watch your hand language! Be sure to talk with open hands when you can, this process shows your interlocutor that you have nothing to hide from him. The author doesn’t highlight that in the book but this is a prime example of neuro-linguistic programming. Evolution has selected for this trait, historically when fights for lands or resources were much more prevalent, it was a selective advantage to be suspicious towards people that appeared to be hiding things from you.
                - Great leaders have: enthusiasm, curiosity (show sincere interest) and humility. If you can look and talk in a way that puts those characteristics forward, you are starting a discussion or relation on the right foot.

                In summary, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone wanting to connect better with people and be perceived as a positive individual. This book can make an instant impact and will increase your network of people. This book can help you in your private as well as you working life. The value that you will extract from this text depend on your willingness to implement the advices that are described but you will surely add a few tools to your tool box.


                Relationships between mindfulness practice and level of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, Carmody & Baer, Journal of Behavioural Medicine, 2008

                What they did

                At the time of this publication, 2008, there were already published studies about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, but few were at complete as this one. Carmody & Baer conducted this study with 174 adults following a clinical Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of mindfulness meditation exercises on psychological well-being, perceived stress and medical symptoms.
                Developed by Jon Kabat-Zin, this program is the combination of 8 sessions (1 per week) as well as home sessions and focuses on sitting meditation, body scan (described in their term as focusing “attention sequentially on parts of the body, non-judgmentally noticing whatever sensations may be present in each area”), mindful yoga and the application of the mindful training in each participant everyday life (full awareness of each movements while walking, or each sensation in your mouth while you are eating for example). This program is tailored for individuals suffering from stress-related problems, illness, anxiety or chronic pain.
                Researchers have numerous questionnaires at their disposal to try to quantify and study mindfulness. There always have been strong disagreements on the most accurate way to measure such a state that is, still to this day, relatively poorly described and lacking concrete manifestations. In this study, they used a combination of several of them. Those questionnaires were filled pre- and post- MBSR and compared. The level of mindfulness was assed using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). This test assesses elements of mindfulness including observation of internal and external stimuli, ability to describe and notice those stimuli or being present in the moment (limiting the autopilot). The medical symptoms that participants have experienced in the month previous to the beginning of the program were monitored using a symptom checklist, containing more than 100 common medical symptoms. The stress level and psychological well-being were assessed using already published stress and psychological well-being scales, including items such as self-acceptance, purpose in life, positive relations with others. In total hundreds of items had to be completed by each participant, allowing this study to be one of the most well-rounded study on the subject at the time.


                What they found

                The results showed a clear increase in mindfulness and well-being that led to improvements of psychological functioning. The combination of in class and at home body scanning, mindful yoga and sitting meditation showed stress and medical symptoms reduction.


                What I make of those results

                A lot of the results are correlation tests between the different variables. But one of the first rule that you learn in statistics is that correlation doesn’t imply causation. They have to agree themselves several times in the paper that some cofounding factors that weren’t measured probably also had effects.

                I can imagine that in this kind of study, finding a way to set up a relevant control group is not easy. Indeed, in drug clinical trials half of the participants are given a placebo that is known to have no particular effect on somebody health or metabolism. This allows researchers to compare data of the two groups, the placebo and the people that received the drug, and see if the drug group is significantly better. In that study, there is only one group and variable. Everybody followed the same program. Now this lead to the question; Do those positive results come from the efficiency of the program or is thinking that we are acting to cure our psychological symptoms enough to observe a positive effect? Does a person honestly feel better or do they, unconsciously, boost they score because they think that what they did can only help them? One can argue that it doesn’t matter, as long as the person feels better it will be beneficial. But to me, a scientist needs to go further than that. If this program shows better results than another method, or than a mock program, what makes it so? What biological changes does happen to the organism of someone undergoing this program? To me these are nice preliminary results but we need to dig a deeper. Could brain scans highlight key changes, do we have more scientific and precise way of measuring stress, via hormone levels for example, instead of relying on a perceived scale? However, it is important to keep in mind that this study is almost 10 years old and it is fully possible that such studies now exist. I will look a bit more into it and present a study that represents the state of the art today.


                Double barreling, by PokerBrainiacs
                (Link)

                This week I looked at a video about double barreling. I almost exclusively do it for value but I realize that I should also do it as semi-bluffs when the situation is ideal. To determine weather or not firing a second barrel on the turn is a good idea, one has to take our position as well as villain’s range and tendencies into account.

                PokerBrainiacs analyzed a couple of hands, highlighting when to double barrel for value and when placing a second barrel is clearly a mistake. I took a few notes on concepts that I fail to recognize while I am playing;
                - When the turn card completes a possible straight draw. How likely is it that he called with that hand on the flop?
                For example, on a Q78 flop, and a 5 turn, without possibilities of flushes: 46 and 69 hit but is it really in villain range? If he does have them, what % of his range is it? I must quit this habit of adding hands into a range*and get scared of placing a second bet when I am clearly ahead of the majority of his range.
                - Some villain like to float flop with a wide range and try to take the pot town on the turn. Against them, when OOP, ask ourselves if a check-call line is not more +EV

                Barreling for protection: some hands are harder to play when checked on the turn than when barreled. On the other hand, if we know villain doesn’t bluff, betting for protection is not useful because we can rather decide with what to check-call or check-fold with as we know how our range fair vs villain. Knowing when to barrel for protection can be optimized as one understands the combination of pot-equity and fold-equity more precisely.

                At my level double floats are extremely rare so I do not 3 barrel as a bluff. There could be some merit in betting my missed draws but I think that, in a vacuum, villains are calling too often and I will simply throw money out the window.

                When double barreling, it is paramount to anticipate what villain could possibly do to retaliate and have a plan for every possibility. What do we do against a turn raise? If villain flats, what is our plan river? Lacking a solid plan for future actions will lead to tilt if everything does not go as we wanted.


                Poker hand

                - Different format. This time I am using another hand of the forum that interested me (Link)

                Winning Poker Network (Yatahay) - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
                Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

                CO: 126 BB (VPIP: 28.75, PFR: 20.77, 3Bet Preflop: 5.32, Hands: 752)
                BTN: 100 BB (VPIP: 23.37, PFR: 15.98, 3Bet Preflop: 0.70, Hands: 354)
                Hero (SB): 141.5 BB
                BB: 100 BB (VPIP: 22.99, PFR: 18.04, 3Bet Preflop: 5.51, Hands: 1,240)
                UTG: 206 BB (VPIP: 29.29, PFR: 23.91, 3Bet Preflop: 6.39, Hands: 614)
                MP: 129 BB (VPIP: 24.36, PFR: 14.49, 3Bet Preflop: 2.38, Hands: 718)

                Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

                Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q Q

                UTG raises to 3 BB, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 12 BB, fold, UTG calls 9 BB

                Flop: (25 BB, 2 players) 7 T 6
                Hero bets 13 BB, UTG calls 13 BB

                Turn: (51 BB, 2 players) K
                Hero checks, UTG bets 34 BB, Hero calls 34 BB

                River: (119 BB, 2 players) 8
                Hero checks, UTG bets 147 BB and is all-in

                - Nice discussion. What would you guys do?
                - At first I considered flop a slam dunk Cbet but the arguments of the posters got me thinking.
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                Old 08-31-2017, 08:26 AM   #22
                edouard.milosev
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Nice choice of subject! I enjoyed the read.


                Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
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                Old 10-22-2017, 01:49 PM   #23
                ToTcH
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Blog post 5, 22.10.2017

                From Dale Carnegie:
                The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back

                Metabolism of ketone bodies during exercise and training: physiological basis for exogenous supplementation
                Mark Evans, Karl E. Cogan, Brendan Egan, The Journal of Physiology

                In an era where carbohydrates are devilized, people are constantly looking for alternative diets. The ketogenic diets are very en vogue, which can be grossly summarized as a low proportion of carbohydrates compared to fat (often called low carb high fat). This basically puts your body in a state that forces him to produce ketone bodies (KBs) and extract fuel from them. Those KBs are worth understanding what they are and what they do.

                The ketone bodies are a family of water-soluble molecules that is composed of acetoacetate, acetone and β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB). KBs are produced from free-fatty acids (FFAs), liberated from adipose tissues during conditions of reduced carbohydrate availability. After a sequential reaction these KBs are transformed in acetyl coenzyme A. These molecules are then incorporated into the Kreb Cycle to produce the energy source of the body fueling muscular work, ATP, via oxidation. This alternative pathway can fuel peripheral tissues such as the brain, heart and muscles.

                Striving to constantly improve sport performances and training efficiency every variable of an athlete program is important. Nutrition is one of those key components. During years researchers have conducted assays testing the impact of food intake variations before, during and after sport activities. During years focus was put on timing and amount of carbohydrates intake but this review features studies a relatively new approach consisting of using exogenous (coming from the outside, taken by the person) ketones as a supplement. The effect that it can have has been poorly studied for the moment. In that review the authors but the emphasis on the relationship between exogenous ketones and the effect that it has on athletic performance and recovery. Oral administration of industrially produced KBs does not lead to ketosis and costs a lot. As an alternative, salts (sodium/potassium/calcium) were used to stabilize the free acid form of KBs. These ketone salts are commercially available but be carefull if you are tempted by such products, studies up to that point have shown them to be relatively ineffective. On top of that, ingestion of such salts can lead to gastrointestinal distress or even acidosis if quantities are large enough.
                The source of exogenous ketones used in laboratory studies are ketone esters (chemical compound derived from an acid in which at least one OH group by a carbon containing group). When used in an ester form, an elevation of βHB concentration was achieved and the ester intake was well tolerated in humans. Using such supplement, nutritional ketosis is achieved during a short period (0.5 to 6h) without having to eat a ketogenic diet or suffer through long fasting periods. This ketogenic state changes the metabolic balance and leads to carbohydrates sparing. To this day we don’t know how efficient the body is to metabolize KBs without having been exposed to elevated FFAs to high KB concentration in the period before the supplement intake so we don’t know to what extent an individual can take advantage of such state.

                The review summarize a few studies that highlighted the possible upsides of exogenous ketone supplementation for sport performance.
                The main discoveries were that KBs can have a significant impact of metabolic process during exercise even if they have a limited impact on energy provision (estimated at around 2%). This can be explained by the fact that KBs can act as signaling metabolites impacting the availability of enzymes regulating the adaptive response to exercise in skeletal muscle. Energy provision after ingestion of exogenous KBs tend to lead to attenuated glucose utilisation in peripheral tissues, attenuation of proteolysis in skeletal muscle and anti-lipolytic effects on adipose tissue. It also appears that the energy required to extract energy is lower by oxidising KBs than carbohydrates. These studies hint that exogenous KBs supplementation could lead to improvement of athletes performance by affecting the metabolism on key performance parameters such as skeletal muscle metabolism.

                In addition to those possible benefits awarded by being in a ketolytic state during exercise, exogenous KBs could also have a use for post-training recovery. It is possible that a mix of carbohydrates and KBs taken together can enhance recovery of muscle glycogen. This hypothesis needs to be tested but it is an interesting approach as without KBs supplementation the intake of carbohydrates would directly drive ketogenesis down.

                However, keep in mind that this review focus on KBs supplementation only, it is not to be confused with results that would be obtained after a fasting-induced ketonaemia. Making direct comparison would be misleading.

                Future research will be key to determine not only the extent to which it can confer a benefit to the athlete but also in which context it would be optimal. Timing of intake, quantities, type of sports that would be suited and much more remains to be established.

                The Tim Ferris Show, #241: The Relationship Episode: Sex, Love, Polyamory, Marriage and More (with Esther Perel)

                In this episode of The Tim Ferris Show, where habits, routines, mindset and much more of world class performers are deconstructed in a masterful way, Esther Perel, a psychotherapist, discusses her perception of relationships and what she observed while doing her job.

                Here I share the notes that I took while listening to this episode, sharing her outlooks on certain elements that caught my interest;

                While presenting herself, who she is and what life experiences let to her doing such job, she explained that as a jewish girl she was around many holocaust survivors while growing up. In that population she distinguished two groups; “those who did not die and those who came back to life”. Although it is not in direct relation with the main subject of the podcast I found this view extremely interesting. I am convinced that we can extrapolate this observation to the rest of humanity. An astonishing proportion of people are doing all they can not to die, few are really constructing a day-to-day that they deeply enjoy experiencing. And that without any regard to money.

                After being asked what comes first between trust and vulnerability, she answered that trust can have different definitions. Some say “trust is an active engagement with the unknown”. Other say “it’s the experience with vulnerability that allows you to trust”. Depends on the person, both definitions can be relevant.

                One should not fear the impermanence but use it as a fuel to enjoy something, use it as a source of leverage.

                For Esther Perel, erotism is an antidote to death. For her sex is not just an act but a place you go, a place where you connect with vibrancy, life force, vitality, mystery. It has a transcendent quality to it.

                I like how they discuss the notion of monogamy and how it is evolving over time. In the past monogamy was one person for life, now it’s one person at the time. She points out that monogamy had nothing to do with love but it was an economic system. We imposed for women to be monogamous to be able to trace paternity and lineage clearly. I do not know how established and backed up by facts this point is but I found it intriguing nonetheless.

                Every couple has its own organization. But in every couple you’ll find someone more afraid of losing the other while the other is more afraid of losing themselves. One person more in touch with the fear of abandonment and the other more in touch with the fear of suffocation. The one who expresses it is not always the one for whom it’s most intense.

                Ester concluding remarks highlight that the expectation of coupledom has never been higher, but what people invest in it has never measured up. We often do not bring the best of ourselves to our partner. Although people do it for their boss or for their children for example, but they tend to become permissive when it comes to their spouse.

                Once a runner by John L. Parker Jr., 1978

                As I began to run regularly I did what I always do when I have new interests, I looked for books on the subject. Technical, biographical, fictional books, I like to immerse myself in the discipline by reading the whole spectrum. When it comes to fictional running books, “Once a runner” was mentioned everywhere I looked, literally presented like the runner’s bible.

                This novel is about a young collegiate competitive miler, Quenton Cassidy. Obsessed with the idea of running a sub four-minute mile, he gets mentored by an olympic gold medalist and leaves his college and his girlfriend to pursue his goal.The book follows him around and describes his physical struggles as well as the mental tall that his journey puts him through.

                It is pretty clear when reading the book that it was written by a passionate author for passionate people. The fact that it was initially a self-published book sold mainly at races put even more weight to that claim. It is arguably the most pure way to write any material, by putting what you feel like on paper, only having to appeal to a specific set of people and not changing your style or approach to please publishers and the public.

                The book itself is written in a documentary like fashion. It’s an illustration of what dedication to your craft should be and the social consequences that it can have. The author’s way of presenting the hero journey is very down to earth, not too idealistic, making every reader able to relate in a certain way. The characters are extremely nicely presented and treated, to the point that it becomes pretty hard to think that they never really existed.

                All things considered I enjoyed the book and I recommend every runner, even the more casual ones, to give it a shot. I can testify that while reading this book, I felt the urge to put my running shoes on and go for a long run. For those that are not into running, I wouldn’t read that book, the focus is really on the running world and lifestyle, the side stories relatively limited and not worth a read for their own sake. There are many much more immersive and captivating novels out there.



                Do I have to try to make every blog post interesting for everybody?

                To attract attention and keep it you either have to be entertaining or help people. Trying to do everything at once and wanting to please everyone is a lost cause.

                I’m sure you hear this advice over and over again but first and foremost you should about something you love. Writing about the mainstream themes (health and fitness for example) if you are not passionate will result in underwhelming articles, and you will have to compete for the attention of people with already well established and with large followings. To get your stuff out there you either have to present the information in a masterful fashion by writing absolute masterpieces, you have to introduce an original element to your material, something that will trigger word of mouth and that will distant you from your “competitor”. The other possibility could be the easiest to implement and can trigger a surprisingly high amount of intrigue. This is writing about a niche subject. What really got me thinking about that was when I heard a podcast in which a middle aged woman was explaining how by starting a blog on how to grow cactuses she ended up publishing online course on techniques as well as several illustrated e-books, becoming her only source of income.

                I think it’s also pretty hard to be certain of what you want from your blog from the get go. Do you wish to write in such a way that makes you accountable, that optimizes your progression (using lists, bullet point goals, or quick format like that, similar to powerlifting logs in which people simply punch in their numbers + 1 or 2 sentences and that’s it)? Or is your blog also a way to communicate to people, to inspire them, inform them, provide them with good reading material?

                From now on I will focus on writing blog posts that I like and that I would want to read myself. The format and content will probably evolve until I find something that feels right. By doing that I’m hoping people will feel my approach to blogging is genuine and perhaps some will identify with my interests and the subjects that I like to know more about and share.
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                Old 10-24-2017, 09:30 AM   #24
                ToTcH
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Instead of some lengthy write ups on some subject I will from now on post my weekly goals to keep me honest.

                [] Watch two poker videos
                [] Get involved in two poker hand analysis on forums

                [] One yoga session
                [] Five meditation session
                [] Four gym sessions
                [] Four conditioning sessions
                [] Stretch at least 3 times

                [] Limit amount of sugary food
                [] No sugary drinks


                [] List 5 ideas of start up
                [] Five speedy german learning sessions
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                Old 11-21-2017, 06:56 AM   #25
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                Re: Achieving a better version of yourself

                Liar’s poker by Michael Lewis, Hodder Paperbacks, 2006


                Michael Lewis is a best selling author mostly known for Moneyball (the story of the emergence of statistic driven baseball by the Oakland A’s in the early 2000’s) and The Blind Side (the story of Michael Oher, a black football player adopted by a white Christian family that went from the streets to the NFL). It turns out that before his career as an author he was working in finances. After studying at Princeton and the London School of Economics, Michael Lewis landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During his tenure in the firm, from 1980 to 1988, he went from trainee to bond salesman. This book is the story of him witnessing the modern day gold rush of Wall Street firms raking millions of dollars and the excesses that employees were up to day in and day out. Liar’s poker is a behind the scene look at the wall street extravaganza that culminated back in the day, ranging from the constant banter dictating trader’s interactions with each other to the shark mentality that was required to make money in any way possible. All that while keeping an hilarious touch, explaining for example how bond salesman capable of making significant sums of money became the “most revered of all species: a big swinging dick”. Every echelon of the Salomon Brothers hierarchy is portrayed. From the trainees and what they have to endure to its infamous CEO, John Gutfreund. Much emphasis is put on the degree to which Solomon Brothers can be compared to a jungle. To get the best job you had to weather the most abuse, survive and act in order elevate yourself in the eyes of people higher in the food chain. Traders “were known for hurling phones at the heads of trainees, and were said to have installed extra-long cords to increase their range”. As the author puts it “the better they became at the job the nearer they appeared to death”.

                Besides that, what was striking is that to progress into those ranks one didn’t need to have a great understanding of the markets and all the nuances of finance, but rather a practical understanding of people one was dealing with and how to take advantage of them at every single opportunity. Lewis says “the men of the trading floor may not have been to school but they have PhDs in man’s ignorance. In any market, as in any poker game, there is a fool. If the market felt fidgety, if people were scared or desperate, he herded them like sheep and made them pay for their uncertainty. The point is that it didn’t matter one bit whether he was good or evil as long as he continued to swing that big bat of his”.

                Michael Lewis is a great story teller, efficiently balancing technical explanations required to understand how intricate Wall Street schemes can be with hilarious stories. His way of describing scenes with colourful language makes you feel like you lived those stories along side him. As he was personally involved, significant part of the book is biographical. How much it has been romanced and to what point those stories are reliable is up to debate, but reading this book is a great time guaranteed. Everybody can take away lessons from this book, whether it is on human nature or the legitimacy of our economic system.
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