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Old 04-13-2017, 04:32 AM   #1
Mason Malmuth
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David Sklansky talks psychology

Hi Everyone:

On this week's Two Plus Two's PokerCast David Sklansky talks poker psychology and why the current crop of poker psychology coaches, who charge much for their services, offer little of value. He starts talking at 0:51:54:

http://pokercast.twoplustwo.com/list...hp?episode=456

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:29 AM   #2
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

This was interesting, thanks!

Agree that for most players simply learning to play better is a more productive use of their time. The problem is translating that knowledge into action for a lot of people - not allowing ego to alter your play etc.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:09 AM   #3
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Some interesting stuff there. I generally agree with David, but there are a few points I'd like to make.

Top players benefit slightly. This is a really good point, but I'm not sure I agree entirely. There are certain lifestyle and organisational factors (eating well, setting goals, etc) that some mid and low stakes players do really badly. The analogy here is an undergraduate student who is a terrific creative thinker, but has study skills issues like not managing their time well or not planning their essays before they write them.

Now, I think a good psychologist could help a student whose subject they know nothing about to get significantly better grades by addressing these issues. I also think they could help a low/mid stakes player in similar areas related to lifestyle and planning. I think the flaw in David’s thinking here is that top players already do these things well (the same as top students play their time and essays well). They won’t therefore get a large gain from a psychologist. Low/mid stakes players might see a bigger performance gain, but compared with the cost of the coaching, they may well get better value from just learning tom paly better.

Lifting weights to improve golf performance might only increase performance by 1 stroke. This might be true in terms of strength and stamina, however I think there are also other benefits of lifting weights, such as looking/feeling better, sleeping better, etc that may lead to additional stroke gains above the purely physiological gains. These additional gains would be attributable to improved psychological well-being.

Thinking about expected value for each hand cures tilt. I didn’t agree with this as it’s a way too simplistic way of thinking about tilt and life in general. This is like saying to a person who smokes that each cigarette is shortening their life expectancy by 20 mins – they know this, but that still doesn’t help them to address the problem.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:03 PM   #4
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrazor View Post
Some interesting stuff there. I generally agree with David, but there are a few points I'd like to make.

Top players benefit slightly. This is a really good point, but I'm not sure I agree entirely. There are certain lifestyle and organisational factors (eating well, setting goals, etc) that some mid and low stakes players do really badly. The analogy here is an undergraduate student who is a terrific creative thinker, but has study skills issues like not managing their time well or not planning their essays before they write them.

Now, I think a good psychologist could help a student whose subject they know nothing about to get significantly better grades by addressing these issues. I also think they could help a low/mid stakes player in similar areas related to lifestyle and planning. I think the flaw in David’s thinking here is that top players already do these things well (the same as top students play their time and essays well). They won’t therefore get a large gain from a psychologist. Low/mid stakes players might see a bigger performance gain, but compared with the cost of the coaching, they may well get better value from just learning tom paly better.

Lifting weights to improve golf performance might only increase performance by 1 stroke. This might be true in terms of strength and stamina, however I think there are also other benefits of lifting weights, such as looking/feeling better, sleeping better, etc that may lead to additional stroke gains above the purely physiological gains. These additional gains would be attributable to improved psychological well-being.

Thinking about expected value for each hand cures tilt. I didn’t agree with this as it’s a way too simplistic way of thinking about tilt and life in general. This is like saying to a person who smokes that each cigarette is shortening their life expectancy by 20 mins – they know this, but that still doesn’t help them to address the problem.
Low skill players aren't going to get any bang for their buck from psych coaching at all. Using a poor (money losing) strategy with great confidence and a wonderful attitude is still using a poor (money losing) strategy.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:09 AM   #5
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
Low skill players aren't going to get any bang for their buck from psych coaching at all. Using a poor (money losing) strategy with great confidence and a wonderful attitude is still using a poor (money losing) strategy.
Low/mid stakes players aren't necessarily low skill, especially online.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Exactly. There is a huge difference between a low stakes and a low skilled player.

However, just to clarify I don't think either myself or DS are talking about 60/2 recreational players when we talk about low stakes players - these guys clearly have never thought much about anything, never mind poker or psychology coaching. I believe in the context of this discussion we are talking about a 20/15 TAG playing NL25 who has read a few books and is probably a marginal losing player.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:09 AM   #7
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
Low skill players aren't going to get any bang for their buck from psych coaching at all. Using a poor (money losing) strategy with great confidence and a wonderful attitude is still using a poor (money losing) strategy.
I know a lot of players who know what to do and how to play but struggle in actually making the right play when in the thick of it because their emotions get the better of them. Controlling the emotions, avoiding tilt, and even learning about how to exploit the emotions of others are all something players of ANY caliber would benefit from. But I would agree that it is secondary to a sound game and solid understanding of concepts first.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:47 PM   #8
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

think it's not just making the right play but also not going busto in life.

think sklansky has a point that you have to beat the games but the difference between eg Isildurr who keeps going broke and a 2/5 grinder that makes 80k a year, isildurr is obviously a much better player but these coaches would come in handy for him I think

also watching joe ingram's podcast when he says about the 30 or so soft skills that you need to be a poker player not just knowledge is true, wonder what sklansky's opionion on that is?

*and these coaches can help with these skills

Last edited by Gillingham; 04-26-2017 at 05:48 PM. Reason: *
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:04 AM   #9
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Re: David Sklansky talks psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Meh View Post
I know a lot of players who know what to do and how to play but struggle in actually making the right play when in the thick of it because their emotions get the better of them. Controlling the emotions, avoiding tilt, and even learning about how to exploit the emotions of others are all something players of ANY caliber would benefit from.
It would be great if a poker psychology coach could actually help with that sort of thing.

The best reason to call them "coach" is because "charlatan" is harder to spell.
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