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Old 04-17-2021, 02:45 PM   #1
mohanrao620
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experiment gone wrong

hi, guys. need some help.

(btw checked all the sub-forums, felt this forum is best place for this post.)

anyways, i have been reading on the topic of neuroplasticity, and came across some exercises to help improve the brain functioning, for poker and for life in general. one of the exercises was to write using the non-dominant hand (left hand for me), which i have been doing religiously since 3 months. didn't miss a day.

now i am a winning poker player (small stakes), never studied much. natural ability and all that. when someone says natural talent, didn't have to study much, what it means is that they are born with certain kind of brain, or that their brain is wired in a certain way which suits poker well.

and the above mentioned exercise changes your brain wiring, gradually. i feel after 3 months of doing this exercise, it changed the part of my brain which deals with poker. now i am not playing well since a few days. really super silly mistakes. just today itself identified this reason behind playing bad last few days. stopped the exercise today. no more.

so got a couple of questions.

1) is my analysis correct? am i making any sense here? (generally i am good at identifying why i am playing bad whenever it happens, right now, all other boxes are checked, so had to arrive to this conclusion)

2) anyone here has any experience in this kind of experiment, or read about this topic. if yes, how long will it take for my brain to go back to the old settings, or if the change is permanent?
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Old 04-17-2021, 04:00 PM   #2
Yeodan
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Re: experiment gone wrong

As far as I know, and I've done some research on this.
There is no significant evidence proving that any sort of brain training will make you better at any sort of other task.

Brain training sites advertise that there is research proving their training helps with other tasks, but this has never been proven (nor disproven for that matter)

I think it's very unlikely doing these kinds of tasks will make you a better poker player.


Whenever I see someone write they're winning or good at poker without any mention of sample size, I immediately assume they've played like 1-10k hands and have run into some positive variance.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:56 PM   #3
Ouzel
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Re: experiment gone wrong

I believe in the power of positive thinking, so I have to believe in the potential influences of negative thinking as well. If you absolutely believe that writing with your non dominant hand has somehow rewired your brain to play poker badly, you’ll probably believe that every time you play badly or don’t achieve the expected results, you should blame strange things like writing with your left hand instead of your right. Ultimately this will hold you back, because instead of approaching the problem rationally, studying and trying to plug leaks, you’ll blame the fact that a blue truck passed by at 3:01pm and caused you to play badly. Don’t go there.
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:25 PM   #4
Dr. Meh
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Re: experiment gone wrong

No, writing with your non-dominant hand did not erase your “natural talent” at poker. Your current results are due to variance and over-estimating your own abilities.

Stop reading about neuroplasticity (which has since become a pop psychology buzzword to sell books and other money making schemes) and read more about the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:37 PM   #5
mohanrao620
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Re: experiment gone wrong

thanks for the response, guys. btw playing poker since 5 years, not a new player. been a consistent winner since some time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeodan View Post
As far as I know, and I've done some research on this.
There is no significant evidence proving that any sort of brain training will make you better at any sort of other task.

Brain training sites advertise that there is research proving their training helps with other tasks, but this has never been proven (nor disproven for that matter)

I think it's very unlikely doing these kinds of tasks will make you a better poker player.
somewhat agree, since last 2 days been reading more on the topic and came across couple of articles which say what you are saying here.. not properly proven yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ouzel View Post
I believe in the power of positive thinking, so I have to believe in the potential influences of negative thinking as well. If you absolutely believe that writing with your non dominant hand has somehow rewired your brain to play poker badly, you’ll probably believe that every time you play badly or don’t achieve the expected results, you should blame strange things like writing with your left hand instead of your right. Ultimately this will hold you back, because instead of approaching the problem rationally, studying and trying to plug leaks, you’ll blame the fact that a blue truck passed by at 3:01pm and caused you to play badly. Don’t go there.
what's that sherlock quote.. once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

i felt that my deductions were logical. like all players i too have 8-10 reasons for playing badly, right now, all other areas are covered, boxes checked, can't think of any other reason.. could be wrong tho, which is why posting here, to see what others have to say.

kinda disagree with you, but thanks for giving your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Meh View Post
No, writing with your non-dominant hand did not erase your “natural talent” at poker. Your current results are due to variance and over-estimating your own abilities.

Stop reading about neuroplasticity (which has since become a pop psychology buzzword to sell books and other money making schemes) and read more about the Dunning-Kruger effect.
come on now, let's not dismiss the hypothesis so fast.

and reason for writing natural talent is not to brag, otherwise wouldn't have mentioned small stakes, kinda plateaued at these stakes due to not putting any work away from the felt.

reason for talking of natural ability is to explain my problem in a better way, as "brain wiring" is involved.
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:21 AM   #6
Elrazor
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Re: experiment gone wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohanrao620 View Post
anyways, i have been reading on the topic of neuroplasticity, and came across some exercises to help improve the brain functioning, for poker and for life in general. one of the exercises was to write using the non-dominant hand (left hand for me), which i have been doing religiously since 3 months. didn't miss a day.
Have you tried using your mouse left-handed while playing?
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:58 PM   #7
mohanrao620
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Re: experiment gone wrong

update :

been 4-5 days since i stopped that exercise and old game, old confidence is coming back, think the changes are reversing.

btw still not 100% sure whether this is the reason.

another reason could be that i am an ex-nicotine addict. quit nicotine after many years of abuse. for others nicotine doesn't interfere with their poker, but for me nicotine affected my game as well. now after quitting it (dec 2020), game has improved a lot, but every 20-25 days some kind of problem happens in the brain, can feel it, can't explain it properly. tho the gap days is gradually increasing.

so the current issue is either the problem stated in op or due to the nicotine problem, but one thing i am sure of is, the problem is not with the psychology of the brain, but physiology of the brain. there's even a tingling sensation in certain part of the brain (back side).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrazor View Post
Have you tried using your mouse left-handed while playing?
not now, and not as an exercise. but once in a while had to play with left-hand, like everyone else, and my winrate clearly dropped during those hands.

right now sometimes i play chess (online) with left-hand and can clearly see the difference, how below my best i play. am a 1400 rating player and lose to 1200 rating guys.
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:28 PM   #8
Yeodan
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Re: experiment gone wrong

Have you checked the moon cycles?
Maybe you only perform well when the moon is waxing or waning or something weird?

In all honestly, I have heard before that doing certain exercises can be harmful for your brain.
The example that I heard about was moving certain body parts in opposite directions, like turning your leg in right circles and your hand in left circles at the same time, something like that.
Not sure if there's any truth in it though.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:14 AM   #9
mohanrao620
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Re: experiment gone wrong

update : turns out reason is corona, long covid or something it's called.

couple of links to back this thesis.

1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/...ed%20attention

2) https://link.springer.com/article/10...8f47Nr3fx_ocVw


could've ignored the thread, but thought it will be helpful to others if someone is going through similar problem, as i was panicking when i didn't know the exact reason behind this problem, panicking because poker earning is my only source of income and didn't know how long this problem would persist.

from what i understood from the above 2 articles (and some others) that the recovery is gradual, takes on average 97-98 days. myself haven't recovered fully, but situation much better than how it was in the beginning.

still not playing my main stakes, playing couple of stakes below.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:09 PM   #10
Mason Malmuth
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Re: experiment gone wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohanrao620 View Post
hi, guys. need some help.

(btw checked all the sub-forums, felt this forum is best place for this post.)

anyways, i have been reading on the topic of neuroplasticity, and came across some exercises to help improve the brain functioning, for poker and for life in general. one of the exercises was to write using the non-dominant hand (left hand for me), which i have been doing religiously since 3 months. didn't miss a day.

now i am a winning poker player (small stakes), never studied much. natural ability and all that. when someone says natural talent, didn't have to study much, what it means is that they are born with certain kind of brain, or that their brain is wired in a certain way which suits poker well.

and the above mentioned exercise changes your brain wiring, gradually. i feel after 3 months of doing this exercise, it changed the part of my brain which deals with poker. now i am not playing well since a few days. really super silly mistakes. just today itself identified this reason behind playing bad last few days. stopped the exercise today. no more.

so got a couple of questions.

1) is my analysis correct? am i making any sense here? (generally i am good at identifying why i am playing bad whenever it happens, right now, all other boxes are checked, so had to arrive to this conclusion)

2) anyone here has any experience in this kind of experiment, or read about this topic. if yes, how long will it take for my brain to go back to the old settings, or if the change is permanent?
Hi mohanrao620:

Let me try to give you a serious answer. Poker is mainly a game of knowledge. So, you need to ask yourself the question of whether writing left handed (when you're right handed) is improving your underlying knowledge of all things poker. I doubt that it would have much effect except perhaps you're now paying attention at the table in situations where you didn't pay attention before.

Also, for you to play better it means that you're now playing some of your hands differently and this new way of playing is superior than your old way of playing (and this can include folding some hands that you use to play). If you can't point to where this is happening again the answer would be that doing this has no value.

But there is also another thing you need to realize. Poker is also a game with a large short-term luck factor. This means if you start to do better you can incorrectly correlate your improved results with something that has no value. And even if it does have value, you would need to play a lot of poker to know for sure.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:38 PM   #11
mohanrao620
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Re: experiment gone wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi mohanrao620:

Let me try to give you a serious answer. Poker is mainly a game of knowledge. So, you need to ask yourself the question of whether writing left handed (when you're right handed) is improving your underlying knowledge of all things poker. I doubt that it would have much effect except perhaps you're now paying attention at the table in situations where you didn't pay attention before.

Also, for you to play better it means that you're now playing some of your hands differently and this new way of playing is superior than your old way of playing (and this can include folding some hands that you use to play). If you can't point to where this is happening again the answer would be that doing this has no value.

But there is also another thing you need to realize. Poker is also a game with a large short-term luck factor. This means if you start to do better you can incorrectly correlate your improved results with something that has no value. And even if it does have value, you would need to play a lot of poker to know for sure.

Best wishes,
Mason

hey, Mason.

the diagnosis of my current problems in the original post is wrong. but it's not wrong in entirety. the part which i was right about is that it is not psychological, but it's physical. one fine day i woke up and started playing badly, and the mistakes were not respectable mistakes, didn't take me long to realize that these are not regular mistakes, that happen due to regular (multiple forms of) tilt.

after further reading (a lot) i learnt that the cause of my issues is covid, 'long covid' it's called.

please read post no. 9.
I have shared a couple of articles, if you have time please read those, it explains much better than me what actually happened/happening in my brain.
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