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Old 08-01-2017, 03:25 PM   #76
coon74
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
But normal humans, not robotic weirdos can keep calm in the moderately stressful situations that occur every minute in gambling games.
A normal human is less likely to become a poker pro than a robotic weirdo is, because there are less stressful, more socially acceptable and, in 2017, more promising (in terms of the average profit) occupations than poker. There's usually a specific unglamorous reason why one chooses poker as a career path.

I for one can't imagine me staking myself - I'd instantly fire myself without giving myself a chance to improve. Alas I can't run away from myself that easily. Yes, I have numerous mental issues. And btw, I think that investing into ordinary psychotherapy (rather than expensive 'mental game' therapy) is quite worthwhile for those who had mental issues before they started playing poker, perhaps even worthier than investing into poker strategy coaching first, because psychotherapy improves the entire life, not just the poker part of it (the same applies to nutrition issues, fwiw).

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Old 08-01-2017, 05:25 PM   #77
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Mason, hope you won't mind a slightly off-topic question about your book.

The LHE hand at the bottom of page 23/top of page 24 where the player has QJs in early position and bets the J72r flop and blank turn. You say the player did not play his hand correctly.

First, can you elaborate on what you assumed was the preflop action, i.e. did the hero RAISE QJs in early position creating a giant pot, did hero just limp and get only limpers, did the hero limp and get raised?

Second, given the action and the pot size, how SHOULD the hero have played this hand?

I'm very curious about your answer because I can't imagine a situation where betting out with top pair on that raggedy board is wrong. Even if the preflop aggressor was in late position I could argue for a donk because the PFA could have KQ, AQ or AK and not want to c-bet rags into 5 people. Why risk losing a whole street of value?
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:43 PM   #78
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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A normal human is less likely to become a poker pro than a robotic weirdo is, because there are less stressful, more socially acceptable and, in 2017, more promising (in terms of the average profit) occupations than poker. There's usually a specific unglamorous reason why one chooses poker as a career path.
Most people who are making 60K a year would become poker players if they thought they could make 100K. Many would if they were sure they could make 55K.

I would also submit that to remain "Spockish" in the face of listening to people tell you about their sufferings all day is more weird than being able to shake off expected mathematical randomness.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:06 PM   #79
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

The problem is w/ the 'expected' part bec it's not quite as expected as you think.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:17 PM   #80
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by DalTXColtsFan View Post
Mason, hope you won't mind a slightly off-topic question about your book.

The LHE hand at the bottom of page 23/top of page 24 where the player has QJs in early position and bets the J72r flop and blank turn. You say the player did not play his hand correctly.

First, can you elaborate on what you assumed was the preflop action, i.e. did the hero RAISE QJs in early position creating a giant pot, did hero just limp and get only limpers, did the hero limp and get raised?

Second, given the action and the pot size, how SHOULD the hero have played this hand?

I'm very curious about your answer because I can't imagine a situation where betting out with top pair on that raggedy board is wrong. Even if the preflop aggressor was in late position I could argue for a donk because the PFA could have KQ, AQ or AK and not want to c-bet rags into 5 people. Why risk losing a whole street of value?
Hi DalTXColtsFan:

Sorry, but I don't want to derail this thread with a strategy discussion. However, if you read "Part Four: Playing in Loose Games" of our book Hold 'em Poker for Advanced Players, especially the chapters titled "When the Pots Gets Big" and "Another Example," you should get your answer.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:37 PM   #81
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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A bit of background and then I'll offer my opinion: I am comfortable playing any of the H.O.R.S.E games w/ Razz being my worst and I would be one of the decent players in any mid-stakes game but make no claim of greatness. I have been playing casino poker since Resorts opened the first room in A.C. in the early 90's. After gaining some technical experience - I have read a great many poker books - I realized that I had a mental game problem that I had to fix myself bec there was no one to help. These days I am nearly tilt free but realize that it can never be eliminated entirely.

Here are my conclusions as regards low and mid-stakes players mental game issues: Very few players understand what poker is. They don't know the basic elements of what makes for good play and they don't understand why they lose, or why they win for that matter. I could go on but if anyone is reading this thread they already know what I'm talking about and, out of the poker playing population, hardly anyone is reading this thread bec they simply don't realize how much better they could play if they sought out instruction in ANY area of poker. A quick story: There was a TAG reg w/ severe mental game problems sweating my play of A-A in a hand that I lost. He asked 'How can you stand it?' I answered 'it doesn't work the way that you think.' To which he replied 'How does it work?'

It is for players like that that I would recommend Mason's book as superior to anything else that I've read. I have Mr. Tendler's book and put it down half-read bec I thought that most of it, while good in general, didn't really apply all that much to poker. Mason's book answers the question 'How does it work?'

The low-limit players would be helped by Mason's book if they applied themselves but they've likely only read a couple of strat books and quickly forgot what they'd learned. And it doesn't much matter to them bec they are playing w/ disposable income at least for the most part. The real problem comes up w/ the players who are trying to make a living at it and the primary problem they suffer from is fear. Simply fear of going broke. Every hand lost, the ones that, as soon as they see a good starting hand, is 'supposed' to pad their bankroll but doesn't is like a physical and mental blow. Given enough blows and the fear of going broke becomes sufficient to throw them off of their game. I don't blame them, fwiw. Poker is a lousy way to make a living and we all know why, or should. The simple fact that you can play a year and not make anything being so different from a job says it all. I'm going to put the pros to the side bec they are so few and end w/ the recs:

They don't know that poker is played one hand at a time (leaving aside meta-game). They don't really understand variance, why it happens or even that if it wasn't for variance there'd be no game. Ok, they may know it at some level but not really. And this is the reason that I prefer Mason's book which I think can be summed up as 'understand poker better' and it does a good job of explaining 'how it works.'
Hi Howard:

Just a couple of quick points. In my book I use the phrase "all things poker" when I talk about how a player needs to improve his knowledge and that this improvement has a side effect of improving one's mental game. It's essentially the same as what you're stating above.

As for variance in poker, and of course this comes under the heading of "all things poker," I completely agreewith you that most players don't understand how it works. But what's also interesting is that in my opinion the poker mental coaches that I'm familiar with don't understand it either. Specifically, they seem to lack the understanding that over time your expectation will begin to dominate your luck, or put another way, your fluctuations as measured by the standard deviation will disipate the more hands you play. The mental coaches, as far as I can tell, need it to work just the opposite from what I just described.

You also wrote the following:

Quote:
It is for players like that that I would recommend Mason's book as superior to anything else that I've read. I have Mr. Tendler's book and put it down half-read bec I thought that most of it, while good in general, didn't really apply all that much to poker. Mason's book answers the question 'How does it work?'
To me, this is the most iumportant part of your post. These poker mental coaches, which I've stated over and over, seem to get much of their material/advice from the sports world and they advise poker players with things that will help with execution -- speed, timing, and coordination. Unfortunately for them, poker is mainly a knowledge game and the ability to execute as an athlete might is silly.

For an example, see my Post #26 where I explain how Jared Tendler, one of these very expensive poker mental coaches, doesn't understand this idea at all and even uses an example where he helps a golfer with their timing and coordination as if that has something to do with poker.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:26 AM   #82
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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As for variance in poker, and of course this comes under the heading of "all things poker," I completely agreewith you that most players don't understand how it works. But what's also interesting is that in my opinion the poker mental coaches that I'm familiar with don't understand it either. Specifically, they seem to lack the understanding that over time your expectation will begin to dominate your luck, or put another way, your fluctuations as measured by the standard deviation will disipate the more hands you play. The mental coaches, as far as I can tell, need it to work just the opposite from what I just described.
The expectation will dominate the luck in the long run with a high probability, but there's always a nonzero chance of going broke no matter how well I play. The issue is that many winning players overestimate the impact of variance on their well-being, make mountains out of molehills, just like the media overemphasize the impact of plane crashes - surely, those who die there deserve sympathy for their misluck, but those rare events are not a valid reason to avoid flying, the vast majority of flights end well, and much more premature deaths are caused by poor lifestyle choices than by catastrophes.

If I play well, at the stakes where most opponents know the theory worse than me, then bad card distribution is much less likely to cause my premature death than being hit by a car.

The purpose of bankroll management imo is to make the probability of having to give up poker to do a less profitable job adequately low, though it's impossible to make it zero. E.g. if my EV in $100 SNGs were $100 an hour but I only had $3K of disposable cash, then it would be wiser of me to play $15 ones with an EV of $30 an hour in order to reduce the chance of running out of cash and being forced to do a real job for $5 an hour given my lack of experience.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:03 PM   #83
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Mason Malmuth wrote in Post #16: Would you be making the same point if the game in question was blackjack?

Jared Tendler replied in Post #21: Nope.

Okay. You agree with David Sklansky and I that good blackjack players don't have this problem. Presumably it's because you realize that even emotionally stressful plays like hitting 16, splitting eights against a ten, or doubling down after making a big bet don't stop them from making what they know is the right decision. It's only when they don't have confidence in the rightness of a play where they might become indecisive.

But what you don't realize is that expert poker play has now become similar to blackjack. There are algorithmic unexploitable plays that are more complicated than those in blackjack but are still learnable and will beat almost all games. The best players not only know these strategies but also know when to deviate from them to increase their profits. Slightly less talented players will stick to the unexploitable strategies and win a bit less. But even those who never deviate will still beat almost all games just as the basic strategy blackjack player will beat a blackjsck game with favorable rules.

Thus anyone who has studied these "GTO" type strategies will find themselves in a similar emotional place as the professional blackjack player who you just admitted does not need your type of help.

Stated another way, once poker players have the correct strategies down cold, they don't need psychological counseling to always make the right play (including proper randomnization) just as you admitted that blackjack experts don't. In my opinion, you didn't realize that modern expert poker play is much more like blackjack than you thought.

Mason
This post is such a huge oversimplification. Have you seen a GTO solution for NLH? Its vastly more complicated than blackjack, no human could remember it and then implement it in game. Some do it much better than others, but do you really think someone like OTB is just clicking BTNs not really thinking through spots because he knows the answer?

Try and implement a GTO solution with multiple flop sizings and then properly balance each part of the game tree going forward, nobody plays GTO.

This means that their is a huge amount of "thinking" involved in poker. Using a mental game coach that can improve your; concentration, clarity of thoughts etc etc is very useful. Not to mention, however good your knowledge of poker is you can't always play your A game, but being able to play better for longer periods is a huge deal.

If someone is playing meaningful stakes professionally then I don't see how its such a stretch that paying Jared Tendler 300$/h or w/e wouldn't be a good investment.

You come across like you have not played poker full time recently and you don't really understand the current climate.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:35 PM   #84
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

+1 - it's really hard to memorize a winning strategy for such a complex game as 100 bb NLH, so execution / recall is important too, not only the study away from the tables.

Besides, for non-HU games, especially non-winner-take-all tourneys, the concept of a Nash equilibrium isn't particularly useful, and Morton's theorem may apply. The Nash strategy is only optimal if all the opponents play their Nash; if some of them play imperfectly, Nash can be losing for Hero. E.g. if on an SNG bubble, it's folded to Hero in the SB, the BB has a similar stack size and is a very loose recreational calling with a wide range, then Hero definitely shouldn't push the entire Nash range of any two cards, as unusually frequent collisions between him and the BB would harm them both (increase their bubbling probabilities) and benefit the other opponents.

That said, perhaps the most important thing that Hero should do to 'execute well' online is simply not to play at more tables than what Hero's brain can handle. Carlsen would lose a blitz simultaneous exhibition match to amateurs on 20 chess boards (barely giving him the time to make moves) but not on 2.

Last edited by coon74; 08-02-2017 at 08:55 PM. Reason: to add the last paragraph
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:47 PM   #85
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Even 3-handed FLH is very complex, and all multiways are far out of reach of processing, because there's not strong enough algorithms. Lowball was very game theory friendly. Holdem is more complicated, and Stud (non razz) is even more complicated.

Overarching strategy involving game theory with the aid of computers to arrive in the GTO ballpark is very doable. Perfection isn't even worthwhile.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:22 PM   #86
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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This means that their is a huge amount of "thinking" involved in poker. Using a mental game coach that can improve your; concentration, clarity of thoughts etc etc is very useful. Not to mention, however good your knowledge of poker is you can't always play your A game, but being able to play better for longer periods is a huge deal.
When we used the term GTO we really meant having the basic precepts down to the point where the plays that we think about will not be obviously erroneous.

The coaching that I object to relate to emotions and psychology. They don't relate to techniques that have people thinking to the best of their abilities at all times. Are there really such techniques? If so why don't 2200 chess players use them to beat 2300s that don't?
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:41 AM   #87
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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When we used the term GTO we really meant having the basic precepts down to the point where the plays that we think about will not be obviously erroneous.

The coaching that I object to relate to emotions and psychology. They don't relate to techniques that have people thinking to the best of their abilities at all times. Are there really such techniques? If so why don't 2200 chess players use them to beat 2300s that don't?
Correct me if I'm wrong here, I know very little about chess. In chess their is very little variance, so learning to have control over your emotions would be less usefull.

Look at some variance simulators for poker, quite frankly it's scary, especially when you consider how thin edges are at higher stakes. Have you and Mason had 500 average buyin + downswings at MTTs? Those downswings will be fairly common, being able to control emotions during this time is absolutely massive and very difficult. I play MTTs and know for a fact their are lots of players who are worse players than me, but make more money because of their consistent grinding and better control of emotions.

Also there is no GTO solution for 3 handed + NLH and styles vary masssively at the top levels. The fact you both seem to think that most decisions can be made on autopilot suggests you have not played in high level games and are behind the curve masssively.

P.s. When I am talking about emotional control, I am meaning being able to play more A/B game rather than B/C not tilt as in punting off.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:18 AM   #88
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Correct me if I'm wrong here, I know very little about chess. In chess their is very little variance, so learning to have control over your emotions would be less usefull.
You should read my psychology book. It's explained in there how to gain control of tilt and other states that poker players can go into where their games will deteriorate.

Quote:
Look at some variance simulators for poker, quite frankly it's scary, especially when you consider how thin edges are at higher stakes.
All this was written up in my book Gambling Theory and Other Topics when it was first published 30 years ago.

Quote:
Have you and Mason had 500 average buyin + downswings at MTTs? Those downswings will be fairly common, being able to control emotions during this time is absolutely massive and very difficult.
In David's book Fighting Fuzzy Thinking in Poker, Gaming, & Life, which was first published 20 years ago, one of the chapters is titled "Is Your Wallet Fat Enough for Tournaments." Again, we've been well aware of how severe the swings can be in poker/poker tournaments for a very long time, and speaking for myself only, and I'm sure your intentions are good, I find it annoying when someone points this stuff out to us since in almost all cases we were writing about it in detail before they even began to play poker.

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I play MTTs and know for a fact their are lots of players who are worse players than me, but make more money because of their consistent grinding and better control of emotions.
I have my doubts about this. If they're making more money than you after a long period of time, they're probably playing better than you or at least are getting into better spots -- easier tournaments -- than you are.

Quote:
Also there is no GTO solution for 3 handed + NLH and styles vary masssively at the top levels. The fact you both seem to think that most decisions can be made on autopilot suggests you have not played in high level games and are behind the curve masssively.
Now you're starting with insults probably because you don't like what we're saying. If you think we're massively behind the curve, you're the one sadly mistaken. Also, I can't help but wonder how much money, if any, you have given to one of these poker mental coaches.

Quote:
P.s. When I am talking about emotional control, I am meaning being able to play more A/B game rather than B/C not tilt as in punting off.
In my book Real Poker Psychology, I talk about two additional states that players can enter in addition to tilt where their games deteriorate (and the poker mental coaches that I'm familiar with never even mention any of this stuff). But let me ask you a question. Assuming you're not on tilt or in one of the other two states talked about in my book, why would you make a play that you know is wrong?

Let me put this another way. I know from playing tennis for over 50 years that there are some days where my timing is off and I seem to be playing my C Game instead of my A Game. But this has something to do with execution and not my knowledge of how to play. In poker, execution has to be a very small factor when compared to your knowledge. So are there days when you show up in the poker room (and are not on tilt since with some people tilt can last for a long time) and you're playing your C Game instead of your A Game where you are making plays that you know are wrong? I doubt it.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:49 AM   #89
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

I'm sure there are plenty of simplified models for 3-handed.

I'm currently reading Further Limit Hold'em, and I'm sure it will improve my game after reading the first chapters.

add: it's a GTO heavy book.

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Old 08-03-2017, 11:09 PM   #90
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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To get my point across without direct advertising, let me just hint that I'm quite sure about who was Blumstein's 'mental coach', as he claimed this in a subscriber email newsletter:
So, the guy Blumstein thanked on Twitter for coming out for a live session? I know Blumstein appeared on his podcast (which I haven't listened to and don't subscribe to), but if anyone else does, that may shed more light on the context, since apparently Blumstein talks about why he thought it was more important to work on his mental game than on his technical game in the break before the final table.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:20 PM   #91
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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An example of this is that over 30 years ago I explained how a great poker player is more likely to go broke than a good poker player when they each play in the exact same game with the same starting bankroll. This is another example of how this stuff can be counterintuitive, but it's absolutely correct. (See my book, Gambling Theory and Other Topics, for more discussion.)

Best wishes,
Mason
Interesting.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:54 AM   #92
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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So, the guy Blumstein thanked on Twitter for coming out for a live session? I know Blumstein appeared on his podcast (which I haven't listened to and don't subscribe to), but if anyone else does, that may shed more light on the context, since apparently Blumstein talks about why he thought it was more important to work on his mental game than on his technical game in the break before the final table.
Thanks for the tip - I'll listen to that podcast episode out of curiosity when I have the spare time and the mood for it.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:07 AM   #93
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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An example of this is that over 30 years ago I explained how a great poker player is more likely to go broke than a good poker player when they each play in the exact same game with the same starting bankroll. This is another example of how this stuff can be counterintuitive, but it's absolutely correct. (See my book, Gambling Theory and Other Topics, for more discussion.)
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Interesting.
Actually, it's clear even without reading the book (I did read the BRM chapters of 'The Mathematics of Poker' by Chen and Ankenman, though).

Basically, a great LAG plays marginal hands profitably that a good TAG folds. Playing a marginal hand is riskier than playing a premium one - the standard deviation of the single hand (conditional on Hero entering the pot) is roughly the same (even bigger in the LAG case if the opponents adjust by widening their ranges too), while the EV is much lower for the marginal hand. Thus the LAG's overall standard deviation (per, say, 100 hands or an hour) is significantly higher than the TAG's, while the overall winrate is only slightly higher. This logic applies to a cash game.

In an MTT, the LAG's distribution of finish position probabilities is more final-table-heavy and less min-cash-heavy, hence the LAG's standard deviation is again significantly higher than the TAG's.

In an SNG with a small number of entrants, the standard deviation of a single tourney is about the same no matter the playing style, e.g. ~1 BI for a HUSNG, hence the required bankroll is inversely proportional to the ROI (for positive ROIs), however, a great player has a monetary incentive to be less game-selective and, as a result, tends to have a lower ROI than a bumhunter, though the great player's overall hourly profit is still larger due to the higher number of SNGs that they play per hour.

Jackpot SNGs, where game selection within the same stake level is illegal, are an exception. There, a rational mediocre player (Hero) simply can't play at the high stakes: as Hero's ROI is small, their medium-term profit is so dependent on hitting top-tier jackpots that they're better off playing at a lower stake where the opponents' average skill is lower and thus Hero has a healthy ROI and isn't so reliant on hitting a JP for making a profit in the medium term.

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Old 08-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #94
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

The above is a quick superficial explanation - those who're unfamiliar with the underlying math (the theory of random processes) will surely benefit from reading the book. Sorry if my posting is too arrogant.

With regard to the original topic, I'll repeat that I think those coaches who're unknowledgeable at 'all things poker' can still be useful in a couple of ways:

1. Nutrition, sleep and health improvement in general don't increase the quality of decisions, but they can increase the quantity of decisions of the same sufficient quality that one can make per minute and/or the number of hours a day when one's brain is functional enough to make such decisions. This doesn't help with live poker, but at online one, it's easier to double the volume at the same stakes than to learn to beat tougher opponents and the rake at 4-5 times higher stakes (twice higher stakes wouldn't be enough to double the hourly winrate). The former approach may be bad for the poker ecosystem (and especially bad for poker sites' revenues ) but is surely good for a grinder's short-term bottom line, sorry.

2. The knowledge of 'all things poker' doesn't ease personality disorders which may result in chronic 'pseudo-tilt'. This treatment is counselors' job.

There's no need for a special 'poker mental game coach' for either of the two ways, though - any mental / physical health specialist who doesn't mind the client's poker occupation can do the job.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:47 PM   #95
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Life coaches are cheaper.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:57 PM   #96
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Yesterday, I listened to the podcast that I mentioned and I literally cannot remember anything that was said.
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:08 PM   #97
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by coon74 View Post
Actually, it's clear even without reading the book (I did read the BRM chapters of 'The Mathematics of Poker' by Chen and Ankenman, though).

Basically, a great LAG plays marginal hands profitably that a good TAG folds. Playing a marginal hand is riskier than playing a premium one - the standard deviation of the single hand (conditional on Hero entering the pot) is roughly the same (even bigger in the LAG case if the opponents adjust by widening their ranges too), while the EV is much lower for the marginal hand. Thus the LAG's overall standard deviation (per, say, 100 hands or an hour) is significantly higher than the TAG's, while the overall winrate is only slightly higher. This logic applies to a cash game.

In an MTT, the LAG's distribution of finish position probabilities is more final-table-heavy and less min-cash-heavy, hence the LAG's standard deviation is again significantly higher than the TAG's.

In an SNG with a small number of entrants, the standard deviation of a single tourney is about the same no matter the playing style, e.g. ~1 BI for a HUSNG, hence the required bankroll is inversely proportional to the ROI (for positive ROIs), however, a great player has a monetary incentive to be less game-selective and, as a result, tends to have a lower ROI than a bumhunter, though the great player's overall hourly profit is still larger due to the higher number of SNGs that they play per hour.

Jackpot SNGs, where game selection within the same stake level is illegal, are an exception. There, a rational mediocre player (Hero) simply can't play at the high stakes: as Hero's ROI is small, their medium-term profit is so dependent on hitting top-tier jackpots that they're better off playing at a lower stake where the opponents' average skill is lower and thus Hero has a healthy ROI and isn't so reliant on hitting a JP for making a profit in the medium term.
Hi coon74:

I think what you have here is a good explanation of what actually happens at the poker table. When I first looked at this stuff many years ago my approach was trying to understand what the underlying statistical theory was telling us about the game and the key realization was that many expert plays which the best players used to increase their win rate a little bit would also increase the standard deviation by a fair amount, and when looking at the bankroll equations first developed in my Gambling Theory book where the standard deviation gets squared, it became obvious that the great player with the same starting bankroll was more likely to go broke than the good player.

However, keep in mind that today expert players also do things to reduce their variance. See my psychology book for more discussion (and this is an idea these poker mental coaches seem to be completely unaware of.)

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:15 PM   #98
Mason Malmuth
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by coon74 View Post
The above is a quick superficial explanation - those who're unfamiliar with the underlying math (the theory of random processes) will surely benefit from reading the book. Sorry if my posting is too arrogant.

With regard to the original topic, I'll repeat that I think those coaches who're unknowledgeable at 'all things poker' can still be useful in a couple of ways:

1. Nutrition, sleep and health improvement in general don't increase the quality of decisions, but they can increase the quantity of decisions of the same sufficient quality that one can make per minute and/or the number of hours a day when one's brain is functional enough to make such decisions. This doesn't help with live poker, but at online one, it's easier to double the volume at the same stakes than to learn to beat tougher opponents and the rake at 4-5 times higher stakes (twice higher stakes wouldn't be enough to double the hourly winrate). The former approach may be bad for the poker ecosystem (and especially bad for poker sites' revenues ) but is surely good for a grinder's short-term bottom line, sorry.

2. The knowledge of 'all things poker' doesn't ease personality disorders which may result in chronic 'pseudo-tilt'. This treatment is counselors' job.

There's no need for a special 'poker mental game coach' for either of the two ways, though - any mental / physical health specialist who doesn't mind the client's poker occupation can do the job.
Hi coon74:

I didn't consider your post arrogant at all. Here's a couple of comments:

1. I have no issue with your No. 1. But do we really need to pay one of these poker mental coaches hundreds of dollars an hour to be told to live a healthy life style?

2. I agree that there are some people with serious issues who just shouldn't be playing poker.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:23 PM   #99
coon74
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
1. I have no issue with your No. 1. But do we really need to pay one of these poker mental coaches hundreds of dollars an hour to be told to live a healthy life style?
Of course we don't - there are much cheaper options, even free ones like reading the Health and Fitness forum on 2+2, where links to high-quality sources on nutrition are given, in the sticky threads in particular. Those are a good start for those like me who can't afford a personal trainer.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:18 PM   #100
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Jared Tendler View Post
Plus, in my opinion, I don't think I would have lasted in this industry if was selling bulls**t.
What you're selling comes under the heading of Psychology. If most of your customers, I presume, have little knowledge of Psychology, how could they tell if it's BS or not?
You have a theory of tilt; of arousal v performance; of learning (unconscious competence etc) which all draw upon Psychology. What's to stop you just pulling out random theories, calling them Psychology, and selling them to these people with little ability to discriminate?
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