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Old 11-29-2017, 06:06 AM   #1
Mason Malmuth
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Is poker cruel

Hi Everyone:

This is an idea I've been thinking about for years but have never addressed publicly. So I thought it was time to put it up here and see what comments anyone might have. It goes like this.

Poker is considered by many to be a game of high skill with a large short term element of probability theory. What this means, and it's the view of many people, is that poker is a game where smart people sit around a table and through the use of cards they try to outwit each other, and the persone who's the best at doing this will in the long run be the big winner. But how accurate is this?

There's also another side of poker, and it's the idea of identifying the live ones, some of who essentially just give their money away, and to take advantage of them. Now instead of using high skill to be successful, the best way to be successful is to take advantage of these pitiful people.

Years ago, probably the early 1990s, I remember waiting for a seat in the poker room at Binion's Horseshoe and listening to two high stakes players discuss their relationship with the latest live one. The conversation got a little heated as one of the high stakes players accused the other of not doing enough to assure that the live one would keep playing in their high stakes game. The conversation was something like "I went and had lunch with him, and then tomorrow invited him to our golf game, after which I'll try to bring him down to the poker room. What have you done lately to keep him playing?"

Another similar example. I've known a couple of players who seemed to specialize in the latest live one. They identify who the person is, try to find out how much money they have, and if it's enough they make an attempt to become their new best friend. This can include doing lots of social stuff with them as well as having them stay at their home whenever the live one comes to town, to helping him find a place to live in Las Vegas. But as soon as the money is gone, the friendship seems to quickly end.

My approach to poker has always been to enjoy the game. Of course if one of these bad players is sitting at the table, and he's giving his money away, that's fine with me. But there's no interest in becomming his best friend and getting every penny possible out of this person. But that's certainly not the case with some other people, and I think it hurts the game and shifts poker from an interesting intellectual endeavor to something much more cruel.

Obviously, for those of you who play strictly on the Internet, the above won't apply or won't apply as much. But in the live world, I've seen it for years and years.

All comments welcome.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:15 AM   #2
dhubermex
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Re: Is poker cruel

Thanks for posting, Mason. Appreciate the insight from someone who's been around the game for as long as you have and spent decades contributing to its growth.

I can see where you're coming from. I suppose the flip side to this would be that many (but not all) marks are somewhat aware they're giving away EV and desire to have needs or desires fulfilled by whoever they're paying their disposable income to? That's the way it works with typical client/service provider relationships, but not sure what percentage of the community look at superior vs. inferior poker players in the same way.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing. Interested to see what others think.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: Is poker cruel

The cruelty of pros to 'live ones' is becoming increasingly necessary because of the cruelty of poker rooms to the customer base as a whole, i.e. increases of rake or decreases in promotional spending. It's a chicken and egg situation, though: if there were less bumhunting, poker rooms would be more content with what they'd be earning through rake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhubermex View Post
I suppose the flip side to this would be that many (but not all) marks are somewhat aware they're giving away EV and desire to have needs or desires fulfilled by whoever they're paying their disposable income to? That's the way it works with typical client/service provider relationships, but not sure what percentage of the community look at superior vs. inferior poker players in the same way.
Yes, exactly. Poker pros are basically entertainment workers.

Online players currently tend to be more boring - we hardly ever chat, and our primary way of entertaining is by playing somewhat loose (but some of us play too tight, of course) - but loyalty programs, if done right, might soon encourage us to start chatting a lot as well.

Last edited by coon74; 11-29-2017 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:48 PM   #4
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Re: Is poker cruel

Tricking someone into speaking, pretending to be their friend just to get a competitive advantage, is cruel.

There's an old Dnegs hand on youtube where he baits an amateur into speaking to out maneuver him. I found this appalling for someone of his caliber, but then again -- it's just money.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:54 AM   #5
m869er
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Re: Is poker cruel

these people wanna gamble just the same as a person wants to eat a McDonalds cheeseburger.

not all people wanna gamble. not all people wanna eat mcdonalds cheeseburgers.
some people wanna save money and eat carrots.

how is it taking advantage of someone when they wanna do what they wanna do?
there's gotta be some personal responsibility.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:29 AM   #6
robert_utk
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Re: Is poker cruel

Hi Mason.

Thank you for such an interesting thread.

My perspective would be to view poker from role theory, as used by Sociology.

Personally I resolve the whole question of fairness among gamblers by reminding myself what ďhats I wearĒ when I consider participation in poker.

It could be a combination of any of the following, for me:

Learner
Earner
Teacher
Friend/Foe

As such, I would not go to elaborate lengths to lure a potential victim to the table, even when wearing my earner hat.

However, I must remember that there are no restrictions on the hats that other player can wear.

Some of these may include:

Cardpayer
Gambler
Scoundrel
Liar

If I were asked by a potential opponent what hat I am wearing at the table, I would only say:

Always a Cardplayer, sometimes a Gambler, rarely a Scoundrel, and only a Liar by accident.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:10 AM   #7
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Re: Is poker cruel

The aspect of 'getting every penny possible out of this person', if it is extensive at all, has got to be limited to very high stakes games/those games hosted by someone getting a cut.

But even at mid-stakes we can dilute this a bit to what some of us do and whether that can be called 'cruel' in that sense:

If there's an action player I try to give him what he wants. If he wants to talk about anything I will talk about it even if I'd rather not. If he gets berated for bad play I defend him in an attempt to keep him happy. I do w/e it takes to keep that player in the game but at my stakes that doesn't include lunch and golf.

To what extent can my sometimes insincere behavior be called cruel?
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:32 AM   #8
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Re: Is poker cruel

I think there are two different questions here.

Firstly, is poker cruel? I think it's the staple of many social evenings between friends, and while there may occasionally be some competitiveness, that's no different to a golf game, or even a game of bridge held among friends. So, I don't believe the game itself isn't cruel - or at least it's not when played by amateurs.

Are professional poker players cruel? This is where the water becomes a little murkier. I think by their very nature, people who try to make a living playing poker do so because they haven't perhaps been as successful in previous careers as they would have liked, or perhaps believe they should have been.

In addition, many such players would also be classified as gamblers. By their very nature, gamblers tread a fine line between gamesmanship and dishonestly - the recent Phil Ivey v Genting Casinos case being a good example. Many players will also display characteristics of being addicted to gambling, such as borrowing money to finance gambling - it's easy for this "borrowing" to bleed over into the household budget or a family members wallet.

So in sum, I don't think poker is cruel, but it may attract individuals with a certain disposition that may cause them to act cruelly or dishonestly away from the tables. Certainly an interesting topic that is probably under-researched.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:44 PM   #9
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:
Poker is considered by many to be a game of high skill with a large short term element of probability theory. What this means, and it's the view of many people, is that poker is a game where smart people sit around a table and through the use of cards they try to outwit each other, and the persone who's the best at doing this will in the long run be the big winner. But how accurate is this?

There's also another side of poker, and it's the idea of identifying the live ones, some of who essentially just give their money away, and to take advantage of them. Now instead of using high skill to be successful, the best way to be successful is to take advantage of these pitiful people.
Although this thread is regarding live players. 'Bumhunting' still exists in online poker. Even if not to the extent of befriending the biggest whales at the tables, as that would be impractical.

This type of immoral 'networking' (befriending) occurs in politics, in finance and I'm sure in a lot of other things. Befriending for personal gain and defriending when that gain has gone, is actually quite a common human behaviour. Ask yourself how many friends (not colleagues) you have that you don't like. We don't make friends with people unless they are providing us with something (entertainment etc).

Regarding the online bumhunting (and maybe live aswell) - if online sites and casinos weren't so desperate to maximise their profits, and rakes weren't so ridiculously high, there is more incentive to sit and play with other professionals, but when you are losing money every time you sit with other professionals, its always going to be a game of who can sit with the biggest fool. AND that is the fault of the people providing the poker service - not the professionals.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:
Poker is considered by many to be a game of high skill with a large short term element of probability theory. What this means, and it's the view of many people, is that poker is a game where smart people sit around a table and through the use of cards they try to outwit each other, and the persone who's the best at doing this will in the long run be the big winner. But how accurate is this?

There's also another side of poker, and it's the idea of identifying the live ones, some of who essentially just give their money away, and to take advantage of them. Now instead of using high skill to be successful, the best way to be successful is to take advantage of these pitiful people.
Although this thread is regarding live players. 'Bumhunting' still exists in online poker. Even if not to the extent of befriending the biggest whales at the tables, as that would be impractical.

This type of immoral 'networking' (befriending) occurs in politics, in finance and I'm sure in a lot of other things. Befriending for personal gain and defriending when that gain has gone, is actually quite a common human behaviour. Ask yourself how many friends (not colleagues) you have that you don't like. We don't make friends with people unless they are providing us with something (entertainment etc).

Regarding the online bumhunting (and maybe live aswell) - if online sites and casinos weren't so desperate to maximise their profits, and rakes weren't so ridiculously high, there is more incentive to sit and play with other professionals, but when you are losing money every time you sit with other professionals, its always going to be a game of who can sit with the biggest fool.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:30 PM   #11
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by coon74 View Post
The cruelty of pros to 'live ones' is becoming increasingly necessary because of the cruelty of poker rooms to the customer base as a whole, i.e. increases of rake or decreases in promotional spending. It's a chicken and egg situation, though: if there were less bumhunting, poker rooms would be more content with what they'd be earning through rake.
Hi coon74:

I think this is a little different from what Iím talking about. Itís my opinion that many, but not all poker rooms make lots of bad decisions, some of which hurt their bottom line in the long run.

Quote:
Yes, exactly. Poker pros are basically entertainment workers.

Online players currently tend to be more boring - we hardly ever chat, and our primary way of entertaining is by playing somewhat loose (but some of us play too tight, of course) - but loyalty programs, if done right, might soon encourage us to start chatting a lot as well.
Again, what Iím writing about is more of a live issue.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:33 PM   #12
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Re: Is poker cruel

(I thought you were were talking about the actual game at first and I thought, yeah it's pretty cruel lol. You never make hands. The times you make hands they get cooled. The hole cards dealt are hardly fair. Long term edges barely exist either due to getting hit n run or never getting to play the person for a long enough number of hands.

It feels, like everyone playing the game is 'walking the wire' hoping their ability to walk it works and a breeze won't take them down. similar to life.)

As for the actual post..

I really do enjoy the game and would even use play money if I were playing a thinking player who's willing to play a lot of hands heads up. It's so stimulating to me when two bright minds collide.

I'm on the side where I value the game itself and appreciate implementing strategy's and counter strategy's.

Now some people (as I'm sure a lot of you know), play strictly for the money. They use the game as a tool instead of understanding the complexities of the cards in relation to one another.

On that note I can see people stooping low as to befriend someone in order to bribe and beat them at the tables. Some people will go to lengths to make a buck. Especially at high stake games where the money is quite significant.

As for the "getting every penny possible out of this person". I think it has more to do than draining an average joe dry. It's like, would you invest in playing vs someone who has a couple buy ins and could potentially leave after a few run good sessions or learning someone is rich who makes it worth you're while.

Last edited by chocLatee; 12-02-2017 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:35 PM   #13
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuma View Post
Tricking someone into speaking, pretending to be their friend just to get a competitive advantage, is cruel.

There's an old Dnegs hand on youtube where he baits an amateur into speaking to out maneuver him. I found this appalling for someone of his caliber, but then again -- it's just money.
Hi Tuma:

While I agree that DNegs is terrible for poker, manipulating your opponent through conversation is part of the game though some people probably take it too far. Also, being friendly to your opponents at the poker table is also part of the game.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:41 PM   #14
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by m869er View Post
these people wanna gamble just the same as a person wants to eat a McDonalds cheeseburger.

not all people wanna gamble. not all people wanna eat mcdonalds cheeseburgers.
some people wanna save money and eat carrots.

how is it taking advantage of someone when they wanna do what they wanna do?
there's gotta be some personal responsibility.
Hi m869er:

While what you say is true, and, as you point out, theyíre going to play poker anyway, itís still different from faking friendship and bending their schedule so it coincides with mine.

So while Iím happy to win a poor playerís chips, itís a lot different from being involved with his life, including personal manipulation, only for my benefit.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:47 PM   #15
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_utk View Post
Hi Mason.

Thank you for such an interesting thread.

My perspective would be to view poker from role theory, as used by Sociology.

Personally I resolve the whole question of fairness among gamblers by reminding myself what ďhats I wearĒ when I consider participation in poker.

It could be a combination of any of the following, for me:

Learner
Earner
Teacher
Friend/Foe

As such, I would not go to elaborate lengths to lure a potential victim to the table, even when wearing my earner hat.

However, I must remember that there are no restrictions on the hats that other player can wear.

Some of these may include:

Cardpayer
Gambler
Scoundrel
Liar

If I were asked by a potential opponent what hat I am wearing at the table, I would only say:

Always a Cardplayer, sometimes a Gambler, rarely a Scoundrel, and only a Liar by accident.
Hi Robert:

One minor point. It is okay to sometimes lie at the poker table. An example would be when you successfully bluff and want to be able to do it again. Here, telling your opponent that you had a good hand when you didnít is perfectly acceptable.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:36 AM   #16
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Re: Is poker cruel

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

While I agree that DNegs is terrible for poker, manipulating your opponent through conversation is part of the game though some people probably take it too far. Also, being friendly to your opponents at the poker table is also part of the game.

Best wishes,
Mason
Yep, most "live ones" to use this thread's terminology enjoy the chatter and social aspects of poker. If this was a quiet, less social game, like chess, there would be a lot less "live ones" in action. Similarly, if no one talked, TV ratings for WSOP and other poker shows would be even lower.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #17
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Re: Is poker cruel

Poker isn't cruel, at least not any more so than many other endeavors in life. However, people do have the capacity to be cruel. And some have far more capacity than others.

Mason's example of certain players using their skills to take advantage of lesser-skilled players in a particularly deceitful and dishonest way does not violate any "laws" of nature. In fact, using inherent advantages in competition over limited resources is the hallmark of all of life on this planet.

However, one characteristic which is innate in humans to a far larger degree than virtually all other species is the ability to think beyond the limits of the here and now. People are capable of considering the long-term effects of their decisions in addition to any short-term benefit they may derive. Of course, people's abilities in this area vary as much as their abilities in determining whether calling for that inside straight draw is a good idea. There is a wide spectrum of skill in this area.

It seems to me, the sorts of folks Mason described in his post are highly skilled in one area, and woefully inept in others. And there are people out there who will gladly take advantage of their ineptitude.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:43 PM   #18
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Beale View Post
The aspect of 'getting every penny possible out of this person', if it is extensive at all, has got to be limited to very high stakes games/those games hosted by someone getting a cut.

But even at mid-stakes we can dilute this a bit to what some of us do and whether that can be called 'cruel' in that sense:

If there's an action player I try to give him what he wants. If he wants to talk about anything I will talk about it even if I'd rather not. If he gets berated for bad play I defend him in an attempt to keep him happy. I do w/e it takes to keep that player in the game but at my stakes that doesn't include lunch and golf.

To what extent can my sometimes insincere behavior be called cruel?
Hi Howard:

I think what youíre describing here is fine. Thatís because youíre already in the game. What Iím talking about is a false friendship away from the poker room thatís designed to lure the sucker into your game at all the times you play.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:28 PM   #19
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Beale View Post
The aspect of 'getting every penny possible out of this person', if it is extensive at all, has got to be limited to very high stakes games/those games hosted by someone getting a cut.

But even at mid-stakes we can dilute this a bit to what some of us do and whether that can be called 'cruel' in that sense:

If there's an action player I try to give him what he wants. If he wants to talk about anything I will talk about it even if I'd rather not. If he gets berated for bad play I defend him in an attempt to keep him happy. I do w/e it takes to keep that player in the game but at my stakes that doesn't include lunch and golf.

To what extent can my sometimes insincere behavior be called cruel?
The question is how do you feel yourself with that. I don't think that it is so terribly cruel. I think that it is a pretty hard work and even harder work is what Mason described with this "pretending to be friends". I mean..... it is acting hardcore and you have to be good at it to get the desirable effect. I think that it is more unhealthy and cruel for the pro than for the mark.

I am glad that I play online and worst that I do is to try to stop any berating in the chat.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:31 PM   #20
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Re: Is poker cruel

I do what I do bec it's not unethical in a poker game. I'm not setting anyone up to get their last penny. OTOH, it's devious. But that is the game, after all.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:02 AM   #21
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrazor View Post
I think there are two different questions here.

Firstly, is poker cruel? I think it's the staple of many social evenings between friends, and while there may occasionally be some competitiveness, that's no different to a golf game, or even a game of bridge held among friends. So, I don't believe the game itself isn't cruel - or at least it's not when played by amateurs.
I agree.

Quote:
Are professional poker players cruel? This is where the water becomes a little murkier. I think by their very nature, people who try to make a living playing poker do so because they haven't perhaps been as successful in previous careers as they would have liked, or perhaps believe they should have been.
This is a somewhat different issue, but I agree with this point as well. It's been my observation that many successful poker players would not do that well in the workplace usually due to a personality flaw, frequently a narcissistic personality, which makes it difficult for them to work reliably with others.

But on the other hand, it's always been my opinion that if you're smart enough to do well at poker, then you probably could have made even more money doing something else. Of course, this comes at a sacrifice to some of the freedoms a poker player has.

Quote:
In addition, many such players would also be classified as gamblers. By their very nature, gamblers tread a fine line between gamesmanship and dishonestly - the recent Phil Ivey v Genting Casinos case being a good example. Many players will also display characteristics of being addicted to gambling, such as borrowing money to finance gambling - it's easy for this "borrowing" to bleed over into the household budget or a family members wallet.
I agree here as well and this is a good point.

Quote:
So in sum, I don't think poker is cruel, but it may attract individuals with a certain disposition that may cause them to act cruelly or dishonestly away from the tables. Certainly an interesting topic that is probably under-researched.
In addition, I suspect that many of them who act this way think that what they're doing is perfectly fine.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:09 AM   #22
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desultory View Post
Although this thread is regarding live players. 'Bumhunting' still exists in online poker. Even if not to the extent of befriending the biggest whales at the tables, as that would be impractical.

This type of immoral 'networking' (befriending) occurs in politics, in finance and I'm sure in a lot of other things. Befriending for personal gain and defriending when that gain has gone, is actually quite a common human behaviour. Ask yourself how many friends (not colleagues) you have that you don't like. We don't make friends with people unless they are providing us with something (entertainment etc).
Hi Desultory:

An interesting post, and I think I can say that this doesn't apply to me. That is I have no friends that I don't like, and those who I didn't like found this out very quickly.

On the other hand, the opposite is certainly true. I can think of a fair number of people who took advantage of what I had to offer and then essentially discarded me when what they needed was no more necessary.

I also think that this sort of approach is probably only short term successful and will only get you so far. As you rise the ladder of success, you'll run into smarter people who'll figure this sort of stuff out and your quick gain strategy will begin to fail.

Quote:
Regarding the online bumhunting (and maybe live aswell) - if online sites and casinos weren't so desperate to maximise their profits, and rakes weren't so ridiculously high, there is more incentive to sit and play with other professionals, but when you are losing money every time you sit with other professionals, its always going to be a game of who can sit with the biggest fool. AND that is the fault of the people providing the poker service - not the professionals.
Put another way, the best run poker rooms, and this includes the rake charge, are the ones that do the best. I think what you're describing here is incompetent management and it's commonplace throughout our industry.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:20 AM   #23
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocLatee View Post
(I thought you were were talking about the actual game at first and I thought, yeah it's pretty cruel lol. You never make hands. The times you make hands they get cooled. The hole cards dealt are hardly fair. Long term edges barely exist either due to getting hit n run or never getting to play the person for a long enough number of hands.

It feels, like everyone playing the game is 'walking the wire' hoping their ability to walk it works and a breeze won't take them down. similar to life.)
Hi chocLatee:

While poker can certainly be frustrating, that's different from it being cruel even though at times it may not feel that way.

Quote:
As for the actual post..

I really do enjoy the game and would even use play money if I were playing a thinking player who's willing to play a lot of hands heads up. It's so stimulating to me when two bright minds collide.

I'm on the side where I value the game itself and appreciate implementing strategy's and counter strategy's.
And this is the way it should be.

Quote:
Now some people (as I'm sure a lot of you know), play strictly for the money. They use the game as a tool instead of understanding the complexities of the cards in relation to one another.

On that note I can see people stooping low as to befriend someone in order to bribe and beat them at the tables. Some people will go to lengths to make a buck. Especially at high stake games where the money is quite significant.
Also, in high stakes games,where there are many good players, edges can be quite small, especially relative to the short term luck factor. So some players will naturally look for an extra edge to assure survival.

Quote:
As for the "getting every penny possible out of this person". I think it has more to do than draining an average joe dry. It's like, would you invest in playing vs someone who has a couple buy ins and could potentially leave after a few run good sessions or learning someone is rich who makes it worth you're while.
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Mason
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:29 AM   #24
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is poker cruel

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Originally Posted by akashenk View Post
Poker isn't cruel, at least not any more so than many other endeavors in life. However, people do have the capacity to be cruel. And some have far more capacity than others.
I suspect you may be confusing competition with being cruel. For instance, if my company puts out a better product than your company and because of this it puts you out of business, that's not being cruel. This is especially true if the customers are benefitting from the superior product.

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Mason's example of certain players using their skills to take advantage of lesser-skilled players in a particularly deceitful and dishonest way does not violate any "laws" of nature. In fact, using inherent advantages in competition over limited resources is the hallmark of all of life on this planet.
Yes, but is it the purpose of poker to do this. For example, if Player A is better than Player B, that's fine and in the long run A should win money from B. But the question I'm asking is whether it's okay for Player A to go beyond this idea to assure that PLayer B is always around when he wants to play.

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However, one characteristic which is innate in humans to a far larger degree than virtually all other species is the ability to think beyond the limits of the here and now. People are capable of considering the long-term effects of their decisions in addition to any short-term benefit they may derive. Of course, people's abilities in this area vary as much as their abilities in determining whether calling for that inside straight draw is a good idea. There is a wide spectrum of skill in this area.

It seems to me, the sorts of folks Mason described in his post are highly skilled in one area, and woefully inept in others. And there are people out there who will gladly take advantage of their ineptitude.
This is also a good point. There is certainly a buyer beware element to many aspects of poker and this is one example.

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Mason
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:35 AM   #25
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Re: Is poker cruel

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Originally Posted by lapka View Post
The question is how do you feel yourself with that. I don't think that it is so terribly cruel. I think that it is a pretty hard work and even harder work is what Mason described with this "pretending to be friends". I mean..... it is acting hardcore and you have to be good at it to get the desirable effect. I think that it is more unhealthy and cruel for the pro than for the mark.

I am glad that I play online and worst that I do is to try to stop any berating in the chat.
Hi lapka:

Your statement above, which I bolded, is a very good point. When thinking of some of these people, I wonder if they ever had a true friend, even though over the years they always seem to have a best friend.

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