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Old 09-13-2017, 02:48 PM   #126
mark "twang"
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Honestly, I had no idea that "Real Poker Psychology" actually goes into the more exploitative aspects of psychology (tells, player profiling, image, game selection).
These are the more interesting aspects of psychology imo. But that doesn't make Jared's work bad, scammy, or insignificant. Again, I am completely unbiased and I don't know Jared or Mason.

The aspect of "mental game" is a very real phenomenon and Jared laid the groundwork for all of us to talk about it. Maybe Mason expanded on it. (by going much further into detail with his discussion of variance), Expanding on a topic is similar to Zach Elwood expanding on Mike Caro's work on tells. A lot of players would absolutely say that Caro's work is outdated, but we appreciate the fact that he laid the groundwork.

Let's give Jared some credit and show a little respect. The info is fresh, relevant, and totally applicable for today's modern player. I would recommend his book over other best sellers like Supersystem, Play Poker Like the Pro's, and other outdated material. Would I pay for coaching? probably not. But, obviously there is a market for Jared's work, so who are we to sit here and judge and say that Jared is offering little value?

In turn, I apologize to Mason for being a d*ck to him without even reading his book and knowing the content inside of it.

Last edited by mark "twang"; 09-13-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:48 PM   #127
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Jared Tendler View Post
My integrity.
How so? Your work relied on representing a level of poker understanding you knew you did not have. How can you now rely on an integrity argument for promoting the correctness of your application of psychology to poker?
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:19 PM   #128
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark "twang" View Post
Honestly, I had no idea that "Real Poker Psychology" actually goes into the more exploitative aspects of psychology (tells, player profiling, image, game selection).
These are the more interesting aspects of psychology imo. But that doesn't make Jared's work bad, scammy, or insignificant. Again, I am completely unbiased and I don't know Jared or Mason.

The aspect of "mental game" is a very real phenomenon and Jared laid the groundwork for all of us to talk about it. Maybe Mason expanded on it. (by going much further into detail with his discussion of variance), Expanding on a topic is similar to Zach Elwood expanding on Mike Caro's work on tells. A lot of players would absolutely say that Caro's work is outdated, but we appreciate the fact that he laid the groundwork.

Let's give Jared some credit and show a little respect. The info is fresh, relevant, and totally applicable for today's modern player. I would recommend his book over other best sellers like Supersystem, Play Poker Like the Pro's, and other outdated material. Would I pay for coaching? probably not. But, obviously there is a market for Jared's work, so who are we to sit here and judge and say that Jared is offering little value?

In turn, I apologize to Mason for being a d*ck to him without even reading his book and knowing the content inside of it.
Is what he is saying in his books correct?

There's a market for his book so that makes it legit? A new edition of 'Mein Kampf' came out in 2016 and has sold about 100,000 copies. That guy must have been on to something.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:19 PM   #129
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by chrisshiherlis View Post
How so? Your work relied on representing a level of poker understanding you knew you did not have. How can you now rely on an integrity argument for promoting the correctness of your application of psychology to poker?
Mason doesn't play poker (by his own admission), yet he is writing a book about poker psychology that includes game selection, spotting tells, understanding image. You could make the same accusation toward Mason as you are doing with Jared.

The reason I initially thought Mason's book was solely about math is because that is a subject he has been educated on and has direct experience applying in the real world (working for the Census Beruau). You can see in my previous post, I was legitimately shocked to see that Mason discussed poker psychology, since the successful application of these topics relies on you actually being at the table, experiencing the emotions directly, not from the arm-chair.

Jared attempted, and if I'm not mistaken, was able to to play professional golf, so his application of sport psychology is certainly credible and warranted. The correlations between "choking" in golf and "going on tilt" in poker are strikingly similar. They are both symbolic of a larger mental game issue that the particular player has. Jared's work is about fixing these mental game issues so a player can perform at his "A" game, or at least, play better, more consistently. The testimonials from REAL poker players confirms the value.

There is a space for this type of work in poker. It's not the be all, end all, but it's solid. Maybe Jared's work isn't perfect. Maybe he could have digged deeper into the math to explain variance (even though that's not his specialty as a sport psychologist) If Jared missed something, then how about YOU write a book about it and actually contribute something of value, rather than tearing down a guy who gave it a solid effort, and contributed something unique and fresh to poker.

Also, didn't two plus two used to sell The Mental Game of Poker at one point?

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Old 09-13-2017, 11:10 PM   #130
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by mark "twang" View Post
Mason doesn't play poker (by his own admission), yet he is writing a book about poker psychology that includes game selection, spotting tells, understanding image. You could make the same accusation toward Mason as you are doing with Jared.
Where does this come from. I've played a lot of poker over the last 37 years, I stated to play in the poker rooms of Gardena in the early 1980s, and I still play regularly.

Quote:
The reason I initially thought Mason's book was solely about math is because that is a subject he has been educated on and has direct experience applying in the real world (working for the Census Beruau). You can see in my previous post, I was legitimately shocked to see that Mason discussed poker psychology, since the successful application of these topics relies on you actually being at the table, experiencing the emotions directly, not from the arm-chair.
Again, I'm sure I've spent more time at the poker tables, mostly because I'm older, than the vast majority of people who participate in this website, and that includes you.

Quote:
Jared attempted, and if I'm not mistaken, was able to to play professional golf, so his application of sport psychology is certainly credible and warranted.
No, in my opinion it's not credible. In fact, again in my opinion, it's probably the majpr problem in most of this poker mental stuff. The following is from the psychology section of our book Poker and More which I co-wrote with David Sklansky and which is a more recent publication than my psychology book:

Quote:
From page 170 of Poker and More. Idea No. 3: The components of a game. While this idea is addressed in some detail in Real Poker Psychology I don’t put it in these terms, and by doing so I think it’s a little easier to understand. Basically, you can divide almost any game into two components, the knowledge component and the execution component. And the following is from the “It’s Not What You Eat” chapter starting on page 142:

To understand this better, let’s take another look at tennis. Suppose you’re a good tennis player, are on the court, and your opponent hits the ball over the net and now it’s your turn to hit it back. What do you do?

I believe that two things happen. First, you instantly know what you want to do. That is, you’ll decide what spot on the court you want to hit the ball to, how hard you’ll want to hit it, how much and what kind of spin you’ll want to put on it, and so on.


Notice that so far we’re talking about the knowledge component. Continuing with the excerpt:

Next you’ll have to do this, and that requires timing, speed, and coordination.

And now we’re talking about the execution component. Continuing with the excerpt:

Now let’s look at poker. It’s your turn to act and you have a decision to make. Suppose your opponent has bet and you have to decide whether to fold, call, or raise, and if the game is no-limit how much to raise. Of course, a good player will know what to do in almost all situations quite quickly, and the remaining spots will take a little more time

Clearly, this is the knowledge component of poker. Continuing with the excerpt:

but will he need timing, speed, and coordination to get it done? That answer is no.

And again this is the execution component of poker.

However, notice something interesting, the execution component in poker doesn’t exist, or if it does exist, it must play a minor role compared to the knowledge component, while in an athletic sport like tennis, the execution component is quite important, and in my opinion in many athletic sports it’s probably more important than the knowledge component.

So why is this important? Well, the answer is that when I read the poker psychology books, and I also assume this is true of the coaching/counseling that many of these people sell, there’s a ton of stuff that clearly comes from the execution component of the sports world and is essentially worthless in poker. So we hear about unconscious competence, how it takes 10,000 hours of study and play to be an elite player, taking deep breaths (which I assume makes you more relaxed), and of course being thankful for the hot shower that you took in the morning which has something to do with gratitude which I assume is supposed to reduce stress. But I also don’t see how any of this helps to improve your knowledge of the game which is what you use to make your playing decisions.
Quote:
The correlations between "choking" in golf and "going on tilt" in poker are strikingly similar.
No they're not. Chokiing in golf. or any sport, has something to do with declining coordination when under pressure. This is usually fixed by much more repetition in practice so that the athlete can stay relaxed and confident. Going on tilt is a processing problem where the poker player loses his ability to think rationally. These are two very different things.

Quote:
They are both symbolic of a larger mental game issue that the particular player has. Jared's work is about fixing these mental game issues so a player can perform at his "A" game, or at least, play better, more consistently.
So does this mean when you're not on your A game you're going to make plays at the poker table that you know are wrong. Again, if you would read my book you'll see why this A Game/C Game stuff is nonsense. (And yes I'm also well aware that there are states that a poker player can go into, and tilt is just one of these states, where a player's game will deteriorate.)

Quote:
The testimonials from REAL poker players confirms the value.
There's something in the world of psychology called "transference." I'm not going to comment on it since my expertise in this area is lacking. But I now believe this has something to do with why you see these testimonials from some of these poker players as to how wonderful their mental coach is.

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There is a space for this type of work in poker. It's not the be all, end all, but it's solid. Maybe Jared's work isn't perfect.
Yes. I agree that his work is not perfect.

Quote:
Maybe he could have digged deeper into the math to explain variance (even though that's not his specialty as a sport psychologist) If Jared missed something, then how about YOU write a book about it and actually contribute something of value,
I thought I did this.

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rather than tearing down a guy who gave it a solid effort, and contributed something unique and fresh to poker.
In my opinion, I now don't think he contributed much value to poker. But that's just my opinion. Obviously yours is different. But this brings us back to the integrity issue and I suggest you look again at Post #127 by chrisshiherlis. I would like to hear Tendler explain how ideas from the sports world, which seem to deal mainly with execution and not knowledge, have much of anything to do with poker. Perhaps he mistakenly thought that this was the case, but now that it has been pointed out to him in detail that there is a much different view which says that he has most of it wrong, I believe a person of integrity would answer this. And up to now, and perhaps it has been answered somewhere, I haven't seen it.

Quote:
Also, didn't two plus two used to sell The Mental Game of Poker at one point?
No. It may have been sold by Professional Poker or some other Internet poker bookstore that had a presence on here, but 2+2 only sells its own books directly. Also, we did stop the coaching ads from both Jared Tendler and Elliot Roe. Since we were saying that most of this material was not worthwhile, we in 2+2 management felt it wasn't appropriate for us to continue accepting money from them.

And what if we were selling it? What we have stated on a number of different occasions is that we can't vet every ad that comes on 2+2. However, if we conclude at a later date that a product (and this would include a book) was not worthwhile, we would stop it sales.

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Old 09-14-2017, 04:38 AM   #131
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by chrisshiherlis View Post
Is what he is saying in his books correct?

There's a market for his book so that makes it legit? A new edition of 'Mein Kampf' came out in 2016 and has sold about 100,000 copies. That guy must have been on to something.
That's quite off topic. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/w...y.html?mcubz=0

Am not an expert on history and did not read it, but it's quite interesting for those interested in history. Also this is an annotated book and not the original. I think it is helpful to understand how Hitler's power grab was possible.

Anyways, this thread seems to go off topic from visualizing deuces onto bashing Jared's book (unless Jared was the mental coach mentioned in the initial posting).

I still think Jared has done an excellent job with his first book. He's not a poker expert but a sport psychologist and he sat down with many poker players to understand the mental aspect of the game, trying to solve what Mason calls "Problems with Processing" and the different root causes that may cause those problems. It is about more than just understanding variance, for example the different forms of tilt (and what you can do about it to lower their impact), selective memory, how this "processing" works, why do we act different when angry ...

Maybe I should read one of 2+2's psychology books too, to be in a better position of comparing them. I got plenty of other 2+2 books though and am thankful for them.

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Old 09-14-2017, 05:49 AM   #132
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by AnotherMakiaveli View Post
That's quite off topic. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/w...y.html?mcubz=0

Am not an expert on history and did not read it, but it's quite interesting for those interested in history. Also this is an annotated book and not the original. I think it is helpful to understand how Hitler's power grab was possible.

Anyways, this thread seems to go off topic from visualizing deuces onto bashing Jared's book (unless Jared was the mental coach mentioned in the initial posting).
Hi AnotherMakiaveli:

I'm not 100 percent sure but I believe the mental coach in question was Elliot Roe. If this is not accurate can someone point to the correct coach.

Quote:
I still think Jared has done an excellent job with his first book. He's not a poker expert but a sport psychologist and he sat down with many poker players to understand the mental aspect of the game, trying to solve what Mason calls "Problems with Processing" and the different root causes that may cause those problems. It is about more than just understanding variance, for example the different forms of tilt (and what you can do about it to lower their impact), selective memory, how this "processing" works, why do we act different when angry ...
I don't have Tendler's book in fromt of me but I believe he describes seven types of tilt which I claim is way off base. Here's an excerpt from page 168 of our book Poker and More, and the bolding has been added for this post:

Quote:
Idea No. 2: A more general definition of “pseudo tilt.” In Real Poker Psychology, pseudo tilt is defined as, when losing in a session, playing in such a way so that the probability of finishing a winner is higher than it would be if you just played your standard game in the remaining time you have available. What this means is that by playing in a way that increases the already large short term luck factor (that’s present in poker) the probability of finishing a winner goes up, and this usually means playing additional hands than normal and sometimes playing them much more aggressively. However, when doing this, it’s almost always the case that you’re also lowering your long term expectation which means that if pseudo tilt is something that you do a lot, expect your long term results to be poor even though you also can expect more winning sessions. In addition, notice that this is not standard tilt since the player has made a rational decision, though one that’s incorrect from an expectation perspective, to play in this manner.

However, since writing the book, I began to realize that the definition of pseudo tilt should really be more general. So let’s redefine it here as pseudo tilt is when the player has decided that something else is more important than maximizing expectation (which is something that expert players try to do all the time.) Let me give two other examples.

The first is what is known as “money management,” and this is a topic that I’ve addressed before. Basically, money management is a set of contrived rules that helps you preserve a win once you have gotten ahead in a session. This can include things like a stop loss, playing tighter, and playing more passively. And yes, money management will assure that you’ll leave the table a winner more often. But it’ll also assure that your overall expectation is lower.

The second example is something that poker mental coach Jared Tendler calls “Revenge tilt.” And it’s exactly what you think it is. That is, it’s adjusting your play so that you can target a particular player who for some reason has become someone you want to get revenge against. However, while revenge tilt does exist, the ability to target an opponent is a rational decision, so it’s not standard tilt. However, it’s certainly pseudo tilt since the targeting of an opponent clearly should lower your expectation if it causes you to play a hand differently from the way you would normally play it.
Another name for pseudo tilt might be "expectation bias." But whatever name you want to give, it's much different from standard tilt where a player has lost the ability to think rationally. In addition, one of the purposes for writing my book was to explain the different states, namely tilt, pseudo tilt, and searching, that poker players can enter that very few people seem to be familiar with.

So why is this important? First, it's my contention the way a tilted player solves his tilt issues is to become more knowledgeable of all things poker. This will allow him to process difficult information, such as losing a number of hands in a short period of time, which will then allow his brain to proceed to the next hand to be played.

As for revenge tilt, which again is not tilt but a form of pseudo tilt, where the player in question has decided that getting revenge is more important than maximizing his expectation, there may not be anything to fix. I guess you can tell the player that if he does this a lot his results in terms of expectation won't be as good as they could be, but if the player feels that getting revenge is more important than maximizing expectation, I think that's a personal decision and it can obviously be made in a very rational manner.

Let me give a personal example. Because of the success of 2+2, today I play poker for fun. Of course, I find it more fun to win, so I also try to play well. But sometimes in a game I might change seats just to talk to a particular player, and this seat change might lower my expectation perhaps because I move farther away from the live one or put a very aggressive player on my left. Would someone like Tendler then call this "seat change tilt" or "having fun tilt" because this decision of changing seats lowered my expectation in this particular game?

Quote:
Maybe I should read one of 2+2's psychology books too, to be in a better position of comparing them. I got plenty of other 2+2 books though and am thankful for them.
In addition to my book, I would recommend Inside the Poker Mind by John Feeney, Ph.D. It's an older book written in the limit hold 'em days, but still contains much terrific advice. And we just happen to have a special on these two books located here:

https://www.twoplustwo.com/store/#!/...358/category=0

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:23 AM   #133
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi AnotherMakiaveli:

I'm not 100 percent sure but I believe the mental coach in question was Elliot Roe. If this is not accurate can someone point to the correct coach.



I don't have Tendler's book in fromt of me but I believe he describes seven types of tilt which I claim is way off base. Here's an excerpt from page 168 of our book Poker and More, and the bolding has been added for this post:



Another name for pseudo tilt might be "expectation bias." But whatever name you want to give, it's much different from standard tilt where a player has lost the ability to think rationally. In addition, one of the purposes for writing my book was to explain the different states, namely tilt, pseudo tilt, and searching, that poker players can enter that very few people seem to be familiar with.

So why is this important? First, it's my contention the way a tilted player solves his tilt issues is to become more knowledgeable of all things poker. This will allow him to process difficult information, such as losing a number of hands in a short period of time, which will then allow his brain to proceed to the next hand to be played.

As for revenge tilt, which again is not tilt but a form of pseudo tilt, where the player in question has decided that getting revenge is more important than maximizing his expectation, there may not be anything to fix. I guess you can tell the player that if he does this a lot his results in terms of expectation won't be as good as they could be, but if the player feels that getting revenge is more important than maximizing expectation, I think that's a personal decision and it can obviously be made in a very rational manner.

Let me give a personal example. Because of the success of 2+2, today I play poker for fun. Of course, I find it more fun to win, so I also try to play well. But sometimes in a game I might change seats just to talk to a particular player, and this seat change might lower my expectation perhaps because I move farther away from the live one or put a very aggressive player on my left. Would someone like Tendler then call this "seat change tilt" or "having fun tilt" because this decision of changing seats lowered my expectation in this particular game?



In addition to my book, I would recommend Inside the Poker Mind by John Feeney, Ph.D. It's an older book written in the limit hold 'em days, but still contains much terrific advice. And we just happen to have a special on these two books located here:

https://www.twoplustwo.com/store/#!/...358/category=0

Best wishes,
Mason
Hi Mason,

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I will check out the recommended books, as I am sure I can learn something from them as well.

I guess the changing seat tilt could be classified as some form of winner's tilt.

Best Regards,
AM

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Old 09-14-2017, 04:40 PM   #134
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Mason,

Just so we are on the same page, I suggested that Chrisheris write a book when I was responding to his post, not you.

Additionally, I appreciate your thorough responses. I will concede several points to you, and others I will just agree to disagree.

The one area where I think you are wrong is when you say that choking in golf can be fixed by more practice and repetition to increase confidence. Mickelson wasn't a choke due to lack of practice. It was something deeper. Something in his identity and inner psyche. Maybe there was something preventing him from thinking he deserves it. I don't know what it was, but there's a reason why he choked way more than his fair share, and other guys like Tiger never did.

The same applies to poker. Some guys are just "losers". It's their identity. If they are up in a session, they do risky and stupid sh*t to start losing. If they lose a hand, it just starts accelerating their negative thought patterns faster (i.e. going on tilit), and they play even worse.

Obviously we can't do lab studies to prove things like the "unconscious mind". Who knows, maybe neuroscience will start shedding light on these things. But certain concepts are real. Jung's "shadow self" works just as powerfully and predictably as Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand". To discount this is being ignorant to the complexity of human behavior.

The way to fix a lack of confidence and negative self-image is probably more interesting than debating whether it exists or not. In Jose Conseco's book "Juiced", he discussed how teammates would go out carousing and have one night stands, even if the girl was unattractive, just to get out of a slump. This was said to be a tried and true trick to boost confidence. It was called a "slump buster".

What's funny about this, is that it correlates to Tiger Wood's success in golf. Was Tiger not on top of the world before the scandal broke out between him and all of the sk*nks he nailed. How sh*t has he been since the divorce de-masculated the hell out of him. How about Bill Clinton w/ Monica Lewinsky and all of his hoes. He did pretty well in politics last I checked.

Guys who have a high-self image tend to perform well in high competition/ high stress scenarios. Whereas guys that 'choke" are probably screwing up in other areas of their life too. Losers will play in ways that make them lose, just like a guy will screw it up with a girl he likes if he unconsciously doesn't feel like he deserves her. Therapy or coaching is a way to give a guy KNOWLEDGE and self-awareness of his flawed and self-destructive thinking so he can fix his problems. It's another layer to understanding "all things poker".

So it's possible that Jared is offering value and you are offering value at the same time.

Last edited by mark "twang"; 09-14-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:38 PM   #135
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by mark "twang" View Post
Mason,

Just so we are on the same page, I suggested that Chrisheris write a book when I was responding to his post, not you.

Additionally, I appreciate your thorough responses. I will concede several points to you, and others I will just agree to disagree.
Okay

Quote:
The one area where I think you are wrong is when you say that choking in golf can be fixed by more practice and repetition to increase confidence. Mickelson wasn't a choke due to lack of practice. It was something deeper. Something in his identity and inner psyche. Maybe there was something preventing him from thinking he deserves it. I don't know what it was, but there's a reason why he choked way more than his fair share, and other guys like Tiger never did.
I think this is an important point and of course I disagree completely. Let's take a closer look at choking which we can each agree is a mental issue. How does it affect an athlete?

First, you may want to read again my excerpt from Poker and More, which you can find a couple of posts above, where I talk about the two components of a game -- knowledge and execution. I think it's pretty clear that choking is an execution problem.

For example, let's look at the highly skilled golfer who chokes and misses a three foot put. Obviously he has the knowledge to make three foot puts, but something has gone wrong, his mental state is affected, and his coordination fails him and the put gets missed.

Now compare this to a poker player. Let's say it's you, your opponent bets, and now you have to make a decision as to whether you should, raise, call, or fold, and if the game is no-limit, how much to raise. This is all based on knowledge. But where does speed, timing, and coordination come in? Thus I fail to see how choking in the athletic sport sense has much to do with poker at all.

And of course this leads us to our poker mental coaches. Again, based on what I've read, much of their advice comes from the sports world where it may help with execution, I'm not disputing that. But what I am disputing is the idea that much of this stuff can be applied to poker with the same type of success.

Quote:
The same applies to poker. Some guys are just "losers". It's their identity. If they are up in a session, they do risky and stupid sh*t to start losing. If they lose a hand, it just starts accelerating their negative thought patterns faster (i.e. going on tilit), and they play even worse.
I agree with this. Stated for extreme cases, it's my opinion that some people just shouldn't be playing poker. But in those cases, I don't think it matters how much or what type of coaching they get. At least that's my observation.

Quote:
Obviously we can't do lab studies to prove things like the "unconscious mind". Who knows, maybe neuroscience will start shedding light on these things. But certain concepts are real. Jung's "shadow self" works just as powerfully and predictably as Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand". To discount this is being ignorant to the complexity of human behavior.
I don't know enough above Jung's "shadow self" to comment.

Quote:
The way to fix a lack of confidence and negative self-image is probably more interesting than debating whether it exists or not. In Jose Conseco's book "Juiced", he discussed how teammates would go out carousing and have one night stands, even if the girl was unattractive, just to get out of a slump. This was said to be a tried and true trick to boost confidence. It was called a "slump buster".
Again you're talking about something that affects execution and not knowledge. Using examples from the sports world, from my perspective as someone who worked for years as a professional statistician, is simply laughable statistics.

Quote:
What's funny about this, is that it correlates to Tiger Wood's success in golf. Was Tiger not on top of the world before the scandal broke out between him and all of the sk*nks he nailed. How sh*t has he been since the divorce de-masculated the hell out of him. How about Bill Clinton w/ Monica Lewinsky and all of his hoes. He did pretty well in politics last I checked.
Again, the Tiger Woods example is related to execution and not knowledge. As for Clinton, I'll pass on that one.

Quote:
Guys who have a high-self image tend to perform well in high competition/ high stress scenarios. Whereas guys that 'choke" are probably screwing up in other areas of their life too.
This is the first paragraph of my book:

I’m a mathematician. The reason I can say this is that my degrees are in math. But I’m also a statistician, and the reason I can say this is that in graduate school my curriculum included a bunch of statistics courses. When I worked in the real world, first for the United States Census Bureau and then for the Northrop Corporation, my job was more of a statistician than mathematician even though “math” was always in my title. So why am I writing a book on poker psychology?

So I wouldn't know if what you're saying has any validity since I'm not a trained psychologist. But as a statistician, I wonder where the data that supports this comes from. And even if there is legitimate data that supports this idea in some fields, it doesn't mean that it applies to poker.

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Losers will play in ways that make them lose, just like a guy will screw it up with a girl he likes if he unconsciously doesn't feel like he deserves her. Therapy or coaching is a way to give a guy KNOWLEDGE and self-awareness of his flawed and self-destructive thinking so he can fix his problems.
I would make the same argument here. It seems to me that solving girl friend problems is a great deal different from estimating implied odds, positive or negative, that a poker hand may have. So while what you're saying may be absolutely correct relative to the girlfriend, I doubt that there would be much correlation to poker.

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It's another layer to understanding "all things poker".
I strongly doubt this. Again, it's a topic that seems to me to be too far removed from poker. And in the extreme case of a player who is highly focused on GTO strategies, it would have nothing to do with poker.

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So it's possible that Jared is offering value and you are offering value at the same time.
Again, I state in the "Conclusion" of my book that I think there is a little bit of value in this poker mental stuff. But I also think for the vast majority of poker players who are struggling with their mental issues, my advice has far more advice. And if I was to become a poker mental coach, I can't see a coaching session lasting more than 45 minutes and there would be no need for a second session.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:57 AM   #136
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
For example, let's look at the highly skilled golfer who chokes and misses a three foot put. Obviously he has the knowledge to make three foot puts, but something has gone wrong, his mental state is affected, and his coordination fails him and the put gets missed.

Now compare this to a poker player. Let's say it's you, your opponent bets, and now you have to make a decision as to whether you should, raise, call, or fold, and if the game is no-limit, how much to raise. This is all based on knowledge. But where does speed, timing, and coordination come in? Thus I fail to see how choking in the athletic sport sense has much to do with poker at all.

And of course this leads us to our poker mental coaches. Again, based on what I've read, much of their advice comes from the sports world where it may help with execution, I'm not disputing that. But what I am disputing is the idea that much of this stuff can be applied to poker with the same type of success.
This is correct. Choking in sport is associated with increased levels of stress or arousal. Typically, this induces a physiological "fight or flight" response; so, increased heart rate, respiratory functioning and tension of the muscles. Also associated are a narrowing of attention, so rather than thoughts dwelling on the job at hand (how far is this put? what are the conditions?), focus switches to internal factors relating to the stress response, perhaps thinking about winning, and also your own co-ordination.

This causes a visible regression in performance, and in many cases the athlete will look like a rank amateur. Ironically, this is because the athlete is now performing actions consciously, rather than unconsciously, which neatly leads us back to the competence argument and provides another example of why neither factor is really related to poker.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:39 AM   #137
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
And of course this leads us to our poker mental coaches. Again, based on what I've read, much of their advice comes from the sports world where it may help with execution, I'm not disputing that. But what I am disputing is the idea that much of this stuff can be applied to poker with the same type of success.
I haven't really delved deeply into it, but there is research in the area of why some people choke under the pressure of standardized tests. Perhaps knowledge gleaned from examining a cognitive, non-competitive situation will provide more help than a poker-sports analogy.

Even highly intelligent people can experience anxiety and emotional turmoil that prevents them from fully accessing their knowledge base when taking mathematical tests, so it is likely that there is some value in identifying and mitigating any sources of anxiety when playing poker. This includes avoidance of over-thinking. The goal of unconscious competence is probably to free up working memory that gets locked up by over-thinking so that it can be used more effectively.

So, while most players could benefit from the improving their fundamentals of poker, there are some players who need to fix their mindset at the table before they can fully benefit from what they learn away from the table. The greater your theoretical knowledge, the more potential value there is in removing mental barriers to better performance.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:44 PM   #138
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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This is correct. Choking in sport is associated with increased levels of stress or arousal. Typically, this induces a physiological "fight or flight" response; so, increased heart rate, respiratory functioning and tension of the muscles. Also associated are a narrowing of attention, so rather than thoughts dwelling on the job at hand (how far is this put? what are the conditions?), focus switches to internal factors relating to the stress response, perhaps thinking about winning, and also your own co-ordination.

This causes a visible regression in performance, and in many cases the athlete will look like a rank amateur. Ironically, this is because the athlete is now performing actions consciously, rather than unconsciously, which neatly leads us back to the competence argument and provides another example of why neither factor is really related to poker.
Yes, but given that we are in the PSYCHOLOGY forum, we can look at things much deeper. What is causing this anxiety? What is making someone have increased arousal while other players don't experience it as much? What makes the ELITE players (Tom Brady) seem to perform BETTER in moments of increased stress and anxiety (Last year's heroic superbowl comeback)

The examples I provided from "Juiced" w/ Conseco, Tiger Woods cheating scandal, Bill Clinton, may seem unrelated and comical, but aren't irrelevant at all. These guys have above average sex-drives and it seems to help them perform in "the clutch" a lot better than their peers. Why? Well for one, when you're regularly busting your load all over a young model's face, you seem to have feel less anxiety and stress in your day-to-day life. Your confidence rips. You perform and execute better.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:12 PM   #139
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Okay



I think this is an important point and of course I disagree completely. Let's take a closer look at choking which we can each agree is a mental issue. How does it affect an athlete?

First, you may want to read again my excerpt from Poker and More, which you can find a couple of posts above, where I talk about the two components of a game -- knowledge and execution. I think it's pretty clear that choking is an execution problem.

For example, let's look at the highly skilled golfer who chokes and misses a three foot put. Obviously he has the knowledge to make three foot puts, but something has gone wrong, his mental state is affected, and his coordination fails him and the put gets missed.

Now compare this to a poker player. Let's say it's you, your opponent bets, and now you have to make a decision as to whether you should, raise, call, or fold, and if the game is no-limit, how much to raise. This is all based on knowledge. But where does speed, timing, and coordination come in? Thus I fail to see how choking in the athletic sport sense has much to do with poker at all.

And of course this leads us to our poker mental coaches. Again, based on what I've read, much of their advice comes from the sports world where it may help with execution, I'm not disputing that. But what I am disputing is the idea that much of this stuff can be applied to poker with the same type of success.



I agree with this. Stated for extreme cases, it's my opinion that some people just shouldn't be playing poker. But in those cases, I don't think it matters how much or what type of coaching they get. At least that's my observation.



I don't know enough above Jung's "shadow self" to comment.



Again you're talking about something that affects execution and not knowledge. Using examples from the sports world, from my perspective as someone who worked for years as a professional statistician, is simply laughable statistics.



Again, the Tiger Woods example is related to execution and not knowledge. As for Clinton, I'll pass on that one.



This is the first paragraph of my book:

I’m a mathematician. The reason I can say this is that my degrees are in math. But I’m also a statistician, and the reason I can say this is that in graduate school my curriculum included a bunch of statistics courses. When I worked in the real world, first for the United States Census Bureau and then for the Northrop Corporation, my job was more of a statistician than mathematician even though “math” was always in my title. So why am I writing a book on poker psychology?

So I wouldn't know if what you're saying has any validity since I'm not a trained psychologist. But as a statistician, I wonder where the data that supports this comes from. And even if there is legitimate data that supports this idea in some fields, it doesn't mean that it applies to poker.



I would make the same argument here. It seems to me that solving girl friend problems is a great deal different from estimating implied odds, positive or negative, that a poker hand may have. So while what you're saying may be absolutely correct relative to the girlfriend, I doubt that there would be much correlation to poker.



I strongly doubt this. Again, it's a topic that seems to me to be too far removed from poker. And in the extreme case of a player who is highly focused on GTO strategies, it would have nothing to do with poker.



Again, I state in the "Conclusion" of my book that I think there is a little bit of value in this poker mental stuff. But I also think for the vast majority of poker players who are struggling with their mental issues, my advice has far more advice. And if I was to become a poker mental coach, I can't see a coaching session lasting more than 45 minutes and there would be no need for a second session.

Best wishes,
Mason
Ok you're kind of proving my point. You are a mathematician and not a psychologist. That means there is a vast array of things about the topic that you aren't aware of. Btw Carl Jung's "shadow self" can be found in Psych 101.

Being gifted in math can be a blessing and a curse. You seem to only be able to view subjects linearly, rather than seeing how other areas correlate with each other.

Take my girlfriend example. On the surface, you may ask yourself, "what the hell do women and relationships have to do with poker?"

I'll give you one example. Testosterone.

No limit Hold'em, more so than other forms of poker, requires that you are able to PULL THE TRIGGER on a big bluff. It's not a KNOWLEDGE issue, it's a PERFORMANCE issue. You think Old Man Coffee never bluffs because he lacks the knowledge? Not a chance. He doesn't bluff because he's a weak, timid, soul. He hates the feeling of anxiety so much that he purposely sacrifices his EV and potential winrate in order to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of bluffing. Old Man coffee doesn't need to read more poker books, he needs to find his n*t sack. Tis may mean participating in activities that have nothing to do with poker at all, such as going to the gym, or having more sex.

On the flip side, players with high testosterone (Phil Ivey) face the discomfort of bluffing head-on and manage to pull the trigger much better than most (6 bracelets).

Coordination and execution actually DO matter in poker. A guy who sucks at bluffing and then attempts to bluff will display NONVERBAL tells that show he is weak. On the contrary, skilled bluffers can feel the anxiety in their opponent, and make a big raise that scares the hell out of their opponent.

I know this because I play NL for a living.

I don't mean disrespect because I respect the work you and david have done over the course of your entire career. But you were the one that went out of your way to attack Jared. I don't think it's wise to poo-poo someone that discusses a subject that you aren't trained in.

Personally, I hope MORE work comes out in the field of sport psychology, and the field of psychology in general, because I will be the first in line to apply what works for me.

I'm actually surprised there aren't more poker players on here that agree with me. I guess it makes sense, given these are the same guys I'm beating every day in the cash games.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:42 PM   #140
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Yes, but given that we are in the PSYCHOLOGY forum, we can look at things much deeper. What is causing this anxiety? What is making someone have increased arousal while other players don't experience it as much? What makes the ELITE players (Tom Brady) seem to perform BETTER in moments of increased stress and anxiety (Last year's heroic superbowl comeback)

The examples I provided from "Juiced" w/ Conseco, Tiger Woods cheating scandal, Bill Clinton, may seem unrelated and comical, but aren't irrelevant at all. These guys have above average sex-drives and it seems to help them perform in "the clutch" a lot better than their peers. Why? Well for one, when you're regularly busting your load all over a young model's face, you seem to have feel less anxiety and stress in your day-to-day life. Your confidence rips. You perform and execute better.
Mark:

You're making an argument that reducing stress can improve athletic performance, and I don't think any of us disagree. I certainly don't. However, poker is a game that at most has a small execution factor and while reducing stress certainly helps with an athlete's execution, it won't help with knowledge and poker is mainly a knowledge game. This means that when comparing a top athlete like Tom Brady to a top poker player you should get close to zero correlation.

Mason
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:48 PM   #141
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Mark:

You're making an argument that reducing stress can improve athletic performance, and I don't think any of us disagree. I certainly don't. However, poker is a game that at most has a small execution factor and while reducing stress certainly helps with an athlete's execution, it won't help with knowledge and poker is mainly a knowledge game. This means that when comparing a top athlete like Tom Brady to a top poker player you should get close to zero correlation.

Mason
On this point I disagree with you. Stress discomforts the body and it's tough to keep a sharp mind when you're physically uncomfortable. And I think whoever said 'poker is a game of people played with cards' is more right than you are when you call poker a game of knowledge. Of course it's a game of knowledge but players have to be able to perform, to the best of their knowledge, what you refer to as 'execution' as a mental task rather than the physical in the sports world and it's people with their various passions brought out as soon as they get dealt a hand that are the game.

Roy West, poker columnist for years, had what he called 'Roy's Rules.' There was only one rule with a number, #1: 'Play happy or don't play.' That's the ideal and to reach it players have to be happy with their game and they'd be a lot happier if they truly understood what the game is.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:36 AM   #142
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Mark:

You're making an argument that reducing stress can improve athletic performance, and I don't think any of us disagree. I certainly don't. However, poker is a game that at most has a small execution factor and while reducing stress certainly helps with an athlete's execution, it won't help with knowledge and poker is mainly a knowledge game. This means that when comparing a top athlete like Tom Brady to a top poker player you should get close to zero correlation.

Mason
Perceived wisdom in sports is a moderate amount of stress can help improve performance over the short term. So, back to the fight or flight, if you're about to run 100m, then you really want your heart pumping as it will help the body perform better.

Of course, running fast in a straight line doesn't require much though. As I mentioned in my previous post, choking occurs because of too much physical and cognitive stress.

I'm not sure physiological stress has much effect on poker performance for the average player - at least on a day to day basis. If you're sweating, breathing hard and your heart is pumping through your chest every time you sit down, you should probably visit your doctor.

Cognitive stress is probably more of a factor. If you're worrying about blowing your g/f off to play poker, meeting the next rent payment or getting up for work the next day, then these factors may well affect your performance - especially if they go unchecked.

Finally, its important to point out that stress, mood and other positive and negative cognitive states are probably moderators of tilt, but is not actually tilt. Therefore, working on improving mental states such as these before playing might reduce your susceptibility to tilt, but will not treat the root cause. An inauthentic psychologist might therefore work on improving mental states, as they will probably reduce susceptibility to tilt, but not treat the root cause. While the root cause goes unchecked, the player will retain the services of the psychologist over the long-term, as they will probably see improvements in their ability to handle tilt, which will feel like a net positive for the player.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:49 AM   #143
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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On this point I disagree with you. Stress discomforts the body and it's tough to keep a sharp mind when you're physically uncomfortable. And I think whoever said 'poker is a game of people played with cards' is more right than you are when you call poker a game of knowledge. Of course it's a game of knowledge but players have to be able to perform, to the best of their knowledge, what you refer to as 'execution' as a mental task rather than the physical in the sports world and it's people with their various passions brought out as soon as they get dealt a hand that are the game.

Roy West, poker columnist for years, had what he called 'Roy's Rules.' There was only one rule with a number, #1: 'Play happy or don't play.' That's the ideal and to reach it players have to be happy with their game and they'd be a lot happier if they truly understood what the game is.
Hi Howard:

I'm sorry, but no serious player that I know of ever took Roy West seriously. In addition, it seems to me that this stuff always comes back to the same thing. If you want to be a happy poker player, learn how to play well, have good long term results, and happiness should come your way. While I have seen a few happy losers over the years, there were never a lot of them.

Also, what ever happened to Roy Wesr? Is he still alive? It's been at least 15 years since I heard his name.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:56 AM   #144
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Perceived wisdom in sports is a moderate amount of stress can help improve performance over the short term. So, back to the fight or flight, if you're about to run 100m, then you really want your heart pumping as it will help the body perform better.

Of course, running fast in a straight line doesn't require much though. As I mentioned in my previous post, choking occurs because of too much physical and cognitive stress.

I'm not sure physiological stress has much effect on poker performance for the average player - at least on a day to day basis. If you're sweating, breathing hard and your heart is pumping through your chest every time you sit down, you should probably visit your doctor.

Cognitive stress is probably more of a factor. If you're worrying about blowing your g/f off to play poker, meeting the next rent payment or getting up for work the next day, then these factors may well affect your performance - especially if they go unchecked.

Finally, its important to point out that stress, mood and other positive and negative cognitive states are probably moderators of tilt, but is not actually tilt. Therefore, working on improving mental states such as these before playing might reduce your susceptibility to tilt, but will not treat the root cause. An inauthentic psychologist might therefore work on improving mental states, as they will probably reduce susceptibility to tilt, but not treat the root cause. While the root cause goes unchecked, the player will retain the services of the psychologist over the long-term, as they will probably see improvements in their ability to handle tilt, which will feel like a net positive for the player.
Hi Elrazor:

I think all of this is correct. Put in my language I would say the execution component in poker is small, but not zero.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:55 AM   #145
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Ok you're kind of proving my point. You are a mathematician and not a psychologist. That means there is a vast array of things about the topic that you aren't aware of. Btw Carl Jung's "shadow self" can be found in Psych 101.

Being gifted in math can be a blessing and a curse. You seem to only be able to view subjects linearly, rather than seeing how other areas correlate with each other.
Mark:

This is from page 6 of Real Poker Psychology:

Quote:
From page 6 of Real Poker Psychology: But there’s another aspect to this. It turns out that the expectation is proportional to how much you play while the standard deviation is proportional to the square root of how much you play. And this means that the luck factor, which can dominate your short-term results, will in time have much less impact on your overall results. Put another way, the expert player may lose tonight, but he will almost certainly be ahead after a much longer period of time, and the weak player will just have his winning nights to remember as his long term expectation is negative.

So why is this important and what does this mathematical relationship have to do with poker psychology? Well, it turns out that this idea is the source of all good and evil in the world of poker psychology. In fact, and as we’ll see in this book, it’s almost impossible to think of anything in this field where the mathematical relationship between the expectation and the standard deviation, (along with a couple of other attributes that we’ll get to — poker can be counterintuitive and you need to play poker well) isn’t the explanation.
Andf this is why I can write a book on poker psychology which is far more accurate and doesn't include all the silly stuff that we hear from some of these poker mental coaches. Yes, mathematical modeling and statistical theory does answer many of these questions.

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No limit Hold'em, more so than other forms of poker, requires that you are able to PULL THE TRIGGER on a big bluff. It's not a KNOWLEDGE issue, it's a PERFORMANCE issue. You think Old Man Coffee never bluffs because he lacks the knowledge? Not a chance. He doesn't bluff because he's a weak, timid, soul. He hates the feeling of anxiety so much that he purposely sacrifices his EV and potential winrate in order to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of bluffing. Old Man coffee doesn't need to read more poker books, he needs to find his n*t sack. Tis may mean participating in activities that have nothing to do with poker at all, such as going to the gym, or having more sex.
Mark, when I read stuff like this it's hard to take it seriously. Take a look at the following.

This is from page 90 of my book Gambling Theory and Other Topics:

Quote:
From page 90 of Gambling Theory and Other Topics: Topic No. 3: A good player. Most people will tell you that a good poker player is someone who wins more on his good hands and loses less on his bad hands. While there is some validity to this, it is a long way from being correct. In reality, a good player is someone who wins a great deal of money on his marginal hands. He does this by getting the most out of any small edge that he may have.

What about a great player? Obviously, he does what a good player does but even more so. I believe a great player not only makes the most of his marginal edges, but also manages to take situations that are losers for most people and turn them into winners. This is done through superior deceptive strategies, correct evaluation of his opponents, and understanding exactly how his opponents perceive him. But this does not come for free. The price paid to become a great player is higher fluctuations.

Here is an example. Suppose your expectation is $30 per hour and your standard deviation is $650 per hour. (This may be typical of a good player at the $30-$60 lowball game that is spread in Southern California.) To assure that you won’t go broke, not counting any non-self-weighting effect, you need a bankroll of approximately $32,000 (3 standard deviations). Now suppose you are able to increase your expectation by 10 percent, but it causes your standard deviation to double. To assure that you don’t go broke — again, not counting any non-self-weighting effect, you need a bankroll of approximately $115,000. Notice that the relationship between the expectation and the standard deviation significantly deteriorated. (The calculations are not shown, but those readers interested should see the essay titled “How Much Do You Need?” which appears earlier in this section.)

Is this 10 percent increase worth the price? I’ll let you decide, but I would like to give an example. I have a very good friend who is without a doubt one of the best poker players around. Yet many of his opponents just think he plays tight, because in certain situations, he has decided to reduce his standard deviation. Of course, this also reduces his expectation. But my friend never plans on going broke, and so far, after many years of gambling, he has always managed to stay in money.

Finally, there is one other conclusion that we can draw. It is simply that great players are more likely to go broke than good players. Somehow this just doesn’t seem right, but that’s the way it is in the poker world.

By the way, the concept that a great player is more likely to go broke than a good player has generated a lot of discussion. But it’s true, provided that the great player and the good player both start with the same size bankroll. A corollary to this is that if you are playing on a small bankroll, it is wise to be somewhat more conservative than what is optimal to assure survival. (This concept was first proposed by David Sklansky, who recommends tighter play than what normally would be correct when playing in a great poker game at stakes too large for your bankroll.)
I think this is what you're describing. Your Old Man Coffee doesn't make these plays either because he doesn't understand superior strategy or if in those rare cases where he does, he doesn't want to deal with the increased flouctuations. And one other thing, this was written over 30 years ago, yet you put posts up here implying that we have little understanding of how this works.

Mason
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:26 PM   #146
mark "twang"
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Mark:

This is from page 6 of Real Poker Psychology:



Andf this is why I can write a book on poker psychology which is far more accurate and doesn't include all the silly stuff that we hear from some of these poker mental coaches. Yes, mathematical modeling and statistical theory does answer many of these questions.



Mark, when I read stuff like this it's hard to take it seriously. Take a look at the following.

This is from page 90 of my book Gambling Theory and Other Topics:



I think this is what you're describing. Your Old Man Coffee doesn't make these plays either because he doesn't understand superior strategy or if in those rare cases where he does, he doesn't want to deal with the increased flouctuations. And one other thing, this was written over 30 years ago, yet you put posts up here implying that we have little understanding of how this works.


Mason
Mason,

Thank you for referencing some of your other works in response to my posts.

In the case of OMC, I guess we will simply have to agree to disagree here.

There are spots that come up frequently, where an OMC could EASILY blow me off a hand in spots where I check to him on the river and he could represent the flush or straight, but he chooses to check behind with top pair. This guy has been playing long enough to know that most opponents, including myself, would NEVER check a flush or nut straight on the river, so he should easily be able to fire a bluff in that spot without fear of taking on too much variance. This isn't a clueless fish we are talking about here. If this guy is good enough to fold marginal hands pre-flop and understands "reverse implied odds" with hands like KJ, then he is also KNOWLEDGABLE enough to recognize a good bluffing spot when he sees one.

He chooses not to because he is too chicken. In order to improve, he needs to find some way to overcome this. I'm not necessarily saying he should see Jared Tendler, I'm just saying he needs to do something, because his game is suffering from this. That something, can't revolve around acquiring more knowledge, because he already possesses it! He is failing to apply what he already knows! He has a mental/psychological leak!

Hopefully Jared can come in and offer is take. But maybe he feels he's said everything that needs to be said on the topic.

I will let you have the last rebuttal and I'll sit on the sidelines for a while.

Enjoying the contribution from Howard and Elrazor as well!
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:04 PM   #147
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Hi Howard:

I'm sorry, but no serious player that I know of ever took Roy West seriously. In addition, it seems to me that this stuff always comes back to the same thing. If you want to be a happy poker player, learn how to play well, have good long term results, and happiness should come your way. While I have seen a few happy losers over the years, there were never a lot of them.

Also, what ever happened to Roy Wesr? Is he still alive? It's been at least 15 years since I heard his name.

Best wishes,
Mason
OK, but the question was about the effect of immediate stress and we are seeking the solution. I think that a more complete understanding of poker should remove the stress. I also think that you're having difficulty relating. Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall that you said somewhere itt 'if you know something is wrong why would you do it?' I know why I do it and I think most of the readers itt know why they do it also. And this part is no reflection on you personally bec we are all different: I am not surprised to find that a mathematician is more Mr. Spock-like than Dr. McCoy-like.

I mentioned Roy West just for that one point and I, at least, enjoyed reading him. AND, sick brag, I'm 67 and even I can find stuff out. He's on FB if you want to have a chat:

https://www.facebook.com/roy.west.54
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:03 PM   #148
Mason Malmuth
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Beale View Post
OK, but the question was about the effect of immediate stress and we are seeking the solution. I think that a more complete understanding of poker should remove the stress. I also think that you're having difficulty relating. Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall that you said somewhere itt 'if you know something is wrong why would you do it?' I know why I do it and I think most of the readers itt know why they do it also. And this part is no reflection on you personally bec we are all different: I am not surprised to find that a mathematician is more Mr. Spock-like than Dr. McCoy-like.
Hi Howard:

I don't think you're understanding what I'm getting at so let me be a little more specific. If you remember from my book there are three distinct states that players can go into. They are:

1. "Tilt" where the player loses the ability to think rationally,

2. "Pseudo tilt" where a player decides that something else, usually getting even for the session, is more important than maximizing expectation, and

3. "Searching" where a marginal player attempts to find superior strategies because he's currently losing in a game.

There's also a fourth state, "apathy," which is a form of searching. And once a player enters one of these states he will make bad decisions, but that's not what the A Game/C Game nonsense is usually about.

Now let me change the subject slightly. I know from playing tennis for over 50 years that there are some days where you just seem to play extremely well, your A Game, while there are other days where your timing is off, your C Game. But notice that this has something to do with execution and not my knowledge on how to hit a tennis ball.

However, when you read the A Game/C Game nonsense, this is usually what they're referring to. For example, the title of the second book, which I haven't read, by Cardner and Little is Peak Poker Performance: How to Bring your 'A' Game to Every Session. Well, when playing tennis, I would like to bring my A Game every time I play, but for poker, unless you're on some sort of long term tilt, which I agree can happen to some people, why would you show up at the poker room, sit in a game, and begin to make plays that you know are wrong.

Quote:
I mentioned Roy West just for that one point and I, at least, enjoyed reading him. AND, sick brag, I'm 67 and even I can find stuff out. He's on FB if you want to have a chat:

https://www.facebook.com/roy.west.54
I agree that some of his stuff was fun to read, and for those who don't know he used to give stud lessons which were probably fine for a beginner.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:08 PM   #149
Howard Beale
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

We are in general agreement. I might word things differently but as to the basics as it relates to poker we agree.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:30 PM   #150
mark "twang"
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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

I don't think you're understanding what I'm getting at so let me be a little more specific. If you remember from my book there are three distinct states that players can go into. They are:

1. "Tilt" where the player loses the ability to think rationally,

2. "Pseudo tilt" where a player decides that something else, usually getting even for the session, is more important than maximizing expectation, and

3. "Searching" where a marginal player attempts to find superior strategies because he's currently losing in a game.

There's also a fourth state, "apathy," which is a form of searching
. And once a player enters one of these states he will make bad decisions, but that's not what the A Game/C Game nonsense is usually about.

Now let me change the subject slightly. I know from playing tennis for over 50 years that there are some days where you just seem to play extremely well, your A Game, while there are other days where your timing is off, your C Game. But notice that this has something to do with execution and not my knowledge on how to hit a tennis ball.

However, when you read the A Game/C Game nonsense, this is usually what they're referring to. For example, the title of the second book, which I haven't read, by Cardner and Little is Peak Poker Performance: How to Bring your 'A' Game to Every Session. Well, when playing tennis, I would like to bring my A Game every time I play, but for poker, unless you're on some sort of long term tilt, which I agree can happen to some people, why would you show up at the poker room, sit in a game, and begin to make plays that you know are wrong.



I agree that some of his stuff was fun to read, and for those who don't know he used to give stud lessons which were probably fine for a beginner.

Best wishes,
Mason
Ok I said I would go away, but I just can't help myself, considering you dodged my OMC example.

Speaking of OMC, he doesn't fit it into any of the 3 (or is it 4?) states a player falls into. He has the mother*cking knowledge. He doesn't have the heart to bluff.

Why? Because bluffing is an emotional decision, not just rational. Not not only does it require a person to overcome their own fear, they also have to ignore their feeling of empathy from the person they are attempting to steal from.

Most humans aren't good at committing violence against another person.

Rather than quote MY OWN work like an ego maniac, I will quote Phd researcher from Princeton, Randall Collin's in his 2008 book "Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory"

"Humans are hardwired for interactional entrainment and this what makes violence so difficult. CONFRONTATIONAL TENSION and FEAR is not only an individual's selfish fear of bodily harm; it is a tension that directly contravenes the tendency for entraiment in each other's emotions."

"We have evolved on the physiological level, in such a way that fighting encounters a deep interactional obstacle, because of the way our neurological hard-wiring makes us act in the immediate presence of other human beings."

S.L.A Marshall (1947) did an extensive study on the extent of fear and its effects on its soldiers in combat. He found, on average, that only 15 PERCENT OF FRONTLINE TROOPS ACTUALLY FIRED THEIR GUNS IN COMBAT.

Countless tactics had to be evolved by military commanders to ensure that their men would not run away, or just stand around and do nothing.



So what is my point? It means that there are only a small percentage of people in the population who are actually GOOD at robbing, stealing, BLUFFING, and commtting violence.

For whatever reason, certain people can overcome the CONFRONTATIONAL TENSION and FEAR that prohibits people most people from harming others.

This is why the top NL players remaining today are young men, typically single, with NO KIDS. Do you see the correlation? These guys are highly aggressive, with testosterone and lack empathy for others. It's why you don't see David Cloutier, Doyle Brunson, and all the other old nits competing in the mix any more. They don't have it in them. PHYSICALLY. Their emotions can't take the stress.

So feel free to reference YOUR OWN work while I actually pull up references from published journals in the social sciences.
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