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Old 09-17-2017, 04:57 PM   #151
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

You might have pulled references from published work, but that doesn't automatically give your argument credibility - it's a huge cognitive leap to link physical violence and war to poker.

Using reasoning like that you can literally link any scientific phenomenon to some aspect of poker, but that doesn't make it a logically valid argument.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:00 PM   #152
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
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.
This seems untrue. Here is a description of how some medical students under the stress of an impending significant exam performed worse than a control group in doing some mental tasks in a way that could be detected by a brain scan.

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When the researchers peered inside everyone's brains to see how they were functioning, they found that the stress that the medical students were feeling was reducing the cooperation of different parts of the brain that usually work together to support thinking and reasoning. In particular, the prefrontal cortex (dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex or DLPFC) didn't seem to be working as hard for the medical students and was not as in sync with the rest of the brain as it should have been.
Here is a description of another study.

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In a study published last year in the journal Emotion, Dr. Beilock and four co-authors found that with students anxious about math, the more stress hormone they produced, the worse they did on a test; students with low math anxiety did better the more cortisol they produced. “The first group,” she said, “felt the rising anxiety in their bodies and reacted by thinking, ‘I’m really nervous about this test. I’m afraid I’ll fail.’ ” They choked. “The second group told themselves something like, ‘I’m really psyched up for this test! I’m ready to go!’ ” Dr. Beilock recommends consciously adopting positive self-talk. Remind yourself that damp palms and a pounding heart accompany all kinds of enjoyable experiences: riding a roller coaster, winning a sports match, talking to someone you have a crush on.
Practicing positive thinking at the poker table may have value for players if it helps prevent the sort of stress that can lock up their brains and make them less capable of making good decisions.

Instead of looking only towards sports psychologists, perhaps those interested in poker psychology should delve into cognitive psychology, with an eye towards more academic research and less applied psychology.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:57 AM   #153
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Practicing positive thinking at the poker table may have value for players if it helps prevent the sort of stress that can lock up their brains and make them less capable of making good decisions.
If your brains get locked up, you essentially have lost the ability to think rationally, and when this happens you're on tilt. My argument is that the best way to counteract this is to improve your understanding of all things poker, then when difficult to process information comes your way (at the poker table) your brain is more likely to handle it and then can go on to the next task without being locked up.

So does positive thinking help you process information better? I doubt it, but perhaps in some cases it does. However, I would think that improving your understanding of all things poker not only will help you avoid tilt, but it should improve your results which will allow you to think more positively about poker in general.

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Instead of looking only towards sports psychologists, perhaps those interested in poker psychology should delve into cognitive psychology, with an eye towards more academic research and less applied psychology.
I agree completely with this. In fact, I've been arguing that this sports psychology which seems to be driving most of the poker mental coaching is also driving poker players down the wrong road.

Mason
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:10 AM   #154
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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This seems untrue. Here is a description of how some medical students under the stress of an impending significant exam performed worse than a control group in doing some mental tasks in a way that could be detected by a brain scan.



Here is a description of another study.
Let me just address this. For a statistical study to also apply to poker you need to show that what is being addressed is close enough to poker for the results to be correlated. For example, if there was a study that clearly showed that eating a certain diet can make an athlete run faster, I would argue that while this might be true, being able to run faster is not close enough to playing poker for the study to have anything meaningful for the poker player.

So in this case, the study shows that people who have to prepare for an extensive test, that requires weeks of hard study, do have some issues doing other things. Is this the same as going to your favorite cardroom and playing poker several times a week? I doubt it.

However, I will concede that it might be closer to someone playing in a major tournament, reaching the point where the money is life changing (for him), and then having a fair amount of time to prepare before he plays again. Sounds a little like the November Nine (at the WSOP) which no longer happens.

Also, just for your information, many years ago I had to take an oral exam to get my master's degree in math. I had about three weeks, mostly over spring break, to study and that's all I did. And I can guarantee that preparing and taking this one time exam had little to do with playing poker on a regular basis.

Best wishes,
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:58 PM   #155
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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You might have pulled references from published work, but that doesn't automatically give your argument credibility - it's a huge cognitive leap to link physical violence and war to poker.

Using reasoning like that you can literally link any scientific phenomenon to some aspect of poker, but that doesn't make it a logically valid argument.
How do you not see the correlation? Not one person on here can explain why OMC doesn't pull the trigger on a bluff, yet I just provided a plausible explanation, using published data.

It's not like I'm saying it's 100% accurate, but it's worth discussing. It's a heck of a lot better than doing what Mason is doing and shooting down every idea that did not come out of his mouth.

Linking the emotional experience of committing violence to bluffing is not THAT much of a stretch. I would not be surprised to see the same parts of the brain firing when both activities are committed. That's why the guy running over the table is labeled the "table bully". He's good at intimidation and using fear to pick up pots. Additionally, as the research points out, most people aren't good at overcoming their fear of confrontation. People don't like confrontation, this is obvious. That's why we have casino's populated with loose passives, providing edge to the "mean guys" like myself, that see an edge and ACT on it.

P.S. I'm not really a meanie : )

ACTING on aggression is a skill. Similar to a muscle, the more you train it, the easier it is to do. On the contrary, the less you do it, the harder it is. It's why most people don't try to start a business or most guys don't go up to the girl at the bar. As far as the bar example, from an EV standpoint, these guys have nothing to lose, but choose not to approach because they are too chicken. It has nothing at all to do with intellect or ignorance.

Mason didn't consider this and is too chicken to say "nice point kid". I'm a rebellious kid, so I have a pet peeve for authority figures that can't admit a mistake, or give credit where credit is due.

As far as linking poker to war. Hellllooooo.....

Is poker, NOT a game of psychological warfare? The concept of "Leveling" i.e. Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 thinking is literally the epitome of what psychological warfare is. Remember, it's called a leveling "war".

Last edited by mark "twang"; 09-18-2017 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:23 PM   #156
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

I'm not an expert, but this thread has inspired me to look into this area more. There is the concept of "working memory" in cognitive science. I've seen it described as a "mental scratchpad" where we process information. People have different working memory capacities. People have different levels of reliance on working memory in doing mental tasks. So, it's probably a mistake to take one's own experiences and treat them as typical.

The idea of unconscious competence being touted would be to free up working memory that can be devoted to other thoughts at the poker table. If this idea is true, I suspect that some people can acquire this unconscious competence through a theoretical understanding of poker, some players just seem to have untaught instincts that allow them to reach the same conclusions as serious students of the game, and some people need the repetition of many hands before some poker decisions can be automatic for them.

In poker, we have moved from trying to put an opponent to putting an opponent on a range of hands. I believe there is a range of mental processes instead of a single way that everyone's brain works. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach to the mental aspects of the game. On the other hand, I believe there are some people would benefit most from certain types of mental coaching if it was inaccurately portrayed as one-size-fits-all.

One source of stress is something that is referred to as "stereotype threat", in which members of a social group become anxious and have decreased performance when exposed to negative stereotypes about that group. One example is that white engineers did worse on a difficult math test when told that the test was being used to compare whites and Asians. This sort of stress may cause people to underperform in their daily jobs if they work in an environment that they perceive as hostile to their race, gender, religion, or other group identity that they share. It's not hard to believe that other forms of stress would similarly impair cognitive thinking at the poker table.

My personal anecdotal evidence is that I realize in hindsight that I experienced anxiety about being a cash game specialist entering a tournament. Eventually, I lasted long enough in a tournament to calm down and play better while finding myself at the table with a player who I later found out was a tremendous tournament specialist. In my post-tournament analysis of hands I played, I felt that I played hands reasonably based on my knowledge level at the time and I have since become less anxious when I play in a tournament large enough for there to be tournament pros in the field. I labored under the weight of believing that tournaments were a different beast from cash games, even though I knew that basic underlying principles of poker were the same and I just needed to adjust for context. I still don't do as well as I can because I play tournaments only occasionally and there I decisions I labor over in real time that experienced tournament pros have internalized from repetition.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:45 PM   #157
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

There was a long-time reg in my LHE game before he got booted for terrible behavior. He was the poster boy for 'eat like a bird, **** like an elephant' type player. Hit for a few dollars and run, get stuck and sit there for hours.

I once let him sweat a hand of mine. I was dealt Aces and lost. He asked 'How can you stand it?' I answered: 'It doesn't work the way that you think it does.' He asked 'How DOES it work?'

What do we think this fellow needs? Unconscious competence or a basic understanding of what poker is? The answer is obvious.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:53 PM   #158
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Some people are incapable of a basic understanding of what poker is. Some people are incapable of understanding how a "normal" person can be inherently incapable of a basic understanding of what poker is.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:50 PM   #159
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by BDHarrison View Post
I'm not an expert, but this thread has inspired me to look into this area more. There is the concept of "working memory" in cognitive science. I've seen it described as a "mental scratchpad" where we process information. People have different working memory capacities. People have different levels of reliance on working memory in doing mental tasks. So, it's probably a mistake to take one's own experiences and treat them as typical.
Working memory isn't really how you describe it, nor does it really differ between people.

Working memory can't "free up" memory to be used in calculations, as memory and cognition are not the same thing. However, I'm not overall familiar with the recent literature in this area, so there may well be some conceptual overlap and recent revisions.

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two Wiki gives a good overview of how working memory actually works, and the links at the bottom for chunking and Baddeley's model of working memory are also worth checking out.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:53 PM   #160
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Some people are incapable of a basic understanding of what poker is. Some people are incapable of understanding how a "normal" person can be inherently incapable of a basic understanding of what poker is.
And the rest of us are damn glad of it!
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:50 PM   #161
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Working memory isn't really how you describe it, nor does it really differ between people.

Working memory can't "free up" memory to be used in calculations, as memory and cognition are not the same thing. However, I'm not overall familiar with the recent literature in this area, so there may well be some conceptual overlap and recent revisions.

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two Wiki gives a good overview of how working memory actually works, and the links at the bottom for chunking and Baddeley's model of working memory are also worth checking out.
"Mental scratchpad" is how a cognitive psychologist described it. I am not a psychologist or cognitive scientist, so I rely on the expertise of experts. If inaccurate, it seems intended to push people off the idea of working memory as just short-term memory storage. The descriptions I have seen make me think that working memory is where newly acquired information is organized

I have seen articles which mention how differences between people with low and high working memory capacities have physical manifestations that can be detected by brain scans, so it can differ between people.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:39 AM   #162
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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"Mental scratchpad" is how a cognitive psychologist described it.
Yes, it's often referred to as the mental scratchpad; however that's because it's used to jot down short-term information, and as far as I am aware not for computational processes.

Unconscious competence and working memory are different things. I would expect someone would be able to drive (for many people something they are unconsciously competent at performing) and remember a car number plate, which in the UK is a 7 digit combination of numbers and letters.

I presume number plates are that length precisely because they can be held in working memory by most people, enabling them to identify a car involved in an incident.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:28 PM   #163
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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I presume number plates are that length precisely because they can be held in working memory by most people, enabling them to identify a car involved in an incident.
It seems more likely that license plate numbers are a certain length because that is how many characters are needed to have enough combinations for all cars.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:10 PM   #164
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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It seems more likely that license plate numbers are a certain length because that is how many characters are needed to have enough combinations for all cars.
I'm sure there are a number of reasons why car number plates contain a limited number of characters.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:07 PM   #165
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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I'm sure there are a number of reasons why car number plates contain a limited number of characters.
why should they be longer than necessary? the same with phone numbers or postal codes.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:45 PM   #166
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

This is possibly off topic but in Germany the following system is used for example:

Up to three characters (A-Z) for the city followed by a hyphen and another up to two characters (A-Z) followed by an up to 4 digit number.

This results in 26^2*10,000 possible vehicle registrations per city (6,760,000). The biggest city is Berlin with a population of 3.5 millions. So this has enough room for future growth.

If you really would like to compress it, you could use a base of 36 (26 letters + 0-9). Then 5 digits would result in 36^5=60,466,176 possible combinations or 6 resulting in 36^6=2,176,782,336. Germany has approximately 55 million registered vehicles in 2017.

Last edited by AnotherMakiaveli; 09-19-2017 at 09:04 PM. Reason: It's actually three characters for the city. :)
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:38 PM   #167
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by BDHarrison View Post
"Mental scratchpad" is how a cognitive psychologist described it. I am not a psychologist or cognitive scientist, so I rely on the expertise of experts. If inaccurate, it seems intended to push people off the idea of working memory as just short-term memory storage. The descriptions I have seen make me think that working memory is where newly acquired information is organized

I have seen articles which mention how differences between people with low and high working memory capacities have physical manifestations that can be detected by brain scans, so it can differ between people.
I studied a reasonable amount of Geometry in my time, I suppose I have quite a bit of Geometry info stored away. Total I thought about Geometry today? Zero. It stayed tucked away.
I'll do some Geometry tomorrow. Intense work. My brain does not draw Geometry info in and out of long-term storage for each cognition. It takes out what is relevant and manipulates it in Working Memory to handle it more efficiently. So it's not just new information.
New information can sometimes be handled in short term memory, which some people think is distinct from Working Memory.
Memorize this number by repeating it to yourself: 07904731. Once you're repeating, play this awesome track by U2 from 0:45.https://youtu.be/c5Y4JFwj7IE?t=45s famous for its syncopation (made worse by drums and guitar working different beats).
Say goodbye to your number Syncopation known to affect the phonological loop component quite baddely. Working Memory in this case responsible for handling newly acquired information.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:39 AM   #168
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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I studied a reasonable amount of Geometry in my time, I suppose I have quite a bit of Geometry info stored away. Total I thought about Geometry today? Zero. It stayed tucked away.
I'll do some Geometry tomorrow. Intense work. My brain does not draw Geometry info in and out of long-term storage for each cognition. It takes out what is relevant and manipulates it in Working Memory to handle it more efficiently. So it's not just new information.
New information can sometimes be handled in short term memory, which some people think is distinct from Working Memory.
Memorize this number by repeating it to yourself: 07904731. Once you're repeating, play this awesome track by U2 from 0:45.https://youtu.be/c5Y4JFwj7IE?t=45s famous for its syncopation (made worse by drums and guitar working different beats).
Say goodbye to your number Syncopation known to affect the phonological loop component quite baddely. Working Memory in this case responsible for handling newly acquired information.
didn't work in my case the number was still there (in memory i mean).
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:29 PM   #169
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Nice to see none of the nerds address my point.

I know I scared off Mason.

He grew up his whole life believing "two plus two" equals four.

When sometimes,

2+2 = 5
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:22 PM   #170
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Nice to see none of the nerds address my point.

I know I scared off Mason.

He grew up his whole life believing "two plus two" equals four.

When sometimes,

2+2 = 5
No. After reading so many inaccurate statements from you misrepresenting what I have said my decision was not to respond to your any more.

Mason
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:29 PM   #171
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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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.
I replied to this, but I think some of what I wrote was addressed earlier in the thread.

I'm sure that you realise that even after studying GTO, players including myself and surely yourself?, do not always know the GTO line with a specific hand facing specific ranges on specific boards, especially with online time constraints, because we aren't bots. Therefore there is still doubt about how we played a hand. Online poker is actually a lot like speed chess, and humans do not play speed chess anywhere as optimally as they play normal speed chess. If we had 'correspondance poker' maybe players would be GTO.

When there is doubt in how a hand was played, people tend to look at results, because people are inherently results orientated whether that be for cultural or genetic reasons. I know from experience that good (well balanced stategy) mid stakes players still get emmotionally beat up on downswings and question whether they are profitable at all, and conversely they think they are the greatest on upswings, because despite all the variance talk and GTO study, they aren't robots.

I feel like I am quite a rarity in how incredibly relaxed I have become with downswings, and the reasons for this are probably a combination of playing millions of hands(experiencin many downswings and still winning), having potentially unfounded confidence in my hopefully close to GTO play or at least hopefully better than others at the table, having good bankroll management, having financial security, and most importantly not valueing money and not even associating poker site $ numbers with being money.

But if I was playing hu for my life assets, i'm not sure how relaxed I would be having a GTO river check raise bluff range for my whole life savings. I think there is an economic term for this (risk aversity graph or something), and it's used to 'explain' why people buy insurance.

Final tabling the $8,150,000 main event when not being financially comfortable, is likely going to be an adrenaline rush which may lead to tells (arguably called tilt?). Could an experienced psychologist help someone dull that down - maybe. Would they be worth $400 in that specific scenario - maybe. Would telling a player to visualise hitting a 2 on the river help that player - probably not. What happens when the 2 doesn't fall? Mental breakdown?

I am biassed towards thinking that hiring a poker mindset coach would be a relatively large waste of money, in comparison to say buying a GTO solver. But I also think hiring a standard poker coach and buying poker books is a relative waste of money.

Any poker mindset coach that doesn't have statistical awareness of variance, and therefore doesn't realise how big downswings can be, won't be very helpful to some one on a downswing imo, and a poker mindset coach can't truely understand the severity of poker variance without actually experiencing it for themselves imo. PMA (positive mental attitude) is going to be hard to instill in a player when they are down 40-300 buyins, and you have no experience to show them your past downswings and how you overcame them

Last edited by Desultory; 09-27-2017 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:50 PM   #172
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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I replied to this, but I think some of what I wrote was addressed earlier in the thread.

I'm sure that you realise that even after studying GTO, players including myself and surely yourself?, do not always know the GTO line with a specific hand facing specific ranges on specific boards, especially with online time constraints, because we aren't bots. Therefore there is still doubt about how we played a hand. Online poker is actually a lot like speed chess, and humans do not play speed chess anywhere as optimally as they play normal speed chess. If we had 'correspondance poker' maybe players would be GTO.

When there is doubt in how a hand was played, people tend to look at results, because people are inherently results orientated whether that be for cultural or genetic reasons. I know from experience that good (well balanced stategy) mid stakes players still get emmotionally beat up on downswings and question whether they are profitable at all, and conversely they think they are the greatest on upswings, because despite all the variance talk and GTO study, they aren't robots.

I feel like I am quite a rarity in how incredibly relaxed I have become with downswings, and the reasons for this are probably a combination of playing millions of hands(experiencin many downswings and still winning), having potentially unfounded confidence in my hopefully close to GTO play or at least hopefully better than others at the table, having good bankroll management, having financial security, and most importantly not valueing money and not even associating poker site $ numbers with being money.

But if I was playing hu for my life assets, i'm not sure how relaxed I would be having a GTO river check raise bluff range for my whole life savings. I think there is an economic term for this (risk aversity graph or something), and it's used to 'explain' why people buy insurance.

Final tabling the $8,150,000 main event when not being financially comfortable, is likely going to be an adrenaline rush which may lead to tells (arguably called tilt?). Could an experienced psychologist help someone dull that down - maybe. Would they be worth $400 in that specific scenario - maybe. Would telling a player to visualise hitting a 2 on the river help that player - probably not. What happens when the 2 doesn't fall? Mental breakdown?

I am biassed towards thinking that hiring a poker mindset coach would be a relatively large waste of money, in comparison to say buying a GTO solver. But I also think hiring a standard poker coach and buying poker books is a relative waste of money.

Any poker mindset coach that doesn't have statistical awareness of variance, and therefore doesn't realise how big downswings can be, won't be very helpful to some one on a downswing imo, and a poker mindset coach can't truely understand the severity of poker variance without actually experiencing it for themselves imo. PMA (positive mental attitude) is going to be hard to instill in a player when they are down 40-300 buyins, and you have no experience to show them your past downswings and how you overcame them
Hi Desultory:

This is a fine post but let me address a couple of things. Based on my reading and private discussions, the mental coaches seem to view variance much different from the way you describe. Their point to their clients is not that you may experience some downswings, but something more along the lines that variance is huge and will only get larger as time goes on. Thus this leads to the the idea that the struggling poker/mental player needs lots of sessions with the poker mental coach.

The following is from page 6 of my psychology book:

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.
Notice that this paragrph is consistent with what you're saying and not what I see in much of the poker psychology literature.

I also want to address the idea of final tabling the WSOP or put another way, what happens to some players when they get to a point in a major tournament where the maoney becomes life changing. The following is from our most recent book Poker and More: Unique Ideas and Concepts; Strategy, Game Theory, and Psychology from Two Renowned Gambling Experts which I co-wrote with David Sklansky:

Quote:
From page 173 of Poker and More. Idea No. 6: Being mentally tired versus being physically tired. My understanding is that there are two ways you can get tired, mentally and physically. So how does this relate to poker?

Well, as we addressed above, poker is mainly a game of knowledge and, in my opinion, the execution component should be minimal at best. So how do the two forms of being tired affect a poker player.

First, as I show in Real Poker Psychology, being physically tired should have little effect on your poker decisions. That’s because your knowledge of the game remains the same. Here’s what I wrote on page 97:

Second, and something that many people think is quite important, is how does the long playing session and getting tired begin to affect your play. Well, if you’ve read this far, the answer should be obvious. If you’re a good player, you should know what is the right play to make, and this will for the most part be the case whether you’re tired or not.

But what about being mentally tired? First, let’s agree that if you were to play poker 40 to 50 hours a week, for week after week after week, you’ll eventually become mentally tired and need a vacation. The same may be true for those who play many long grueling tournaments, especially when they get close to life changing money. So on those rare occasions when mentally tired, I agree that mistakes can be made and it may be time for a break.

But the same is not true when physically tired. Here an expert player, perhaps after a poor night’s sleep or a hard workout in the gym, should still have very good poker results.
Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:50 PM   #173
Bob148
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

I'll admit that I only skimmed the thread so I'm sorry if my point has been made and confirmed or refuted:

I believe that mental game coaches are a good thing for some players because some people have a hard time rationalizing concepts. I think that just the act of talking about stuff can have a positive impact on one's poker game. Me? I'm crazy and quite irrational so I fit this profile. I see psychiatrists and psychologists on a regular basis. To be fair, the meds do most of the legwork, but I often come out of my regularly scheduled appointments feeling better about myself and the world.

So my point is, what works for some people may not work for others. Depending on your level of sanity and rationality, a mental game coach could be good for you, or it could be a waste of time and money.

peace.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:05 PM   #174
chrisshiherlis
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob148 View Post
I'll admit that I only skimmed the thread so I'm sorry if my point has been made and confirmed or refuted:

I believe that mental game coaches are a good thing for some players because some people have a hard time rationalizing concepts. I think that just the act of talking about stuff can have a positive impact on one's poker game. Me? I'm crazy and quite irrational so I fit this profile. I see psychiatrists and psychologists on a regular basis. To be fair, the meds do most of the legwork, but I often come out of my regularly scheduled appointments feeling better about myself and the world.

So my point is, what works for some people may not work for others. Depending on your level of sanity and rationality, a mental game coach could be good for you, or it could be a waste of time and money.

peace.
This is a good point.
My nan would be a not-ineffective mental game coach, and she's been dead 5 years. Just prop her up in a chair and talk to her, get things off your chest. Point being, a mental game coach being somewhat effective does not mean that anything they are saying need be reliable or true, just that the client (/victim) gets chatting and have some confidence that their coach knows what they're talking about (which they often clearly don't). Coach then puts this info into book form (same stuff, minus the chatting benefits), and you have often a bunch of unreliable nonsense. But at least it'll get you thinking about stuff.
Most of the Poker Psychology stuff I've read on eg Adult Learning Model, Tilt, Zone, is just bollocks and the Psychology really dodgy. Don't rely on it.
El Razor and Mason have a good handle on stuff but I didn't see any of their objections properly addressed here. QED.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:23 PM   #175
Desultory
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Re: For Those Defending the Poker Mental Coaches

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Desultory:
This is a fine post but let me address a couple of things. Based on my reading and private discussions, the mental coaches seem to view variance much different from the way you describe. Their point to their clients is not that you may experience some downswings, but something more along the lines that variance is huge and will only get larger as time goes on. Thus this leads to the the idea that the struggling poker/mental player needs lots of sessions with the poker mental coach.
You are preaching to the converted with me of course.

The problem with most health professionals is that they often have a conflict of interest in treating their patients, because then they don't continue to get the monetary benefit from their patients. That combined with people having a habit of convincing themselves of something arbritrary because it benefits them personally, whether that benefit be psychological or physical (money - aguably not physical), probably results in the situation you describe. It wouldn't surprise me if the majority, or maybe all, mental coaches are in essence 'quacks'.

But having said all that, I am open minded to thinking that different forms of meditation and relaxation methods could help some players when dealing with the stresses of poker swings. Maybe the 2 on the river example was a misinformed attempt at that, because the mental coach in question doesn't understand poker.
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