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Old 02-28-2005, 03:19 PM   #1
Gigabet
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Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

This post is in response to Irieguys Post "The Difference Between Success and Failure." Here is the link https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=1822484&page= 1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&fpart =1

When I read Irieguys post I wasn't planning on responding, I rarely respond to posts, because most of the time I am the dissenter, and frankly, it isn't good for my long term financial situation. As I started reading the responses I soon felt obligated to respond. He is so close, but travelling in the wrong direction.


The wording he uses in the text lets me know where he is at on the "path," so to speak(the very beginning). Let me start with the words success and failure. These are words that mean such different things to each individual that to use them to label your accomplishments, or lackthereof, is setting yourself up for a long ardurous journey, that most won't finish. Success and failure are just ideas created by society to improperly judge others against ourselves. There are no successful people, or rather, using these words, I should say that there are no failures and everyone is a success.

Quote:
Everybody will eventually run worse than they thought was possible. The difference between a winner and a loser is that the latter thinks they do not deserve it.

This statement is truer than anyone can know(even though I think most of you do know, it just seems impossible for me to believe that someone else can understand). What he says about winners and losers though, will keep you from attaining a more complete game. There are no winners or losers, to think that, is to let yourself be affected by negative variance. If you are not in the positive for the day, then you therefore must be a loser, and so the downward spiral begins. All of those negative ideas must be eliminated from your mind, or you will not perform to your potential. The trick is recognizing these negative ideas, since there are so many and so commonplace in our society, it is a large task indeed to sort them out as real, or just ideas created by the masses. Our labels for winners and losers simply identify individuals who play the same game a different way. Just because one person doesn't achieve the same goal that I strive for, doesn't make that person a "loser." Everyone is the same, and everyone has the same potential, some just direct their energies in different directions. The sooner you can get that into your head and really believe it, the sooner you will start to have a real understanding of the game.

Quote:
I am beginning to realize that most people don't have the psychological fortitude or spiritual perspective to manage the vicissitudes of this game. I also believe that of the very small number of professional poker players who have been successful for more than a few years, most of them are actually quite lucky. I believe that there are many pros who will fail once they begin to experience average luck.

I really believe that everyone has the "psychological fortitude" to manage the vicissitudes of the game. It is simply a choice. A choice to change the way you think about results. Stop thinking in terms of winning as good and losing as bad. The two concepts should be grouped in your mind exactly the same. When God "blessed" man with shame, failure became a real entity we had to deal with. That is what we are trying to achieve when we label a person as a failure, we are attaching shame to A meaningless act. Throughout my life I have been around alot of people that most would classify as "failures" and not one of them seemed any different than myself.

The problem comes to life when a person starts their downswing, which we classify as "losing," they begin to suspect that they may "fail" and rather than become susceptible to the shame that comes with "failure" they decide to quit. They stop because they fear things that aren't even real. The people who come to realize these negative labels aren't real, either concretely or intuitively, are the same people that do not give up, no matter how bad things seem to be running. Eventually they become the "professionals" in whatever walk of life they choose.

You have to find your own way to deal with these thoughts that have been brainwashed into your mind for your whole life. Identifying every negative thought as it creeps into your mind is a start, it takes practice to monitor your thoughts, but you cannot eliminate what you do not recognize.

I try very hard not to allow any negativity in my life, ask my brother(ship_it_tome) how upset I get when he is at my house, playing, struggling, for hours on end, and finally says "I can't win." We get along very well, but I get very irate with him when he utters those deadly words, as I am sure you all have muttered them at one time or another.

Quote:
I think you can learn how to avoid this trap of psychological betrayal. I think I'm beginning to learn it myself. It involves turning your noise filter all the way up.
Turning your noise filter up will work for a time, but eventually it builds and seeps through at one time or another, and everything that has been blocked comes pouring out at once, which creates the very worst tilt imaginable. Believe me, I have been there many times. I have come to realize that it is much better to acknowledge the negative or angry thoughts as they arrive, that doesn't mean just noticing their presence, when they approach, actually talk to your mind and announce their arrival, and then identify the reasons behind them. As your mind comes to realize how trivial and meaningless these thoughts are, it will eventually stop creating them in the first place. It takes alot of time and effort to do this, but the long term results will be well worth it.



OK....SO HOW DOES ALL THIS REALLY RELATE TO POKER?


The game that most of us play is really very simple. You get 2 cards, 5 cards come up, and you do a little betting here and there. Best 5 card hand wins.

With a game this simple, why do so many people have so much trouble ending up ahead of where they started?

The real game is about people, not the cards in your hand. If you know a person well enough, you can read their hand, and once you know what they have in their hand, the game becomes a cakewalk. The problem is, we have all of these predisposed ideas of who a person is based on ideas that have been placed in our heads by our society. You have to be able to eliminate all of these ideas. Once you train yourself to be completely judgement free, you will become a more complete player. Anyone can read a persons hand based on his actions and seeing common tendencies, ie., a beginning player will commonly bet small when on a draw, and bet big when he has a made hand. What about more experienced players? What does it mean when they bet 2/3s of the pot one time, and than bet pot the next? They are certainly experienced enough to know not to bet the same pattern for the same types of hands. So how can you figure out what they have? Well, get to know him, watch him play. Try and figure out what he is thinking, he has to be thinking something. Put yourself in his spot, what kind of hand would you have if you were betting like that?

Now do this for every hand for every player that is in the hand, for every player at the table, for every table that you are playing at. Try and eight table while doing this exercise. Put effort into every single hand that is played out at your table, not just the ones you are involved in, every single hand. Every time there is a showdown, and the losing hand is mucked, open up the hand history file, and see what he had. Go through the hand again and see if you can figure out why he willingly showed down a losing hand(something that should rarely be done.)

I call this an exercise, but this should be done on every single hand that is played out at any of your tables for the rest of your poker career. This is how you become a real player, then you can ignore the "sng" formula and really start to play. Post flop is where the real game is at, and it is fun to play. Use your bets to pull information from your opponent, and then when you know what he has, trust your judgement 100%. If you think he is on second pair, but will not fold unless you bet your whole stack, then bet your whole stack(unless of course you have a better hand than second pair, which is unlikely since players like us can rarely beat bottom pair), even if it means your tournament is over if you are wrong. Practice trusting yourself, you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself, but don't let that stop you.

There is a strong possibility that I am the most active player in the world, and I can honestly say that this is something that I do on nearly every hand. Imagine, 6000 hands a day on average, just watching and learning, with no predisposed judgements of the other players. This is what it takes. Bad beats are no longer bad beats, they are just the cards coming out randomly, evening themselves out over time. What is really important is learning the thousands of languages that different people speak through their actions at the table. Believe me, it isn't some spiritual science, it is listening and learning without prejudice.

Gigabet
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:39 PM   #2
iMsoLucky0
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Wow. Definitely +EV there.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:49 PM   #3
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Post of the year. Thank you!
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

That's the most enlightening and helpful thing I have ever read about poker.

Thank you, Gigabet.

Irieguy
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:02 PM   #5
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Great great post. In many ways.

And that line really made me laugh so much:

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players like us can rarely beat bottom pair


Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:20 PM   #6
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Thanks.
You are a wise person.

S.J.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

awesome, amazing, i was going to take the night off from playing but now i can't wait to get home and get some hands in.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:44 PM   #8
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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awesome, amazing, i was going to take the night off from playing but now i can't wait to get home and get some hands in.
Funny how different players will react to this thread differently. I was looking forward to playing tonight, but now having read this, all I want to do is re-read it 100 times and meditate for about a week.

--zen
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:50 PM   #9
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Quote:
The real game is about people, not the cards in your hand. If you know a person well enough, you can read their hand, and once you know what they have in their hand, the game becomes a cakewalk. The problem is, we have all of these predisposed ideas of who a person is based on ideas that have been placed in our heads by our society. You have to be able to eliminate all of these ideas. Once you train yourself to be completely judgement free, you will become a more complete player. Anyone can read a persons hand based on his actions and seeing common tendencies, ie., a beginning player will commonly bet small when on a draw, and bet big when he has a made hand. What about more experienced players? What does it mean when they bet 2/3s of the pot one time, and than bet pot the next? They are certainly experienced enough to know not to bet the same pattern for the same types of hands. So how can you figure out what they have? Well, get to know him, watch him play. Try and figure out what he is thinking, he has to be thinking something. Put yourself in his spot, what kind of hand would you have if you were betting like that?

Now do this for every hand for every player that is in the hand, for every player at the table, for every table that you are playing at. Try and eight table while doing this exercise. Put effort into every single hand that is played out at your table, not just the ones you are involved in, every single hand. Every time there is a showdown, and the losing hand is mucked, open up the hand history file, and see what he had. Go through the hand again and see if you can figure out why he willingly showed down a losing hand(something that should rarely be done.)

I call this an exercise, but this should be done on every single hand that is played out at any of your tables for the rest of your poker career. This is how you become a real player, then you can ignore the "sng" formula and really start to play. Post flop is where the real game is at, and it is fun to play. Use your bets to pull information from your opponent, and then when you know what he has, trust your judgement 100%. If you think he is on second pair, but will not fold unless you bet your whole stack, then bet your whole stack(unless of course you have a better hand than second pair, which is unlikely since players like us can rarely beat bottom pair), even if it means your tournament is over if you are wrong. Practice trusting yourself, you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself, but don't let that stop you.

There is a strong possibility that I am the most active player in the world, and I can honestly say that this is something that I do on nearly every hand. Imagine, 6000 hands a day on average, just watching and learning, with no predisposed judgements of the other players. This is what it takes. Bad beats are no longer bad beats, they are just the cards coming out randomly, evening themselves out over time. What is really important is learning the thousands of languages that different people speak through their actions at the table. Believe me, it isn't some spiritual science, it is listening and learning without prejudice.


this is by far the best advice i have read on this forum...it is what seperates the top pros from those who are average by playing "technically sound". it is why i consider myself a great player as even before i started playing poker i was always very good at understanding people. gigabet, consider yourself very lucky that you can do this at eight tables without a face and physical behavior to aid you, as i can not, and it is my belief that this is why i have won over 10k in the last 3 months playing live yet at the same time am barely even.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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this is by far the best advice i have read on this forum...it is what seperates the top pros from those who are average by playing "technically sound". it is why i consider myself a great player as even before i started playing poker i was always very good at understanding people. gigabet, consider yourself very lucky that you can do this at eight tables without a face and physical behavior to aid you, as i can not, and it is my belief that this is why i have won over 10k in the last 3 months playing live yet at the same time am barely even.
I would say that this is the same advice that 90% of the posts on this forum are about - put an opponent on a range of hands based on their actions, act accordingly, and pay attention so you can make your reads. Play hard. Yes, it's a nicely written post, but if this is all that revelatory, have you really been paying much attention?
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Quote:
and it is my belief that this is why i have won over 10k in the last 3 months playing live yet at the same time am barely even.



Are you bluff calling the flop? Online you cannot bluff call without a very deep stack, something I do all the time live. Exception is if you are big stack and the other stacks are about the size where they have to start worrying about the size of the blinds.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:09 PM   #12
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Thank you.

Yugoslav
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:20 PM   #13
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Quote:

I would say that this is the same advice that 90% of the posts on this forum are about - put an opponent on a range of hands based on their actions, act accordingly, and pay attention so you can make your reads. Play hard. Yes, it's a nicely written post, but if this is all that revelatory, have you really been paying much attention?
Any time you read a "what should i do with XX hand on XXX flop ..." you should re-read this post. We talk a lot about math, a lot about what to do with specific hands, which on one level is a good approach for learning the basics of the game, but on the other hand doesn't open up your thinking to how to really play and reach your version of success in poker.

I am a perfect example of this, I ask a lot of what to do, but I struggle to take the time to sit back and think about why is a person making a particular play. I get the numbers, I lack the understanding.

For every person on these boards searching for the formula, the answer is there is no formula, there is no wrong or right, there are only choices. The better you get at knowing why people are making choices, and then crafting your responses in return to those choices, the better poker player you will become. It's like the matrix, you can't bend the spoon, for that is impossible. First you have to realize that there is no spoon.

So this post comes from someone watching everything going on on this site, and is a already in my favorite threads. Thanks Gigabet, it is very TOP-esque.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

I really believe that everyone has the "psychological fortitude" to manage the vicissitudes of the game. It is simply a choice. A choice to change the way you think about results. Stop thinking in terms of winning as good and losing as bad. The two concepts should be grouped in your mind exactly the same.

what's revelatory is the dissonance between this post and numerous posts such as the one irie made. for me, this post struck a deeper chord in terms of the open-ended fate that will be each of our poker careers, coupled with the myriad options (and yet the best option is often so simple) we have while sitting at the table.

consider this: giga wrote that just because one person doesn't achieve the same thing he does, that that doesn't make one a winner and one a loser. this is very different rhetoric than the sklansky maxim "remember, above all else, we are playing poker to win money."


Practice trusting yourself, you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself, but don't let that stop you.


what this post did, actually, is relax me into trusting my game me than i did an hour ago. i had a slight losing weekend - ending a two month rush - and i felt like i wanted to walk away from the tables for awhile, partly to protect my winnings, partly because i felt myself not playing as well as i can. playing too recklessly, too loose, too bluffy, too apt to tilt after a bad beat/result.

i also just had a week where i blew off some online profits playing drunk at two relatively tough club games. this post made me feel, concretely, "okay, you really need to be sober when you play there tomorrow."

this post relaxed me in a way that similar psychological-bent posts have done, but only partially. the theory put forth here, in a vague way, is more totalizing than other such posts.

have you really been paying attention?
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:29 PM   #15
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Outstanding post. Thank you.

My favorite part:

Quote:
This is how you become a real player, then you can ignore the "sng" formula and really start to play. Post flop is where the real game is at, and it is fun to play.
It amazes me how much this entire post contradicts the consensus of this forum, yet many "sng formula" posters can understand the significance of it. However, I doubt very many can leave the formula behind which answers the first question I had after reading this... Why would Gigabet disclose so much (but really yet so little) in this brilliant post?
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:40 PM   #16
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Going to reply to two hands in one post here.

Quote:

Any time you read a "what should i do with XX hand on XXX flop ..." you should re-read this post. We talk a lot about math, a lot about what to do with specific hands, which on one level is a good approach for learning the basics of the game, but on the other hand doesn't open up your thinking to how to really play and reach your version of success in poker.
The point of the lengthy mathematical discussions is that these form a framework for HOW to think about various situations. Implicitly, by showing the calculations that are relevant, posters are explaining "Here's how I think about a situation. I've filled in some of the variables." Such calculations are virtually impossible to do in the middle of a game. By doing or going over many similar calculations in situations outside of the game, though, you can start to gain a sense of what might or might not be appropriate in a particular situation. You're not preparing yourself specifically for holding QJo on the bubble as the second shortest stack UTG in an SNG, but for many other situations which have a lot of similarities going for them.

Quote:
For every person on these boards searching for the formula, the answer is there is no formula, there is no wrong or right, there are only choices. The better you get at knowing why people are making choices, and then crafting your responses in return to those choices, the better poker player you will become.
Better implies that there is something right or wrong, namely right or wrong choices. The major discussion here is how to make choices that are right if winning money is your primary concern. If winning money is not your primary concern, and you're more interested in fun, then make fun-maximizing decisions instead. There are fewer of those people who post here, because the people who like to take the time to analyze these situations are usually inclined towards winning/making money, and it's a much more subjective topic, so it's not discussed much. A fun-maximizing player might shove with 72o much more often than he should because it's so fun to show the bluff if everybody folds or suck out on somebody. I know people like this.

Quote:
what this post did, actually, is relax me into trusting my game me than i did an hour ago.
Is that a good thing? Trusting your game is excellent if you have reason to believe that your game is good. This was the thrust, if I understood it correctly, of Irieguy's post. If a losing player is interested in becoming a winning player, the solution is rarely going to be "trusting his game." Instead, it is in critiquing his game, and discovering where the problems lie.

In context, I believe Giga's trust comment was specifically about trusting reads on your opponents, which is quite a bit more specific than trusting one's entire game. Given such reads, including ideas about how your opponent will interpret your various actions and how that will cause them to react, there is going to be an EV-maximizing play. Trusting your reads seems wise; if you can't make any read, it's going to be hard to decide on a good play. But blind trust is no good. You need to be willing to acknowledge when your opponent turns over a hand that you had ruled out that you still aren't making reads as good as you could be. It's too easy - and I suspect almost all of this know this from experience - to blame bad luck rather than questionable decisions for unhappy outcomes.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:55 PM   #17
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Thank you.

It's good to know that a player as successful as yourself believes in God.
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:04 PM   #18
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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Why would Gigabet disclose so much (but really yet so little) in this brilliant post?
To Gigabet (under the 2+2 forums constructs) we are not sharks but merely monkeys.

However, under his own construction (or deconstruction) of the poker world, it would seem we are simply other *people* who are caught in a mental mind-f*ck.

Gigabet's post is about the significance of one's fundamental approach to poker and how it impacts playing in a fulfilling and meaningful way. For him, it would seem this is maintaining absolute focus constantly while improving and crushing the game for tons of $$.

Now, there is no judgment on whether or not this should be the 'correct' way to approach poker. It is his way and seems to be the end 'result' of what so many 2+2ers are striving for. I think he feels for everyone (to a degree) wrapped up in the poker win/lose or success/failure trap.

Since we are all 'monkeys,' he need not be very concerned about his post impacting his future poker income. In fact, I would guess his aim is more to help people enjoy poker rather than improve their play.

IMO, what Gigabet has done is turn the poker tenets we have been reading/thinking/living on their head and given us all a chance to not only rethink our fundamental approach but reattach our mind to poker in a more helpful (and ultimately enjoyable) way.

Yugoslav
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:22 PM   #19
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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It's good to know that a player as successful as yourself believes in God.
This is very funny. It also looks like you have completely misundertood what Giga was trying to say about being "successful" or being "a failure". But what the hell. If you think believing in "god" has anything to do with playing strong poker, well........
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:36 PM   #20
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Thank you. Was this the missing secret from your post a week or so past???? Outstanding.
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:40 PM   #21
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

ty giga -aaaaahn.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:09 PM   #22
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

"S.T.F.U." Donny; you're outa your element
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:27 PM   #23
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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Use your bets to pull information from your opponent, and then when you know what he has, trust your judgement 100%. If you think he is on second pair, but will not fold unless you bet your whole stack, then bet your whole stack(unless of course you have a better hand than second pair, which is unlikely since players like us can rarely beat bottom pair), even if it means your tournament is over if you are wrong. Practice trusting yourself, you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself, but don't let that stop you.
I got the math part of poker and the logic part of poker in 2 weeks. 15 months later, I'm still working on this part and am *finally* getting somewhere with it.

I really wish I'd seen this thread a year ago...but then again, I wouldn't have understood it then.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:36 PM   #24
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

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I got the math part of poker and the logic part of poker in 2 weeks. 15 months later, I'm still working on this part and am *finally* getting somewhere with it.
I don't understand the breakdown between the "math part" and hand reading. Hand reading is a source of information that you can then process mathematically; they aren't totally independent entities. It's a much more difficult skill to learn than calculating pot odds, true.

There's a good thread by Tom Weideman in RGP from a few months ago entitled "Confessions of a Math Guy, Part 1" here that addresses some of these topics. Part 2 and Part 3 are also worth reading, as I remember. Sklansky also talks about it a lot in Theory of Poker, with all the little bits about estimating how likely your opponent is to have various hands based on his actions.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:42 PM   #25
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Re: Almost there with Success and Failure (Long)

Quote:
Quote:
It's good to know that a player as successful as yourself believes in God.
This is very funny. It also looks like you have completely misundertood what Giga was trying to say about being "successful" or being "a failure". But what the hell. If you think believing in "god" has anything to do with playing strong poker, well........
But PM, didn't you see that post coming? I was only surprised at the rapidity that it was called out as a standalone and important in-and-of-itself. And, I didn't think it would be referenced so delicously as to also make use of the word 'success,' in direct opposition to the most obvious thrust of Gigabet's post.

Seriously, as I read the original Gigabet sentence, I immediately thought 'there's 100% chance someone boils this whole post all down to that somehow.'

Personally, that one sentence gave me the warm and fuzzies - the hell with the rest of Gigabet's post - he's obviously a man of God, doing God's work and that's what counts!

Yugoslav
(Who wants to know what God has to do with it?)
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