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Old 01-01-2018, 07:36 PM   #1
Yadoula8
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Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

I'm conviced that this is a huge problem in the poker world today, and I'm interested to see what those interested in psychology think of my theories.

I've spent the last five years searching for the perfect way to consider a poker play whilst working on a poker theory book. By the time the book was complete, once I had put every poker factor in its proper place, I was surprised to see that beginners already use the perfect thought-process! (If not accurately). I realised that the human mind already has the perfect thought-process built in as standard! And that the only reason we aren't all fully aware of this thought-process is because it is causing everyone to suffer from cognitive dissonance.

I have plenty of evidence. Check this out-

In the poker world it is well known that to consider the fourth "Level of Thought" you have to consider "what you think the opponent thinks that you think that he holds". This sounds extremely complicated. Real hard to grasp. If you look up the Levels of Thought you will see everyone saying that Level Four is only for elite players. That only the very best could be aware of something so complicated. But check this out. Let me highlight this one sentance. "What I think the opponent thinks that I think that he holds". There is another way to consider this. Instead of writing all of that twisted complicated stuff, you could just say, "What is the opponent pretending to hold". Its exactly the same thing!! Even beginners are capable of considering this and so why do they say it's only for the elite!? Why are they making it sound so confusing? Considering what the opponent is pretending to do is something that we can all naturally consider. All these Levels of Thought are already built into our minds, and so why do so many struggle to grasp it?

I'm convinced they are all suffering from cognitive dissonance. And I think GTO is the main cause. We poker players know that GTO is not the best play to make unless the opponent is using GTO too. We know that GTO is, pretty much, never the preferable strategy to use, but Poker players nowadays are teaching themselves to trust in GTO strategies. They trust in hundreds and hundreds of GTO plays. If these players were suddenly to realise how the mind naturally strategizes, all the trust they have placed in GTO plays would be obliterated, and so the mind doesn't let them see how they naturally strategize. The mind stops the player from seeing their own natural thought-process so as to protect GTO.

These GTO players dont just struggle to consider any strategy other than GTO, they also hound anybody who tries to promote a preferable strategy and they constantly try to reassure themselves that GTO is better than anything else. They call GTO plays "correct". Even the name, GTO, contains the word "optimal". They call it optimal even though GTO plays are clearly not optimal. These GTO players have well and truely gone insane in their desperate attempts to protect the trust they have placed in GTO. I've been teaching theory on these forums for many a year whilst working away on this book, and the responces I recieve from GTO players when I teach our natural thought process is rediculous. They all group together in desperate attempts to discredit everything I say. Undoubtably you will see some of them will reply to this thread. They follow me around. Desperate to make sure that nobody agrees with me, that my logic is not proved to be true. These experienced players cant understand logic that I can teach to a beginner in mere minutes but no matter how hard I try to explain it to them they just can't grasp it. They twist everything around. Attack my every sentance. If they cant find some way to attack the logic they attack me. I have held up pretty well against them over all this time, but to contend with them I have had to pretty much perfect my understanding of poker theory. I can't make mistakes or they tear me to peices. If I even make a typo I will have a horde of them jumping on my back. I am well and truely being abused over there. And to make things worse, they all genuinly think that I am the abusive one! The moderators are all over me too. It's like invasion of the body snatchers. It's madness.

I have managed to map out these Levels of thought rather accurately, and I have found that all experienced players will suffer from cognitive disonance not only when they try to consciously understand a new level, but anytime they learn any factor related to poker theory that they dont already understand. The mind does not want them to learn how we humans consider poker plays because they have come to trust in GTO.

I've seen the effect that this has had over the poker world. I've seen GTO grow at a rapid rate. I see all those who use any other strategy get hounded and told that they are fools. I've seen GTO take over. And I'm wondering, what are other fields like? The economic world uses these same strategies. I bet they dont realise that unless you are conciously aware of the levels of thought you will suffer from cognitive disonance when you trust in any strategy that is less than perfect. I looked at an economy text book, and they described those who dont use the GTO equivilent strategy, (I think its called minimax??), they say that all those who dont use this strategy are known to be arrogant, in a text book! Which sounds a whole lot like the abuse I've been getting. I suspect they are all suffering from exactly the same thing. This wouldn't be such a problem if GTO were a good thing but it is like the "anti game". The closer the players get to GTO the less profit there is in the game as a whole. GTO has already taken over and killed many a game. And by teaming up with cognitive disonance I feel like it could be a major cause of the downfall in our economic world.

What do you think?

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Old 01-01-2018, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

I play a lot of 8-16 LHE. When you can explain how someone can raise pre and bet a flop of:

Q22

and manage to lose to the 76, I will gladly pay $100 for your book.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

It's a little beside the point lol, and I suspect I would be your fish in a Limit game, in NL I'm the master but limit is a lot different. I will give it a shot though. Why not. Sounds fun...

Lets say that I hold 76s, am on the C/O, and he has 3bet me from the BB. I've called, and he Cbets the flop.

His range has missed this board quite a lot more than it has hit, and so it is our job to make him fold. The question is, how. I think that if we call his flop bet we look like some kind of value hand. AQ, KQ, 99, that sort of thing. We could be drawing with a flush draw too... If the villain carries on betting on the turn we are in a more unpleasant spot. If the draw hits we cant really raise his bet, and if the draw doesn't hit nothing has changed and so it will look like he is going for straight value... If he doesn't bet the turn. We check it. Just to re-assure him that we hold some reasonable value hand. Then, on the river, provided he doesn't bet again we make our bluff. Take the pot. Done.

... Would that work you think??? I really dont know limit, but I do know how to strategize.

Mate, if you want to pay me $100 I will send you a copy right now lol. I thought I could write this book in a few months but I kept on finding new stuff. In the end it took me 4 years!! I wasn't part-timing it, I worked hard. Mapping out these Levels of the mind was more than a little bit difficult. I am now completely and utterly broke. I made hundreds of thousands playing NL before I started but I used my stack on rent a long time ago. I really hope this book will do well, and I do think it has a good chance, I mean, who else can put this tagline on their book "Learn How All Players Think Through Their Poker Plays".
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:20 AM   #4
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

when you go launch your book¿ how people can have the book¿ and what money for the book if isnt free¿
I dont understand good your posts because my english is very bad, can you say me a idea of your book's content¿
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
I have managed to map out these Levels of thought rather accurately, and I have found that all experienced players will suffer from cognitive disonance not only when they try to consciously understand a new level, but anytime they learn any factor related to poker theory that they dont already understand. The mind does not want them to learn how we humans consider poker plays because they have come to trust in GTO.
Experienced players will evaluate a thesis by examining it's supporting evidence.

GTO is seen as a superior strategy as computers, who are immune to cognitive dissonance, are programmed to play a variety of games and are able to beat human players.

If you want to challenge this theory, you need more than a good essay, you need some empirical evidence.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Originally Posted by Elrazor View Post
Experienced players will evaluate a thesis by examining it's supporting evidence.

GTO is seen as a superior strategy as computers, who are immune to cognitive dissonance, are programmed to play a variety of games and are able to beat human players.

If you want to challenge this theory, you need more than a good essay, you need some empirical evidence.
GTO is unbeatable. I'm saying that when GTO is learnt by a human it causes cognitive dissonance, and then, no matter how much supporting evidence is put forward, the GTO player will not accept the thesis.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:37 AM   #7
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Originally Posted by SlavaGZ View Post
when you go launch your book¿ how people can have the book¿ and what money for the book if isnt free¿
I dont understand good your posts because my english is very bad, can you say me a idea of your book's content¿
The human mind can naturally strategize, in my book, I describe the method the mind uses.

I am not allowed to discuss the price here, nor the date. But I can say that it will be very, very soon, and it will not be very expensive. (If you can't afford a copy, send me a PM and I will drop you a free PDF.)

I will try to have it translated etc soon too
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:06 AM   #8
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

Hello Yadi,

Perhaps some suffer from cognitive dissonance, but I believe that most do not.

Since nobody knows what gto poker is, then you can't really call anyone a "gto player." We can all only express theory and concept in words as we understand it at the moment. While we may learn more about poker in the future, we post and play in the present.

In other words: it's a work in progress.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:13 AM   #9
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

Hey Bob, (A regular poster on the theory pages)

You don't disagree that many people are placing trust in these attempted GTO plays?

And how about this -

Do you disagree that the mind already has it's own strategic method that it uses to make decisions?

If you answer those two questions correctly, do you agree that trusting in these imperfect GTO plays is bound to cause cognitive dissonance?
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:19 AM   #10
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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trusting in these imperfect GTO plays is bound to cause cognitive dissonance?
Only if one becomes complacent.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:22 AM   #11
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Do you disagree that the mind already has it's own strategic method that it uses to make decisions?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:04 AM   #12
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
The human mind can naturally strategize, in my book, I describe the method the mind uses.

I am not allowed to discuss the price here, nor the date. But I can say that it will be very, very soon, and it will not be very expensive. (If you can't afford a copy, send me a PM and I will drop you a free PDF.)

I will try to have it translated etc soon too
TY man, sure i go read. I try understand why you fight vs guys of forum, but cant XD
I understand you think GTO is bad for mind of players, but is not a good tool allways what we know we need play debalanced vs all human players? for study out of tables, and for have a idea of play vs uknown players?
sorry if is a fish question, but im fish lol
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:05 AM   #13
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Only if one becomes complacent.
Do elaborate.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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TY man, sure i go read. I try understand why you fight vs guys of forum, but cant XD
I understand you think GTO is bad for mind of players, but is not a good tool allways what we know we need play debalanced vs all human players? for study out of tables, and for have a idea of play vs uknown players?
sorry if is a fish question, but im fish lol
Yes, GTO is ok, but first you must learn how to use this natural "exploitative" method or you will struggle to learn it.

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Old 01-03-2018, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Yes, it GTO is ok, but first you must learn how to use this natural "exploitative" method or you will struggle to learn it.
So the book is of how a player improve her natural exploitative method?
how i can learn it? and why you learn it? what moove you? obv is not for crush the game because you want teach people your concepts.
I think i dont understand good the concept, because if is natural and if the play is of exploiting all time, i think a player should improve this only playing.
I assume the best players in the world are the best in this, dont know why, maybe only playing, maybe work in your concepts too. this is the point? you have a short way for improve this natural exploitative method than only playing?

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Old 01-03-2018, 11:13 AM   #16
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

Yeah this book will show you the natural way to strategize and then you are ready to learn any strategy, like GTO.

I did have a coach for many years, my brother has his own poker school. Like everyone else, I was suffering from cognitive dissonance and so it took me around 8 years to learn what is in this very simple book.

The reason I teach now, is because it is not nice to take so much money from people who do not know how to play. When you get to the mid-stakes games the fish stand no chance what-so-ever. They get swallowed almost instantly. We Regs really are like sharks and it is not a nice profession. After many years I stopped enjoying it. I came across Buddhism, and so decided to teach those "fish" how to play.

Yes, playing is a great way to improve your ability at exploiting. But first, you must learn all the logic, betting for value etc, which is in the book. Then you use experience to teach you strategies, like, how to play against the individual players.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:16 PM   #17
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
I'm saying that when GTO is learnt by a human it causes cognitive dissonance, and then, no matter how much supporting evidence is put forward, the GTO player will not accept the thesis.
Okay, so what are the conflicting beliefs causing the dissonance?
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:57 PM   #18
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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These GTO players dont just struggle to consider any strategy other than GTO, they also hound anybody who tries to promote a preferable strategy and they constantly try to reassure themselves that GTO is better than anything else. They call GTO plays "correct". Even the name, GTO, contains the word "optimal". They call it optimal even though GTO plays are clearly not optimal. These GTO players have well and truely gone insane in their desperate attempts to protect the trust they have placed in GTO. I've been teaching theory on these forums for many a year whilst working away on this book, and the responces I recieve from GTO players when I teach our natural thought process is rediculous. They all group together in desperate attempts to discredit everything I say. Undoubtably you will see some of them will reply to this thread. They follow me around. Desperate to make sure that nobody agrees with me, that my logic is not proved to be true. These experienced players cant understand logic that I can teach to a beginner in mere minutes but no matter how hard I try to explain it to them they just can't grasp it. They twist everything around. Attack my every sentance. If they cant find some way to attack the logic they attack me. I have held up pretty well against them over all this time, but to contend with them I have had to pretty much perfect my understanding of poker theory. I can't make mistakes or they tear me to peices. If I even make a typo I will have a horde of them jumping on my back. I am well and truely being abused over there. And to make things worse, they all genuinly think that I am the abusive one! The moderators are all over me too. It's like invasion of the body snatchers. It's madness.
I am not convinced that you can accurately define and explain the concept of cognitive dissonance.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:57 PM   #19
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Do elaborate.
Complacency is basically when one becomes satisfied with one's own progress, which results in non learning; this trait is particularly not useful as a poker player, particularly in today's playing environment.

To most of your disagreements with the so called gto players:

I don't think you have solved poker. You may have found a great way to stack bad players, but I don't think you'd perform well in tough games. Maybe I'm wrong about this.

Your essays on preadjusting and the levels may be in fact correct, provided that your opponent isn't good enough to see through your deceptive style. Let's talk about ev:

there are two ways to preadjust on the first round of betting:

a) fold hands that would be profitable to play vs worse opponents.

b) play hands that would be unprofitable to play vs tougher opponents.

can we agree on this? If yes:

In both situations, if you're wrong, or if you're incorrectly adjusting, then you will surely be losing ev.

In both situations, if you're right and if you're correctly adjusting, then you will surely be gaining ev.

I think we can agree here.

However, the place where we begin to disagree is on that of counter exploitation. You don't give your opponent's much credit for being any good at counter exploitation. I believe that in today's poker environment, having good preflop ranges is necessary to maintain a minimum ev. Thus our strategies are different from the very beginning of the hand with the first action we take. I think that this is why we disagree so often. You have hands in your actual range that are not in mine. I think that some of those hands in your actual range are in fact unprofitable, not necessarily in every game textur, which is why I will not be convinced to open raise 64o three handed on the button as part of my default strategy. It's not because of cognitive dissonance. It's about profitability. You may pass this off as me being afraid of playing this hand because of cognitive dissonance if you like, but you must acknowledge that these two statements are not contradictory:

a) I don't raise 64o three handed on the button as default.

b) I raise 64o three handed on the button in certain circumstances.

While this particular hand may be in my actual range vs player y, it's not in my range vs an unknown player.

Then as I gain information on a particular opponent, I'm constantly adjusting my strategy not just between hands, but during the hand.

The catch here is that I don't just get dealt any hand and think like this:

"I'm just gonna out play this guy this hand."

Because I think that's a recipe for disaster, it's basically using this cliche as your guide through a hand of poker:

"Fake it till you make it."

In poker? You get two cards and you can play em any way you want to. Once you pay your blinds, you're entitled to play however you want. So this cliche isn't as hurtful as it can be in different settings. For example, I lift lots of heavy things. It happens to be what I'm good at. Furnaces? Condensers? Couches? Refridgerators? Yup. I got that. If I didn't have it when I said I did? People would get hurt by falling objects. Thus faking it till I make it isn't really an option for me. I make calculating moves in poker and life.

-----

All that said, You own the cards in your hand, temporarily. Play em however you want. Nobody gets hurt and you get to play a game that you presumably enjoy.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:22 PM   #20
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Okay, so what are the conflicting beliefs causing the dissonance?
Well, I suppose I should give you the full answer...

All Imperfect strategies appear to conflict with the perfect strategic "formula" used by our minds. All imperfect strategies seem to stop us from being able to see how we naturally calculate those same strategies. If we could see how we would calculate the strategy, we would realise that our strategy was imperfect and so the mind protects the strategy by stopping us from seeing how to strategize in that situation.

That does seem to be the simple truth, but I think it is more complicated than that. For that to cause cognitive dissonance by itself you would have to presume that all the perfect strategies are already built into our minds. And unless I'm mistaken, that is not the case.

The way I think it works is slightly more complicated but amounts to the pretty much same thing. I think that it is the reason, or the trust itself, that is the real cause of the problem.

The minds strategic formula works in Levels. And at each new Level, the reason we make our play changes.

At Level One, the reason we make our poker play is to win chips. But at Level Two this reasoning is overthrown. At Level Two the reason we make our play is to make the most money against the opponent. At Level Three there is still no change to Level One and Level Two logic, but again, the reasoning is overthrown. At Level Three we make our plays to make the opponent act in such a way that will allow us to make the most money.

At each Level the reason for the play changes. And so, if you learn strategies whilst only consciously aware of Level Two, the reason that you make alllll your plays is wrong. "This play will make me the most off the opponent". No, it wont, and you already know it. The line of reasoning leading to the play is imperfect and the play along with it, and this is what causes CogD.

Memorising plays whilst holding onto a false view of the reason for the play, is what seems to cause cognitive dissonance. And, in the same sort of way, any additional lines of reasoning seem to cause conflict too.

GTO players have additional reasons for their plays. The most basic Level One reason built into our minds is to make chips, but GTO players try to make chips whilst remaining unexpoitable. The additional reason makes no sense. We dont need to try to remain unexploitable at all. If you aim to make the most money possible, you're already as unexploitable as possible but you maximise your profit too.

The GTO players have it bad in loads of ways. They get stuck at each Level, as usual. But they also have to overthrow this extra reasoning gradually as they advance through the levels. As they advance it becomes more and more clear to them that GTO plays are almost never worth making. Gradually they learn to overthrow it but it is not easy. The logic also gets tangled around itself as both styles cover the same factors and are calculated in very similar ways. This extra line of reasoning is also hard to get past because it is very trustworthy - The strategies are unbeatable! It is one single unchanging strategy that you can place your trust in. "You can now be certain that your play is correct because you are using GTO". It sounds awesome. It sounds trustworthy!! And so we trust in the line of reasoning.

I'm not a psychologist, and I am still slightly unsure how accurate the above theories are. However, I have spent 6 years teaching these Levels and it is clear to me that there is something in the mind of the experienced player that stops them from accepting the higher level logic and associated plays - About a year or so ago, when I had finally mapped out the Levels of thought, I realised that the mind already uses these Levels to strategize all the time and then it became clear to me. I knew why the experienced player suffered. This stuff is only hard to learn because we all already know it all.

If you can help me finalise my understanding of this problem that'd be awesome. But I do think I have pretty much cracked it all now.

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Old 01-05-2018, 03:07 AM   #21
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
At each Level the reason for the play changes. And so, if you learn strategies whilst only consciously aware of Level Two, the reason that you make alllll your plays is wrong. "This play will make me the most off the opponent". No, it wont, and you already know it. The line of reasoning leading to the play is imperfect and the play along with it, and this is what causes CogD.
Okay, but this isn't cognitive dissonance - what you're explaining is some kind of inner conflict that you're consciously aware of.

An example of cognitive dissonance is when you think you're a good poker player, however you're also a losing player - there is evidence that directly conflicts with your belief.

Cognitive dissonance will then cause you to reinterpret the world - blaming the dealer or attributing your losses to short-term variance, rather than re-examine your belief that you might not actually be a good player.

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Old 01-06-2018, 10:06 AM   #22
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

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Okay, but this isn't cognitive dissonance - what you're explaining is some kind of inner conflict that you're consciously aware of.

An example of cognitive dissonance is when you think you're a good poker player, however you're also a losing player - there is evidence that directly conflicts with your belief.

Cognitive dissonance will then cause you to reinterpret the world - blaming the dealer or attributing your losses to short-term variance, rather than re-examine your belief that you might not actually be a good player.
Well, people aren't consciously aware of how they naturally strategize. If they are consciously aware of that, then this will not be an issue.

GTO players are constantly saying that their strategy is the best, and their winnings are far smaller than someone who only exploits using the natural strategic thought-process. Once you realise that this exploitative thought-process is already built into our minds you realise that there are loads of places where our strategies will clash with it in this kind of way.

I feel like I'm on top of this issue in regards to Poker. I've written the book which serves to prevent this happening by teaching people to consciously recognise these Levels. But, this same thought-process is used for alllll our strategic decisions. It's not just used for Poker. And, if we use it to concoct all strategies I see no reason why the same thing wouldn't happen when people strategize through-out their entire lives. The more strategies the person trusts in, the more difficult it will be for them to see how to strategize.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:14 AM   #23
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

If you look to Bobs long post, you can see the sort of logic that the GTO guys turn-to rather than accepting that they should use this natural strategic method.

He mentioned something called Pre-adjusting. Pre-adjusting is already built into our mind and it is very simple. The reason we pre-adjust is to stop the opponent making an accurate guess as to what we hold. If the opponent knows all the different cards we could hold, then we will have no advantage over them.

Instead of accepting this very simple logic. These guys come up with more and more complicated reasons for pre-adjusting being unneeded. No matter how much I explain it to them, no matter how clear I make it, they struggle to accept the logic. And whats worse, is that they do anything to discredit the logic.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:20 AM   #24
Bob148
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

Quote:
If the opponent knows all the different cards we could hold, then we will have no advantage over them.
This is false.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:26 AM   #25
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Re: Cognitive Dissonance in Poker

To show why that's false, here's a simple situation:

the pot is 1, each player has 1 pot left in his stack.

I tell you before hand that I hold exactly 2 nut combos, and one nut low combo.

I shove 1 pot. It's on you. Please show how knowing my exact range allows you to hold an advantage over me.
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