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Old 02-06-2009, 12:29 AM   #51
Mason Malmuth
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GURU PITKA View Post
I don't know how many people know this but long before books like The Poker Mindset, The Elements of Poker, Kill Tilt Now, and Zen and the Art of Poker came out Mason was already a pioneer of tilt psychology. Read the variance sections of Gambling Theory and Other Topics and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. In fact, the excellent tilt stuff in Inside the Poker Mind by Feeney wouldn't be possible without that book. GTOT was the first book that got people to tilt less by not being "results oriented". It taught people how to have the proper attitudes towards short term downswings and long term EV.

Mason knows more about tilt psychology than most people realize. Sure, his approach is more academic in nature unlike the more "right brained" approaches taught in The Elements of Poker, Kill Tilt Now and the other books I mentioned to begin this post. But they work. And if you count how much tilt dollars have been saved by the attitudes taught in Gambling Theory and Other Topics, it would probably be considered the greatest tilt book ever with all respects to the poker psychologists.
I'm actually kicking around the idea of writing a short book called Real Poker Psychology. In fact, I recently spoke to Bill Robertie about the possibility of him and Dan Harrington joining in on the project. And for those of you here who don't think I understand what tilt is about, here's a repeat of an essay I recently wrote for our Two Plus Two Poker Startegy Magazine.

Best wishes,
mason

Tilt — A Mathematical View

by Mason Malmuth


Many years ago, in 1975, I finally left my home at Virginia Tech and went to work as a mathematical statistician for the United Stated Census Bureau. Upon arrival, I found myself assigned to an office with several well educated statisticians. This meant that there was always a statistical journal around and an article to read.

After working for a few months, my supervisor brought over the latest journal article that others had already found quite interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the article, who the author was, or what particular journal it was in. So to this unknown author I apologize for not giving proper credit. The article was about a mathematical definition of humor, and I am convinced that tilt follows the same pathways with one major difference.

First, however, to understand what is to follow, we need to define a continuous function and a point of discontinuity. And we’ll use this very simple definition:

A continuous function is a line or curve that you can draw across a piece of paper from left to right without lifting up your pen or pencil.

In other words, it will just look like a line, not necessarily straight, that starts on the left side of the paper and finishes on the right. On the other hand, if it is necessary to lift your pen or pencil up and then set it down at another point producing a gap in what you are drawing, this is a point of discontinuity, and your function is no longer continuous at that point.

Continuing with the article, it then argued that humor was simply points of discontinuity in the logic presented that your brain had to process. It gave this example which I will repeat below as best I can:

There was a young lady who wanted to have a boy friend. But she had some requirements. She told her friends that her future man needed to be short but well dressed. So her friends introduced her to a penguin.

First off, notice that this little joke is funny. It also contains a logical discontinuity. While a penguin is certainly short, and they do appear to be well dressed, this is obviously not an appropriate boy friend. But the brain processes this discontinuity, understands it, and finds it funny. And the fact that the brain can understand what has happened is what causes it to be funny.

Three other examples of humorous discontinuities are when Groucho Marx, aka Captain Spalding, stated:

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

Or when Mae West commented:

When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

Or when W. C. Fields said:

There is not a man in America who has not had a secret ambition to boot an infant.

I think in all of these examples, as in the penguin example that was in the original article I read many years ago, the discontinuities are obvious. We see the logic discontinuity and also understand the error of the logic. Thus we laugh.

But what happens when a logic discontinuity happens and we don’t understand the error in the logic. Then instead of humor, I believe the brain sort of shorts out, or perhaps gets caught in an infinite logic loop similar to what can be caused by some sort of bad computer programming. This leads to frustration, and in extreme cases, irrational decisions.

When playing poker, I virtually never go on tilt, but there is something I do all the time where tilt occasionally gets the best of me. It’s playing tennis, and I have been playing since I was a kid, and that was a long time ago.

What will occasionally happen is that I’ll miss an easy shot which is simply impossible to miss, or perhaps I’ll miss several shots in a row where I shouldn’t miss any of them, or I can’t toss the ball straight when trying to serve, etc. My mind will view these things as simply being impossible. There is no logical way that any of this can happen since I’ve been playing too long and have too much skill for these events to occur. But they do occur and a logical point of discontinuity is manifested.

But unlike the humorous examples given above. There is no solution. I’m not able to realize that a penguin is not a potential boyfriend for a young lady even though he seems to meet some of the criteria, that an elephant was not really in Captain Spalding’s pajamas, that Mae West wasn’t referring to being polite and well behaved, and that we’re not suppose to be kicking little kids across the room. My logic just fails because, again, there is no solution. Or at least it seems that way.

This brings us to poker. Here I believe the same problem occurs for many people. When they loose several hands in a row, or can’t understand how their aces are cracked, or have trouble dealing with running bad, it’s again a logic disconnect. To the person on tilt, in their mind, the events that just occurred are simply impossible, and thus their logical circuitry, so to speak, gets locked up as the information that their brain needs to process enters some sort of infinite loop.

So what’s the solution to this? It’s very simple. Understand poker and the probabilistic events that govern it better. Once you get a better grasp of the facts that your aces can be beat, it’s very possible, and eventually quite likely, to lose several hands in a row, and to run bad for sustained periods of time, tilt goes away.

In fact, when you see good players who are known not to tilt suffer a horrendous beat, they usually chuckle. Their minds have the solution at the end of the discontinuity. So instead of processing it as frustration, they process all the chips going the wrong way as an “elephant in my pajamas.” That is they see these events as being funny, not frustrating.

To finish, on our forums, I have written many times that understanding the game of poker well is the best cure for tilt. Now most of you can understand my reasoning behind this. Tilt is not a “flight or fight” experience. It’s actually something humorous where the logic that your mind requires gets hung up. Once you acquire enough information that your mind won’t get hung up in an infinite logic loop, tilt should be a thing of the past.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:11 AM   #52
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Perhaps this negative review is directly related to the upcoming release of Food for Thinking?

Furthermore, it seems to me that Mason's article above says many of the same things as Angelo but in a different language, if you will. Mason implores us to better understand the probabilistic events that govern the game. While I understand what this sentence means, it's not communicated in a voice that I readily accept. Conjuring up mathematics and probability is the easiest way to turn me against something. Angelo speaks more plainly when he tells me that no matter how good or bad I play I am not entitled to win. This resonates with me.

I am an intermediate player who struggles mightily with tilt. At times it has seemed that EoP was written just for me.

Last edited by Altaslim; 02-06-2009 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:56 AM   #53
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
I'm actually kicking around the idea of writing a short book called Real Poker Psychology. In fact, I recently spoke to Bill Robertie about the possibility of him and Dan Harrington joining in on the project. And for those of you here who don't think I understand what tilt is about, here's a repeat of an essay I recently wrote for our Two Plus Two Poker Startegy Magazine.

Best wishes,
mason

Tilt — A Mathematical View

by Mason Malmuth


Many years ago, in 1975, I finally left my home at Virginia Tech and went to work as a mathematical statistician for the United Stated Census Bureau. Upon arrival, I found myself assigned to an office with several well educated statisticians. This meant that there was always a statistical journal around and an article to read.

After working for a few months, my supervisor brought over the latest journal article that others had already found quite interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the article, who the author was, or what particular journal it was in. So to this unknown author I apologize for not giving proper credit. The article was about a mathematical definition of humor, and I am convinced that tilt follows the same pathways with one major difference.

First, however, to understand what is to follow, we need to define a continuous function and a point of discontinuity. And we’ll use this very simple definition:

A continuous function is a line or curve that you can draw across a piece of paper from left to right without lifting up your pen or pencil.

In other words, it will just look like a line, not necessarily straight, that starts on the left side of the paper and finishes on the right. On the other hand, if it is necessary to lift your pen or pencil up and then set it down at another point producing a gap in what you are drawing, this is a point of discontinuity, and your function is no longer continuous at that point.

Continuing with the article, it then argued that humor was simply points of discontinuity in the logic presented that your brain had to process. It gave this example which I will repeat below as best I can:

There was a young lady who wanted to have a boy friend. But she had some requirements. She told her friends that her future man needed to be short but well dressed. So her friends introduced her to a penguin.

First off, notice that this little joke is funny. It also contains a logical discontinuity. While a penguin is certainly short, and they do appear to be well dressed, this is obviously not an appropriate boy friend. But the brain processes this discontinuity, understands it, and finds it funny. And the fact that the brain can understand what has happened is what causes it to be funny.

Three other examples of humorous discontinuities are when Groucho Marx, aka Captain Spalding, stated:

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

Or when Mae West commented:

When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

Or when W. C. Fields said:

There is not a man in America who has not had a secret ambition to boot an infant.

I think in all of these examples, as in the penguin example that was in the original article I read many years ago, the discontinuities are obvious. We see the logic discontinuity and also understand the error of the logic. Thus we laugh.

But what happens when a logic discontinuity happens and we don’t understand the error in the logic. Then instead of humor, I believe the brain sort of shorts out, or perhaps gets caught in an infinite logic loop similar to what can be caused by some sort of bad computer programming. This leads to frustration, and in extreme cases, irrational decisions.

When playing poker, I virtually never go on tilt, but there is something I do all the time where tilt occasionally gets the best of me. It’s playing tennis, and I have been playing since I was a kid, and that was a long time ago.

What will occasionally happen is that I’ll miss an easy shot which is simply impossible to miss, or perhaps I’ll miss several shots in a row where I shouldn’t miss any of them, or I can’t toss the ball straight when trying to serve, etc. My mind will view these things as simply being impossible. There is no logical way that any of this can happen since I’ve been playing too long and have too much skill for these events to occur. But they do occur and a logical point of discontinuity is manifested.

But unlike the humorous examples given above. There is no solution. I’m not able to realize that a penguin is not a potential boyfriend for a young lady even though he seems to meet some of the criteria, that an elephant was not really in Captain Spalding’s pajamas, that Mae West wasn’t referring to being polite and well behaved, and that we’re not suppose to be kicking little kids across the room. My logic just fails because, again, there is no solution. Or at least it seems that way.

This brings us to poker. Here I believe the same problem occurs for many people. When they loose several hands in a row, or can’t understand how their aces are cracked, or have trouble dealing with running bad, it’s again a logic disconnect. To the person on tilt, in their mind, the events that just occurred are simply impossible, and thus their logical circuitry, so to speak, gets locked up as the information that their brain needs to process enters some sort of infinite loop.

So what’s the solution to this? It’s very simple. Understand poker and the probabilistic events that govern it better. Once you get a better grasp of the facts that your aces can be beat, it’s very possible, and eventually quite likely, to lose several hands in a row, and to run bad for sustained periods of time, tilt goes away.

In fact, when you see good players who are known not to tilt suffer a horrendous beat, they usually chuckle. Their minds have the solution at the end of the discontinuity. So instead of processing it as frustration, they process all the chips going the wrong way as an “elephant in my pajamas.” That is they see these events as being funny, not frustrating.

To finish, on our forums, I have written many times that understanding the game of poker well is the best cure for tilt. Now most of you can understand my reasoning behind this. Tilt is not a “flight or fight” experience. It’s actually something humorous where the logic that your mind requires gets hung up. Once you acquire enough information that your mind won’t get hung up in an infinite logic loop, tilt should be a thing of the past.
All--

There is an interesting discussion of this article in the Magazine Forum. People trained in psychology, philosophy, etc. have weighed in. If you're interested in this sort of thing, it's worth a look. (I'm a philosophy student, and akrasia is something I'm quite interested in.)

(Also, if someone who knows anything about limit O8 goes into that forum, could you have a look at the thread that's mostly just a conversation between me and Buzz? It seemed as if the thread took place in some alternate dimension...)

All my best,

--Nate
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:13 AM   #54
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Excellent post MM! Many thanks.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:34 AM   #55
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate. View Post
All--

There is an interesting discussion of this article in the Magazine Forum. --Nate
Very interesting Nate. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:55 AM   #56
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

That post that Mason just wrote will do more to help a person struggling with tilt than any of the garbage in Tommy Angelo's book. Plus it's free!
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:30 AM   #57
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Adman wrote:
Quote:
That post that Mason just wrote will do more to help a person struggling with tilt than any of the garbage in Tommy Angelo's book.
I agree.

GURU PITKA wrote:
Quote:
And if you count how much tilt dollars have been saved by the attitudes taught in Gambling Theory and Other Topics, it would probably be considered the greatest tilt book ever with all respects to the poker psychologists.
I agree with that too.

I’m going to come back to both of those quotes and explain why I agree with them, but first, I’d like to go on a bit about my history and relationship with the teachings of Mason, David, and Ray.

My poker career began when I read Winning Poker (now titled The Theory of Poker) and Hold’em for Advanced Players. That was in 1987. My actual career, as in, when I quit my job to play full time, didn’t start until three years later. But my poker mind, my correct poker mindset, the dramatic upheaval that was the poker equivalent of a sea parting or a bush burning or the skies opening up and a giant voice entering my mind and filling it with words and wisdoms so overwhelming and revolutionary that I was permanently giddy and just wanting more, more, more – that happened in 1987, because of words on pages, written by Mason and David.

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species split the world of biological study in two. There’s before it, and after it. You could say that “modern biology” began in 1859 in that any peer-reviewed papers written since then have been in some way influenced by Darwin’s work.

That’s how I feel about Mason and David’s work. I think of my book as the work of a modern day biology student. Nothing I write can or should be thought of as being “instead of” the works that launched an entire field of study. It can only be thought of, at very best, as being “in addition to.”

GURU PITKA WROTE:
Quote:
And if you count how much tilt dollars have been saved by the attitudes taught in Gambling Theory and Other Topics, it would probably be considered the greatest tilt book ever with all respects to the poker psychologists.
You are so right. Beside the countless winning concepts pertaining to betting strategy that Mason, David, and Ray taught us, the glue that held it all together in my opinion, and made it a complete Theory of Poker was the “attitudes taught.” I strongly agree that is it precisely these attitudes that are the bedrock of tilt reduction. And for many people, those attitudes, combined with a deep understanding of poker and inevitability, are all that is required to become essentially tiltless. Mason did an excellent job in my opinion of explaining this in the article that he copied into a post in this thread.

Mason’s article taught me something new. I learned more about just what are the differences between a person like Mason and a person like me. The reason I started thinking about that while reading Mason’s article is because I was drawn in by the talk about tennis because that happens to be one of the games I have dedicated thousands of hours to. I played most of my tennis in my teens and 20’s. (I am 50 now.) As I read about Mason’s tilting at tennis, I realized … I don’t have tennis tilt, and I never did! It didn’t matter if I lost a close match against an arch rival because I totally choked three easy shots coming down the stretch. It didn’t matter if I won or lost, played good or bad. It didn’t matter if my shot to the corner caught the line or was just out. I simply didn’t tilt.

So there’s a case where Mason and I are very different.

And then, there’s poker tilt, where we are different in the same way, with roles reversed.

Here are four quotes from Mason’s article:

Quote:
So what’s the solution to this? It’s very simple. Understand poker and the probabilistic events that govern it better. Once you get a better grasp of the facts that your aces can be beat, it’s very possible, and eventually quite likely, to lose several hands in a row, and to run bad for sustained periods of time, tilt goes away.
Quote:
To finish, on our forums, I have written many times that understanding the game of poker well is the best cure for tilt.
Quote:
Once you acquire enough information that your mind won’t get hung up in an infinite logic loop, tilt should be a thing of the past.
Quote:
When playing poker, I virtually never go on tilt …
Here’s my story. I played poker for thousands of hours spanning many years. I read and re-read the words of David, Mason, and Ray many times. I discussed hands and bankroll and odds and everything under the poker sun with really smart people. I could not have done more to “understand the game of poker well.” I was a consistent winner and a full time pro. And I still tilted. Sometimes really really bad.

That’s not to say that I disagree with what Mason wrote. In fact I strongly agree with it. I believe I would have tilted much worse without the understanding, so much worse that I probably would not have had any chance at all of being a pro. The bedrock of tiltlessness is Mason-David-Ray type understanding. I firmly believe this. But for some people, that is not enough to end tilt. I have direct, recent data supporting this claim because of the coaching work I have done with clients – call it my own little science lab – that I am not the only player who has acquired a deep understanding of poker but still tilted.

Adman wrote:
Quote:
That post that Mason just wrote will do more to help a person struggling with tilt than any of the garbage in Tommy Angelo's book.
While I do agree with the basic drift of what you are saying here in the ways I went through already, I would add that for some people who are struggling with tilt, the combination of Mason’s teaching and mine could be more helpful than either alone. In this way I think of Mason and I as partners on the topic of teaching about tilt reduction. I believe his ideas rate to be highly beneficial for everyone. And I believe my ideas combined with the suggested practices rate to be highly beneficial as well. I see the diversity not as a sign of weakness in his ideas or mine, not as evidence than one teaching should be thought of as better or worse than the other, but simply as evidence that the topic is vast, and that people are varied, and that for any individual whose tilt is expensive and who wants to overcome the tilt demon, looking under many stones for solutions rates to be a rational approach. If someone finds garbage under any particular stone, well, fine. That doesn't mean it wasn't a +EV decision to look.

When it comes to topics such as position and bankroll and information, I think of my work as just one more guy writing about stuff that has been written about before. (I do try to put fresh perspectives on things. I love “aha” moments when I read, and I try to provide those for my readers. Also, the way I learn something best is when the words themselves somehow grab me. So I try to write words that might stick to a mind. And, I do intend to entertain when I write for publication. That has nothing to do with poker. It would be true no matter what I was writing about.) But when it comes tilt, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the analogy to think of my writing as a collection of ancient stones placed on the ground in front of the reader for him to look under or not.


Back to me and my poker tilt – here’s what happened. I started doing some things and I had some realizations that had the effect of reducing my tilt at poker and elsewhere. So I kept on that path, and everything just kept getting better. Then I started coaching poker, and I was getting feedback such as “I don’t hate my boss anymore,” and “My golf game is really steady all of a sudden,” and “I’m playing much better poker now and enjoying it more.”

This made me think that by writing a book, I might be able to kill two birds with one stone: 1) Make money 2) Make happiness.

When it comes to teaching people how to tilt less, as Mason did in his recent article, he and I are different yet again.

Adman wrote
Quote:
Plus it’s [Mason’s article]free!
Right! Mason is more generous than me. The only thing he made was happiness.


Tommy

Last edited by Tommy Angelo; 02-06-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #58
Nate.
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Tommy--

Great post. You're a classy guy. And I guess you realize that your book sells itself. (At least, it did to me.)

Thanks for years of excellent posts here,

--Nate
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #59
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adman View Post
That post that Mason just wrote will do more to help a person struggling with tilt than any of the garbage in Tommy Angelo's book. Plus it's free!
Maybe. I think one thing this thread is missing is a definition of tilt. The definition I operate under is the one put forward in "The Poker Mindset." Their definition is that you're on tilt if you're playing at a level less than you are capable. Tommy Angelo's definition is comparable (anytime you're playing at a level less than your A game). Under this definition I would venture to say that everyone tilts sometime.

Personally I've found that Mason's approach in the article (which is similiar to some of the ideas in "The Poker Mindset") has helped me tilt less. However to assume their is only one cause of tilt can't be correct. At least using the definition I'm operating under. For example fatigue might cause me to play worse than I would otherwise. Therefore to some degree I'm tilted. This example has nothing to do with experiencing a logical disconnect. The cause might be lack of physical conditioning, bad choices in picking when to play, or an inability to quit playing when I should for whatever reason.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #60
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Thanks Tommy. Superb post. I really liked your book as well, but it didn't really strike me as something Mason would like.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #61
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Excellent response, Tommy.
I've enjoyed this thread!

I ordered your book yesterday (don't forget to sign it!), and am eagerly anticipating it's arrival.
Not because I want help with tilting. Not because I'm dying for it to improve my poker game.
2 reasons I'm looking forward to it:
Tommy writes good! I've read many of his articles and enjoy almost all of them!

And he approaches subjects from a different point of view. This tickles my brain. It keeps my mind on what I'm reading and it does stick.

Oh yeah, and reason 3:
As a golf instructor, I can relate in some ways how an unorthodox approach can make all the difference.
Often I can, and have, gone over and over a basic fundamental of the golf swing with a student. Instruction, video, and photos are used repeatedly to hammer home this fundamental. And the student grasps the concept, understands the importance, but still fails to break the old habit and make a fundamental change.
But if they're are willing to step out of the box of normal, what-is-expected-in-a-golf-lesson, and try something their brain isn't prepared for, the student will often times immediately grasp the proper fundamental and be able to apply it.

I'm not great at this type of instruction. It is easier to just give the student what he is expecting. And I'm not all that imaginative anyway.
But I do believe that the best way of changing a poor habit is to take the subject out of the normal environment (either physically or mentally).

I'm hoping that reading The Elements of Poker will give me a few new ideas as to out-of-the-box thinking.
At the very least, I know I'll be entertained!
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:15 PM   #62
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Easy to see why Tommy puts up with me and Mason doesn't.

lol
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:26 PM   #63
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

I like reading the different sides to arguments. And several posters here are extremely adept with words, so the one side sounds good and then the other side sounds good. So I usually end up resolving this in my general life pattern over the years and going with what I think.


I really liked Tommy's book. I'm sure it's not for everyone. My situation is that I have been a winning player for awhile, first limit and now (eventually) no limit. I look for easy games and make a nice supplemental income from poker. ( Retired teaching at 30 yrs.) Originally I thought I didn't tilt because I was reading tilting=steaming. I never would get mad or behave badly at the table. I would stick up sometimes for a weak player if it looked like they were going to leave, plus people behaving like *******s irks me.

But tilting I was. It was not playing my A-game, sometimes not even my b-game, because I was upset. This is one way Tommy's book helped me, it's the way I look at A-C game. Now I already understood bad play costs you money , money as real as what you win, but the A to C graph is a nice visualizaion for me. To borrow from the golf analogy idea, it was a swing trigger for me. I am not a natural golfer, but would play really well in streaks when I concentrated on a certain trigger for awhile. And then the inevitable would happen, I would think, read , practice and settle on a new trigger for awhile. Tommy gave me some nice triggers.

Also, just like golf, understanding what makes a good swing, a good putter stroke, etc. and being able to faultlessly implement that knowledge are well, heh heh, we ALL know. So Tommy's book helped me in a general way that understanding bad beats and swings didn't. That's because bad beats don't upset me. Never did much and now not at all. What sends me into tailspins in when I make a mistake. Not a mistake because I tried a new move, didn't work but I'm getting a feel for it. I mean brain-dead, what- the -hell -did -I just -do mistakes. Where my brain is going " You dumbass hands, why are you pushing our stack in the middle, stop! stop! Danger Will Robinson!"

That's when my game detoriates. I am getting better and snapping back quicker and Tommy's book has definitely helped me. I know you can't play perfect poker and mistakes are inevitable and I'm sure there is mathematical basis there , too. But my family and friend are always saying " Poker, naturally, with your mathematical, risk-taking, bull****ter personality you would love it" and I do. But, I tell them, there is also patience, self-discipline, and focus, which have never been ,errrr, strong points of mine. But I always have recongnized my strengths and weaknesses long before poker. Will I ever be a great poker player? NO. But I feel I am half-decent and can be better. So when I have a chance to learn from someone more experienced than myself and I don't even try, then I'm an idiot and will never improve. Some books help and some don't. For me, EOP helped me. If not to have a better game for sure to play a better game, and more consistently.

Disclaimer: I've never met Tommy but I am a big Buckeye fan as well, but this did not influence my opinion. And, Hey Tommy, I'm a Steeler fan as well and got documented before the game that My Little Buckeye would come up big in the game.


Breathe in-look at the firealarm Breathe out-smile at the fire alarm.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:55 PM   #64
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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Originally Posted by Nate. View Post
Tommy--

Great post. You're a classy guy. And I guess you realize that your book sells itself. (At least, it did to me.)

Thanks for years of excellent posts here,

--Nate
Yessir.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:33 PM   #65
Cactus Jack
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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Hi Wayne:

I'm sorry to hear that you have this tilt problem. By the way, where and when do you play?

Best wishes,
mason
I'm not playing right now. I'm busy trying to find a job. But you knew that, already.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:41 PM   #66
SenecaJim
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Couple of PS's.

#1. If you appreciate Tommy's written expression, wit, and humor, get his CD. It's been worth many smiles. Emailed Tommy when I bought it about his hats but he had just quit selling them (running bad).

#2 Thank you Cactus Jack for relating in another thread the books Tommy recommended or gave you. Anyone finding Tommy's approach useful should check it out. " The Miracle of Mindfulness" is the one I liked/ found most useful.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:47 PM   #67
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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Originally Posted by SenecaJim View Post
Couple of PS's.

#1. If you appreciate Tommy's written expression, wit, and humor, get his CD. It's been worth many smiles. Emailed Tommy when I bought it about his hats but he had just quit selling them (running bad).
Here it is: http://www.conjelcostore.com/conjelc...&productID=237
NSFW
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #68
Steve Brecher
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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If a book has enough inaccurate information in it, even if it has a couple of things of value, it should cost you all your money if you follow it. The idea that a book is worth the money if you can get one thing out of it can only apply to an already expert type player since he will also be able to filter out all the inaccurate advice.
It's true that Tommy's book is not a beginner's cookbook, and not for someone who (still) needs recipes to follow uncritically. I skimmed some parts because they aren't relevant to my poker life, but others I enjoyed immensely. The book has a lot of thought-provoking and well-written ideas about playing one's "A game" more consistently, which happens to be what I believe I need. And, I love paronomasia.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #69
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Tommy's post here gives you who don't know him an idea of what he's made of. I'm fortunate to have known him for quite a few years and I have to admit he hasn't helped my poker one iota. That's 100% my fault. But there's nobody from the poker world whom I've met about whom I would feel more deprived had I not met him. I know that's not quite possible, but you get my point.

I also have to admit that my knowledge of Tommy's character might have prejudiced my evaluation of his book. But it was precisely that knowledge that made the book so relevant to me. If you didn't like the book, come back to it in a few years. When sixth street (and seventh street) mean more to you.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:27 PM   #70
Al Mirpuri
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Excellent post by Tommy Angelo.

It could not have been easy to write such a balanced post when his work was under attack.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:41 PM   #71
Mason Malmuth
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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Originally Posted by Al Mirpuri View Post
Excellent post by Tommy Angelo.

It could not have been easy to write such a balanced post when his work was under attack.
Tommy Angelo's work wasn't under attack. It was evaluated, and there is a difference. I don't review books to attack them. They are reviewed to give our readers information concerning their contents, and, despite Angelo's post above, the book is still exactly the same as before.

MM
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:57 PM   #72
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Tommy will appreciate the Zen of that statement.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:39 AM   #73
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post

To finish, on our forums, I have written many times that understanding the game of poker well is the best cure for tilt. Now most of you can understand my reasoning behind this. Tilt is not a “flight or fight” experience. It’s actually something humorous where the logic that your mind requires gets hung up. Once you acquire enough information that your mind won’t get hung up in an infinite logic loop, tilt should be a thing of the past.



I respectfully disagree with your premise

I did not find those jokes funny at all and I did not enter into any loop, I merely thought they were stupid attempts at humor.

As a 28 year veteran trader I've dealt with the tilt problem for a long time and it's meant the difference between food on my table or not.

Tilting is simply loss of emotional control combined with force of habit.

While I do agree that understanding the statistics will help you gain some insight it won't do diddly till you regain the emotional control through habitual training.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:14 AM   #74
Mason Malmuth
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

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I respectfully disagree with your premise

I did not find those jokes funny at all and I did not enter into any loop, I merely thought they were stupid attempts at humor.

As a 28 year veteran trader I've dealt with the tilt problem for a long time and it's meant the difference between food on my table or not.

Tilting is simply loss of emotional control combined with force of habit.

While I do agree that understanding the statistics will help you gain some insight it won't do diddly till you regain the emotional control through habitual training.
The jokes are only funny if your mind is able to resolve them in terms of the discontinuity. If you can't do that, you won't find them to be funny, but will feel frustration when reading them.

Also, and I'm a little less sure of this, if your mind finds the discontinuity too simplistic, that is your brain recognizes the discontinuity immediately, it also won't be funny. This is why I believe some comedians come across more as silly than entertaining. This also explains why something like slap-stick or cartoons is more apealing to kids than adults

MM
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:00 AM   #75
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Re: The Elements of Poker - Mason's Review

Excellent post by Tommy Angelo.

It could not have been easy to write such a balanced post when his work was under attack.

[2]
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