Saturday, August 10, 2019

Hello, My Name is "I'm All In".

The Dopamine Power Diet—In Search of the “All-In” Button

"I' ll take things that I know for $1,000 Alex!NLH has the short-term effect of windfalls of buckets of luck. That generates a roller coaster ride of greed, invincibility and fantasy ---a flood of dopamine that signals to our bodies that something good has happened. It’s not the win, but the suggestion of it that generates pleasure in the brain, rewards anticipation. Now, for the first time, you can actually get inside the black box, when your game crashes with Neuroeconomics--making "emotional" decisions and their economic sigificance. Brain scientists , who with Hotel Anyware's help, will be the writing the new Super System and (behavioral)Theory of Poker.

Chapter One Teaser: AN I for an I , 'See it with your mind's eye.' is so pre Twin Towers 9/11. Reif shows us that our mind is our eye.What we think is what we see, and what we see directs how we act. Not only does the authors make this paradigm clear, but Ed offers concrete and practical ways to change our mind's eye and as a consequence change our actions and the results we get. A miracle is a shift in thinking and shifting our thinking opens new opportunities. the gift of connecting to the field of awareness that exists within each playah. When your LEFT Brain gets good at telling the RIGHT brain what to do--the power of now+new,1+1=infinity...because after all, Poker is situational, and a game of partial information, too random to be left up to chance. The conceit of our Joes— is to see Order in chaos. The anticipation of consequences by Pros, is to pounce on this weakness.

Shift Happens

When your third eye and your turd eye are at one—you start to believe your own sh*
t, hooked on the belief that you are about to make mo’ money. This creates a midbrain mutiny between dopamine and serotonin. Like any addict, when the bad beat comes, you will go into a painful withdrawal. I think therefore I am—might need a re-write- I don’t know so maybe I’m not. It’s all chemical!

Thinking and feeling differently about lose-Whatever is going on in you is chemical. What could your neurons "want"? It's enigmatic, but basically they wants a jolt of serotonin, norepinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. If you can remember--you are never know how you have been, and maintain a malignent optimism, you can live to play another day. The hard thing about this is that it is so easy to do, because feelings are not true, they're feelings...nothing more than feelings.
Poker= f(dopamine flow); Money= happiness

"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy chips, which is kinda the same thing" Ed Reif, Wise and Otherwise,2007

Money is a means to an end. When you get money, you shouldn't experience immediate happiness. Brain research shows, however, that people get immediate pleasure and pain from winning and losing money.
Keep Dope alive. Play Poker. Go with the flow. Why do you think they call it DOPE-amine?


Dopamine is a swiss army knife that does a lot of jobs, but the thing Mr. Science notices most is that it regulates reward. When you win a hand of poker, it's a dopamine spike that's responsible for the thrill that follows. Drugs, legal and illegal-mimic the actions of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical which makes us feel elated; crystal meth is so addictive because it releases dopamine. More than that, The brain images of drug addicts who are about to take another hit are indistinguishable from those of poker players who are making money and about to play another showdown hand.

The Power Of Impossible Thinking

Getting what you deserve is boring. Having pocket AA, and raking a small pot, just won’t do it. There has to be risk and ambiguity. Don’t you feel more energized when you’re uncertain of the outcome of a hand. When you do a three barrel bluff, don’t you feel more alive, your heart jumping out of your chest, you sweat, your take that dry mouth swallow. I think that a subconscious desire to return to this state affects my game. I bluff too much because I want to experience the feeling I get at these moments…. when you get him to fold top pair, when a scare card is on the turn..This is poker at its finest: If you can think impossible thoughts, you can do impossible things.

If you had a normal “addiction” to, say, crack or sex-there are group therapies for that-but being addicted to “risk” in the poker culture just makes makes you a gambler. Is that so bad, you are wired to invest? Don't they call that arbitrage on Wall Street? Isn't gambling a fundamental brick in the foundation of economic and investment thinking.

Poker points to gambling. Gambling points to math. Math points to risk. Risk points to investing. Investing points to finance; and finance points to economics, and economics points back to gambling.

Cognitive-Enhancing SMART drugs and Poker--the Next Steroids Scandal

So all this stuff about Steroids and baseball, what about brain boosting drugs and poker! I wrote about holdem’s off the wall player, me and my Big (Mike the) Mouth. Mike is America's first self confessed bipolar poker champ – a former speed addict, currently diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, Mike The Corporation is a black market wheeler-dealer, living in the underground economy of CASH. His street cred is good in Vegas--the money faucet runs on tap. He's bankable. Why, because he's now (legally)medicated (zoloft, depakote and ritalin)!

It's one thing to get a natural "runner's high" from the game; but actually ingesting brain-boosting performance inhancing substances to improve your mental focus, memory, recall and reduce fatigue? Wait a minute, where can I get some of those happy pills? It's all legal! Doping in cash and online poker, what's so ethical about this work ethic?

We are all aware that caffine is not a drug, but a vitamin for the long grueling tournament scene. Yet, we would all fail a WADA/IOC-administered drug test based on drinking as little as three cups! Congress is already hearing testimony about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act. I can see a day when the great poker doping scadal is exposed too!

No worries, they'll be a lot of Doctor's notes, with the ADD boutique diagnoisis, just like getting extra time on your SAT! to "accomodate" your poker (L)earning differences.

Drugs, they're not just for athletes!

And now a PSA: If you're gonna get high, play cards-

"There isn't any question about it -- they made me a much better player," Paul Phillips, 35, who credited the attention deficit drug Adderall and the narcolepsy pill Provigil with helping him earn more than $2.3 million as a poker player. See LATimes article

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow from Stuff Magazine; May, 2006 Life or Meth-
" I began playing at a level I had never played at before. Every time someone played a hand differently than their norm, I sensed it. Every time someone showed a tell, I saw it.” see USA Today article
Mike is Mike, working his mac, a whore with a heart of gold, so no judgments here.

Paul on the other hand, is a GUO, a great unlucky one: in order for Mr Phillips to make a small fortune in poker he needed to have a big one---and Paul is a dotcom gazillionaire to begin with. Too much respect for money makes you a bad poker player-That a makes Phillips a great one: He payed 10K x 26 WPT events-Of course eventually he cashed in some---even a broken clock is right twice. What is it about these faloney's who think they can play poker? Ka-ching.

Read my post on The Godfather of Poker-Doyle did "that thing with the thing bada bing-all-in" to Guy aka Moe Greene:

Doyle Brunson took Cirque du Soleil billionaire Guy Laliberté to clown college on High Stakes Poker---to say it was a circus, would be an insult to the bearded ladies, mimes and interpretive dancers. A moment of silence was in order as Guy was nearly drawing dead.

FREE Roger Clemens...

"As Major League Baseball struggles to rid itself of performance-enhancing drugs, people in a range of other fields are reaching for a variety of prescription pills to enhance what counts most in modern life." It begs the question--why is there no stigma attached to these other pursuits.

A Dose Of Genius-No Brain Is An Island

Poker players drug du jour is Adderall , the active ingredient being dextroamphetamine saccharate. You might recognize the root, amphetamine which is closely related to methamphetamine more commonly known as crystal meth, or speed!

Propanolol is a beta blocker, and epinephrine is a beta agonist. LSAT school test takers, concert musicians are eating them like Gummy Bears to bypass stress and butterflies. Why, to get an edge, a competitive edge. If somebody gave you a designer drug to improve your memory, would you try it? What are neuroethical consequences of brain doping?

The Standard American Diet acronym is S.A.D. --This your brain on french fries! Depressing, huh?


This is your brain on poker..

Know Thy Synaptic Self
Neurons that wire together fire together---Making money and then making money again is our chemical romance; the love drug Dopamine. It produces a “desire to continue”. Congratulations, you are wired to play poker. Happy Valentine’s Day.

What happens in your brain when your expectations are confirmed — or shattered by surprise. It's a steady flow of dopamine that makes the anticipation such a pleasure. Walking the painted line, tolerating low calculated risks, the safe choices,---it is impossible to settle for what everyone else gets---no matter how comfortable that would make you. The extraordinary opportunities lie in the leaps of faith, the uncalculating risks.

We might not realize it, but dopamine is our favorite neurotransmitter. The Sex of Poker reward circuit runs on Dopamine. It makes us pursue whatever we think will be rewarding. Life, liberty and the pursuit of a fast buck. "fits like a glove" with neuroimaging findings of alcoholics, and drug addicts. Let's cast a nice halo around poker, call it Yuppie bulemia, for the three C's: guys with Cash, Condos and Cars.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Selling Your Car For Gas Money

Egonomics 101---Overconfidence, Myopia and Hubris

The power of mind over money is rooted in mental bias . It is our own idiosyncratic way to distort our map of reality. Just as the menu is not the meal, this map is not the territory--because everyone experiences gambling differently. When your reality check bounces---change your map.

FLOUNDERS verses ROUNDERS -The difference in playing with the belief and intention of winning against just being social.

For the poker Balla, nothing is better than when that average Joe Player sits down at a poker table. Why? Because he just sat down with money he INTENDS to lose! There is no more +EV situation, and most tables in a live poker room are filled with players exactly like that. When you treat No Limit Hold em as only a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with negative expectations: Risk of ruin is 100%.

A Joe plays when he "feels" like it, a Pro, all the time! Call them perpetual shortcuts JOES make when losing poker ASAP; and as any of the PROS will tell you, they don't need cards to win--that's for amateurs. Pro Players specialize in other people's biases! especially that malignant optimistic one that beats its chest and says, "I'm the best player at the table". Hotel Anyware considers himself an average player, except for the fact that he considers himself an average player!

Pros know the 60/40 end of a proposition--- when to hold em and when to fold em--- when you have some competitive advantage over somebody else. And you don't bet, you don't gamble, you don't invest, unless you have some competitive advantage.

Poker is a game of partial information, and when you have a competitive advantage you have to take into account this and, more important, behavioral factors. There is wise.... and there is otherwise:

Behavior Has Consequences

Irrational default modes of playing tend to show up in our game both when we win---the House Money Effect chip overload of playing loose with their money, and when we are getting on tilt with bad beats: That's when emotion and even confidence cloud our judgment and misguide our actions. The Volatility and Variance of NLH rewards patience, a clear mind, and, selective aggression.

American Airlines AA and the Concorde Effect—A True Story at the $100 Buy-In Bicycle Casino- Eating Dessert First.

I’m UTG, deep stacked with four limpers. I raise and get called by all four. I should muck right there but I don't. I’ve got pocket aces. The flop is low ball 3 4 7 rainbow. I bet big-a Dan Harrington "information" bet to see where I am at... and lose three players. The turn is a 5, a possible straight. I bet big again and get re-raised all in. I insta-call. The river is a blank. I flip over AA and Lift Ticket has Pocket 66. for the nuts.

The very next hand I get pocket kings--it was Dijon Vu, the same old mustard--My emotional return on investment however, my EROI, was saying "SEAT OPEN!" and the table could smell it and I got everyone calling, a family pot. I actually wanted to go home broke..and even though I tripped up, I lost to runner, runner, heart flush. I did. That's right,wanting to lose money. And that emotional return was more of a payoff than the financial one--when my black Kings got cracked by suited connectors (hearts, a baby flush!).

Granted, too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player but I walked away from that session with knowledge: First, that my brain is the "most powerful computer." Second, when on tilt, my brain is the most powerful "broken computer ."

Tilt makes us sub-optimal for evaluating rewards, sizing up risks and calculating probabilities. It's like selling the car for gas money.

I walked away with a less broken computer, less sabotaging behavior, and more insight into the fact that self-delusion is more than possible in poker - it's highly likely!

Behavioral Finance ---The Black Box Flight Recorder has a name for my crash landing -- The Sunk Cost Fallacy --the refusal to get out of a losing position, because you've already written the money off -- resulting in losing even more money.

The British and French governments continued to fund the Concorde project long after it was determined that it was a loser---merely to justify past investment in it, rather than assessing the current rationality of investing.

You have an over pair on the flop and bet big. You get called. On the turn the texture of the board is dangerous. You bet out in the dark---suddenly you are stuck as your opponent straightens out.

We are in fact more sensitive to decreases in our chip count than we are to increases in them.

Doyle Brunson, a member of the MENSA Poker Club says: Great players lay down great hands. In fact, the ability to accept a loss and get away from a great hand is probably the most important (and difficult) skill to learn in poker. It's the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

The ability to take a small loss to avoid a big one is the hallmark of this poker genius.We all start out as geniuses, and then allow our emotions to de-genius us. If you put good players into bad situations they usually turn bad.

Secrets to Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players

Common sense is not so common, and these common flaws are often consistent, predictable, and can be exploited for profit.

Illusion of control - the tendency for players to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly cannot. NLH is 100% luck and 100% chance. An opponent can (suck out) win one hand 100% of the time. NLH is too random to be left up to chance-yet good results will have you rejecting alternative ways to play--Nothing fails like success. Doing things right the first time is an obscenity--If your game isn't broke, don't just break it, break it before the competition does.

Loss aversion - The pain of chips lost generally is much greater than the pleasure of a chips gained. Playars strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains ( Quit early when winning and playing marathon sessions when stuck or chasing---see also sunk cost effects. To win money over the long haul, you’ve got to win big pots. And to win big pots, you can’t be held back by this thinking error. You can't play a safe tight- is -right solid game and expect to win. You can't avoid crisis, you must be in a perpetual one that you create...but selectively picking your spots).

Bias blind spot - The left side of the brain will do the math. But the right side will "tag" it with a story. That story usually doesn't compensate for one’s own cognitive biases.

Choice-supportive bias - It's called "anchoring" remember one’s choices as better than they actually were. (Using the past to predict the future). There is never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. I've had racks of chips only to be felted 14 hours later because instead of an attitude of gratitude, I had the Mick Jaggar Tumbling Dice "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"soundtrack playing.

Endowment effect - When I own something, I will tend to value it more highly. If I have to sell it, I will probably want to ask more than it is really worth. (Not being able to let go of QQ,AA,KK---rookie moves, and over betting the pot) There's the expected result, based on analysis, and the actual result, based on events. Poker is a game of situations---I've learned to thrown away Kings, Queens, and with a four card flush on the board, even two red Aces!

Confirmation bias - The Indians Rain Dance worked because they never stopped dancing! The Jeane Dixon effect-of making a few right predictions, and overlooking the false ones. Searching for information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. The delusions of reference--tells, lucky charms, hunches and coincidences.

Bandwagon effect - Do things because smart money people do or believe the same, like playing Helmeuth starting hands, or walking the painted line of Sklansky's Theory of Poker or Doyle's Super System. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour. That's what I find so cool about my game--being able to fire three barrels with squadush. (Thank you Poker Stars Sit and Go's)

Déformation professionnelle - the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own T.O.E., time on earth; assuming things that have similar traits are likely to be identical; forgetting any broader point of view. Past experience and feedback loops can make you Hola Lupe.

Disconfirmation bias -. We tend to use the information that is most handy when we make decisions/predictions. The path of least resistence mashed up with thin slicing.

Focusing effect - prediction bias occurring when players place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.

Hyperbolic discounting - the tendency for players to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.

Impact bias -Our minds are suited for solving problems related to our survival, rather than being optimised for poker decisions. Players overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.

Information bias - Seeking TMI, too much information, even when it cannot affect action. Try playing in the dark, or blind---With less information to be processed and filtered, the brain assigns higher priority to the information that it does receive.

Neglect of probability - the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty. Expected Value and Variance---weighing all the possible outcomes, weighting the more likely outcomes, and coming to a conclusion---play a big part in the decision process. There is therefore, never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them

Mere exposure effect - the tendency for players to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. If it's not broke, break it!

Omission bias - The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).

Outcome bias - the tendency to judge things on their outcome, and not on their process. Over weighing and overeacting to a bad beat-- the most recent information or circumstances.

Planning fallacy - the tendency to underestimate task-completion times. It has taken me ten years to become an overnight Holdem success!

Post-purchase rationalization - the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.

Pseudocertainty effect - the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.

Selective perception - the tendency for expectations to affect perception. (Gamblers Fallacy)

Status quo bias - the tendency for players to like things to stay relatively the same.

Von Restorff effect - Purple Cows and items that “stands out like a sore thumb” have a tendency to be more likely to be remembered than other items.

Zero-risk bias - preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

Monday, June 10, 2019


Holdem is too random to be left up to chance.
You would rather be skillful than lucky anyway--Sure anyone any ONE TIME gets lucky 100% of the time. The law of large numbers says that you will win the lottery. Ask yourself this question before sitting down to play poker: Lucky or skillfull?

"Whether my decision is good or bad depends on how I make it, not on the outcome."
The Secret is about the law of attraction and results—the secret of poker is the complete opposite! And opposites attract!
The way to get better is to think about process not results—focus on better decision making and ignoring short term results.

Analysis Is Paralysis

Poker Bloggers are the sharpshooters that come down from the hill after the battle to shoot the wounded, in this case, the dead. I'll give it my best shot.

There is never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. There's the expected result, based on analysis, and the actual result, based on events. For Instance:

David Sklansky's Fundamental Theory of Poker is a theory which is not about poker. Instead it is a theory about the results of poker. In other words, you cannot use the Fundamental Theorem of Poker to solve any actual poker problems. It’s good for finding out whether I was lucky enough or not to be holding any two cards against an opponent. That theory is outlined early in his book:

"Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose." [17-18]

POKER: It is not about winning or losing, rather excelling: Because of the huge amount of luck associated with NLH, We often face uncertainty in making decisions, we can, therefore, make a good decision and get a bad outcome. (Bad beats are had more often by GOOD players than bad. Afterall, you are "getting your money in good"...only to get that suckout miracle card ruin your nut flush to a staight flush etc.) Good decisions in poker, therefore, will not guarantee good outcomes, but on average, consistently better decisions lead to consistently better outcomes.

"Good decisions are made one step at a time." Preflop, flop, turn, river.

Rock.Paper.Scissors. It's not just for kids anymore. Part coin flip, part drawing straws, RPS is not just some novelty way to gamble but a poker strategy to bet:


Rock: wins against scissors, loses to paper and stalemates against itself.
Paper wins against Rock, loses to scissors and stalemates against itself.
Scissors wins against paper, loses to rock and stalemates against itself.


You can't immediately win by calling; you can by betting, or raising! Furthermore, you need a stronger hand to call than to bet or raise. betting or raising allows the possibility of winning the pot immediately by forcing decisions on the other opponents, who may very well fold, with slim holdings....and never cold call a preflop raise with easily dominated off suit hands.

The Equity of Folding in a Tournament-Folding is the invisable way to winThe best way to win more is to fold more! Hand selection is really something to consider; so is position. Playing too many starting hands is the How Not to Do It way..When it is raised in front of you-Your mantra should be "I'm looking for a way to fold this AJ offsuit.

Knowledge isn't power---applied knowledge is. Luck isn't power either, but applied luck is the most powerful element in NLH: here's what I mean; Focus on decisions not consequences. Luck has consequences. Focus on decisions, not luck. What you think of me is none of my business, and what luck thinks of me at any particular time, is none of my business. Luck Positive (Winning) and Luck Negative (gad beats) are OVERHEAD; Chips, the cost of doing business!

Think about good decisions, not results. It's about the process not pots won---the chips will come. Do what you love and the money will follow--have a love affair with making sound decisions based on partial information. It is, after all, about excelling, not winning or losing a particular hand.
Make probability based decisions--How many outs do you have? What are the immediate odds-pre flop, flop, turn and river? What are the long shot odds for you and your opponent, once you put him on a range of hands? The universal tell in poker is called betting!

Poker without cards---bluffing. It simply has to be part of your game--- this Misleading Vividness. But remember: BIG POTS for BIG CARDS: The really powerful starting hands---High card value, suitedness and connectedness---have multiple ways to win.

"Cards are there for bad players" is not always the case. Neither is:" NLH is about playing the person more than the cards"

IN NLH there are 4 opportunities to bluff, 1 pre and 3 post flop.

LOOSE players are looking for reasons to CALL; TIGHT, to FOLD.

The more your bluffs matters, the harder they are to pull off because they are, after all, bluffs. It is, however, impossible to defend against a solid bluffing strategy. Reality is perception, and appearance reality. When you don' have good cards, however, somebody else probably does.

You aren't a bad poker player if you get caught bluffing sometimes or most of the time. You only have to win a fraction of the time to net a profit. Sklansky's (game)Theory of poker points out that you cannot play optimally unless you include bluffing into your game.
Every bet or raise can be a bluff, and you can beat a bluff with a mediocre hand. The only way to compensate for the bluffs of your opponents is to bluff them back!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Poker Doesn’t Think, and the cards have no memory.

Once upon a starting hand: When all you have is the hammer, everything is a nail.

The implicit value of 7 deuce-Leading uphill against conventional wisdom.

Under the right circumstances you can play ANY Two Cards---ATC, and expect a positive return, either immediately or down the road.

From Worst To First-The best hole cards you've never played

The book value and herd mentality of 72 offsuit in holdem is squadush. It is the worst hand in NLH.-Yet the Hammer can go from zero to hero. It makes a great raising hand in position. Play them like aces--When everyone misses on the flop, throw in a continuation bet, and you take down the pot. Money certainly has been won from players' mis-reading of the situation, and the 7 deuce first in money guy working magic-or mis-direction-- creating the illusion appearing as real--Now that's playing with no cards.

Starting hands can be created or dissolved with the change in its implicit value, which is determined by the personal perceptions and whim of players and their cards

Playing 72 like aces. Should I? In the case of automatic enrollment, the default decision may be too powerful to ever let 7 2 go. You have tried this a few times and got away with it, scooping a $300 pot in a low NLH game. It could start out, first as a bluff, the 72 trash hand, then catching a full house with it. Sometimes you'll get caught.
Winning like this doesn't make you a good player; neither does losing like this make you a bad one---it just is the cost of doing (monkey) business, and making moves at pots.
Being There-The Greatest Movie You Have Never Seen Peter Sellers' Masterpiece---A How To Own The Zone Poker Play Book
Those who forget the past are doomed to reread it. Remember this one--President Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln and President Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy. Coincidence? How about this one: you need 23 people in one room for there to be a 50% chance of two people having the same birthday. Probability?

The concept I'd like to deal with, then, is the concept of "framing" -- that the way we are presented information determines our reaction to that information. You can have your delusions of reference, but when it comes down to it, poker doesn't think and the cards have no memory. Yet, if you choose to frame it as meaningful coincidence or good luck-What you believe is real, will be real to you in its consequences--the magic of magical thinking

Magical thinking is real--I like to call it beginner's luck---because you just don't know any better. You don't understand possible causes because of your low information diet. TMI, Too Much Information can damage your game. That's why you can bluff good players---they've been there, done that. They have the in-the-trenches- experience and the war stories and bad beats. Check out Brad Booth on High Stakes Poker to see what I mean-an amazing three brick, 300K bluff against Phil Ivey, whose holding pocket Kings, and lays them down.
...all is well - and all will be well - in the garden

Beginner's Luck doesn't so much as remove the heavy lifting of real thinking. It just keeps you lean and trim on this low info diet, where the "how " of your happiness takes on new meaning. In RL (Real Life) WSOP Champ, with The Power Of NeW, Huck Seed has this vibe. No need for filters--You can only recognize what you already know.
It has a way of creating your NOT To Do List. The on demand vibe is about simplicity, and that's scarce, a To Be list. Forest Gump, and Being There's Chauncey Gardiner come to mind. The Bermuda Triangle For Socks-The Dryer-the mythology

When I do my laundry, I mix it all together—that’s called pink laundry. It all doesn’t come out in the wash. More than that, I don't know where my socks sometimes go after I (Think) I put them in the dryer. Did they really disappear? You see that’s the illusion---they never make it to the machine in the first place! When I was a kid, I worked at a resturant, we had a far more important mystery---the missing teaspoon phenomonon.
Missing chips and missing socks---the way we do laundry is the way we do chips. The somewhat "unreal" characteristic of money and poker, leave you with that missing sock conspiracy theory thing, since the most straightforward way of telling you where your money went is that it actually disappeared into thin air; and chips just go to money heaven.
The brain seems to have networks wired to produce magical explanation in almost every cirucmstance. The point at which my child brain withdrew support for belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny is about the same time it got introduced to prayer---and believe me there is a lot more praying going on in casinos and holdem games than churches!

It goes on to this day--what New Yorker didn't think they were responsible for the outcome of last year's Giant's Superbowl victory! In part it’s because we are constantly exposed to our own thoughts-"I want the Giants to win, I want the Giants to win..." Hay, WTF--It worked!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Poker With Out Cards—Bluff Outs

The universal tell in poker is called betting!

No limit holdem is a game of ins and outs, need and speed, aggravation and acceleration.
Counting your outs, the number of cards that will make you a complete hand is something to reconsider, thanks to what I call, the Bluff Outs:additional scare cards that, if they hit, you bet out, and, force your opponent to fold; mentally dealing them the hand .Bluff Outs Poker is about playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do.

Preflop, a pocket pair only has 2 outs to improve, overcards have 6 to draw to the nuts.This is not even taking into account straight and flush draws! That means over cards are at least a 3:1 favorite to improve and win the hand. And with bluff outs, even if you miss, you can bet it like you have it.

It requires a shift in thinking---Instead of "I hope he doesn't bet" or " Come on--- pair the board" or "Club, Club Club" ...that's wasted energy...Say to yourself, "If a club comes on the river, I am betting out like I have it, enough to take your opponent off their hand of top pair, even trips! or " If I hit my set, I am betting the pot". or If I miss with AK, I am making a big cointinuation bet, no matter what"....I've done it. It works.

Betting verses Gambling

Full Catastrophe Poker is not a game of cards played with money—It is a game of money played with cards. It speaks a language called betting, is a slang that rolls up its sleeves, spits in the street, screams strength possibly more than any other and gets the work done. Tells Don’t Tell – People Do with the language of their betting. Poker is a game of partial information and the language of betting "last in" is information dominance.

Bluffing is a big part of NLH since most players miss the flop 33% of the time.IN NLH there are 4 opportunities to bluff, 1 pre and 3 post flop. LOOSE players are looking for reasons to CALL; TIGHT, to FOLD.

You aren't a bad poker player if you get caught bluffing sometimes or most of the time. You only have to win a fraction of the time to net a profit. Sklansky's (game)Theory of poker points out that you cannot play optimally unless you include bluffing into your game.

Every bet or raise can be a bluff, and you can beat a bluff with a mediocre hand. The only way to compensate for the bluffs of your opponents is to bluff them back!

You don' t get what you deserve in poker, you get what you negotiate--Bluffing is the quintessential Negotiator. If you are going to be a winning player, you have to include bluffing in your game.
The more your bluffs matters, the harder they are to pull off because they are, after all, bluffs. It is, however, impossible to defend against a solid bluffing strategy. Reality is perception, and appearance reality.

Tells can give you a competitive advatage. HINTS or suggestions are better ways to describe the leaks in opponents (and your) game.-The universal hint in poker is called betting—jamming the pot when you have the best of it, and punishing opponents for their draws.Betting is the language of poker; the more money behind your bet, the louder your voice! This kind of game is The safe sex of poker-without the deceit, the seduction, the bluffing-is like wearing a condom. And you know how that feels.

The sex of poker is bluffing, getting something for nothing-Poker is, after all, anything you can get away with. In the real world, If your wife is cheating on you---you don't want to believe it.(Truth bias). So she bluffs you and gets away with it but day her own Fear of being caught---detection apprehension---will be the non verbal (TELL) communication that speaks to your subconscious and allows you to divorce her! That is, if your left brain gets good at telling your right brain what to do.

Misleading Vividness-Learn The Lines
Bluffing is giving yourself permission to win, even if you do not have the best of it. When you show up to a game, you have to be script driven, and the lines are simple--I am going to win, NOT I should win , NOT I deserve to win. If you can pull off a feeling of acceptance, not even belief, you will have a reasonable amount of success in your bluffs. Be misleading not confusing in your bluffs.

Use position, psychology and bluffing to tip the scales. One thing for sure-POSITION makes every bluff easier. What is your RRR, your risk reward ratio? What are the CP's, calling patterns of your opponents? What are their BP's, betting patterns? The bluffing quest is in these questions.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression on any given hand. Commit to a hand, and the prosperous termination of desired events--scooping up the pot. Bluffing really means I am against something but appear to be for it. Creating a false impression, disguising the "truth" is easier said than done. Overcompensating in either direction usually occurs---that's a bad bluff. Manipulating how confident you appear, a person who is bluffing will almost always overcompensate 100%, to convince or convey.

In one yEAR and out the other...May 28, 2008:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Bad Beats are Overhead;Chips, The Cost of Doing Business As Usual

Are You Experienced?
Probability and People=Poker P+P=P
Limit is about value betting and NLH is about trapping.You spell limit poker t.i.m.e. You can't spell anything in NLH! You gotta do the math---the heavy lifting of pot odds, implied odds, counting your outs.

In No Limit Holdem, things don't even out with time, they even out with the number of hands you play. Sometimes nothing can be a good hand. See my Post on Zero Gravity Thinking.

Holdem is a game of high cards, and kickers, In Limit Holdem, the number of players increases, so big cards must be played most of the time. NLH is like chess; Limit, like checkers: so don't play it like cheese! Find the holes and leaks in your limit game, and plug them up.

Hand selection is very important since almost all the time you are going to a showdown---the one with the best hand usually wins; and bluffing is a rather hard thing to pull off, since it only costs one small bet for Deputy Barney Fife to "keep you honest". Nevertheless,You can bet or raise with ATC, any two cards, but your call MUST have a positive matamatical expectation. Calling for value must outweigh the risks you are taking.


For the beginner, everything is even money, when you don't know any better. Replacing that with true odds is the goal. There is one goal and many pathways. There is the psycho path way, playing like a Kramer maniac.---the push and pray NLH way, hoping to hit the flop big. There is the rocky road, playing a tight-is-right, the Jerry game of counting your outs---the number of unseen cards that will give you the best hand---the NUTS!

There is wise and there is otherwise. Generally speaking if the FLOP gives you 10 or more outs---go all the way to the river, regardless of the number of opponents in the pot.

If your draws have less than 9 outs 2 handed, that will yield you a negative result more often than not.

A Multi-handed raised pot with six or more outs =profit.

LET THERE BE FLOP- Getting in touch with your inner George Costanza

If a guy has 20k behind him, and you are first to act and bet 6K. He is really betting 20K if he calls your 6K.(the implied turn and river bets) You bet 6K. he bets 20K That is the threat of NLH, the all-in threat. PUT THE COMMITMENT ON HIM.

The Poker Free Lunch

I can read minds. I know what players are thinking after they miss the flop--"Don't bet" Don't bet" They want a free card. I know both sides because I am both sides.

What is deeply personal in poker is universal. If I am capable of thinking it, so are my opponents. That's feeling the fear and doing it anyway---like The Opposite Episode in Seinfeld. "If I raise everyone will think I have an ACE. So you get 72 and raise with squadush. After all, you don't get a second chance to make a FALSE impression. You may win the pot outright, or take it away on the turn if their hand doesn't improve.

Your attitude will determine your altitude in NLH.

We are born broke, and we die broke, everything in the middle is fluctuation.
"Getting broke" and "Going Broke" are two different things. Getting broke is when you place burns down and you become houseless, you, the franchise can still go out and buy or build another house. Going broke is setting yourself on fire---you are homeless, a lifestyle of disenfranchisement. Have an attitude of gratitude because pokewr is 100% skil and 100% luck

SHIFT Happens

Knowledge isn't power---applied knowledge is. Luck isn't power either, but applied luck is the most powerful element in NLH: here's what I mean; Focus on decisions not consequences. Luck has consequences. Focus on decisions, not luck. What you think of me is none of my business, and what luck thinks of me at any particular time, is none of my business. Luck Positive (Winning) and Luck Negative (gad beats) are OVERHEAD; Chips, the cost of doing business!

Think about good decisions, not results. It's about the process not pots won---the chips will come. Do what you love and the money will follow--have a love affair with making sound decisions based on partial information. It is, after all, about excelling, not winning or losing a particular hand.

It is a poor workman who blames his tools--I don't have a big enough bankroll--A BR is your toolbox. Don't sell your tools. Poker happens in the mind--but it is played with money. I got $1,000 bucks worth of chips and $100,000 worth of courage.

Folding-the invisable way to win.

The best way to win more is to fold more! Hand selection is really something to consider; so is position. Playing too many starting hands is the How Not to Do It way..When it is raised in front of you-Your mantra should be "I'm looking for a way to fold this AJ offsuit.

LOOSE playing---you are looking for reasons to call; TIGHT, to fold---choose your posion.

CHIPS, they comes from weakness: exploit opponent weakness to play ATC, any two cards, who come here to gamble mentality.

CP, calling pattern, BP, betting patterns. Pay attention to these hints. Sit to the LEFT of loose players. When you have a monster let lefty bet out. Players who just sit down are easier to bluff and less likely to play weak hands.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Losing Holden ASAP-Kareoke ABC Poker

The possibility of sudden significant change in your game.

The Secret is about the law of attraction and results—the secret of poker is the complete opposite!

The way to get better is to think about process not results—focus on better decision making and ignoring short term results. This is extremely hard to do because neurons that wire together fire together--- that's the sex of poker ---Having fun. In fact, it's not about winning or losing any one hand, but excelling and having an "experience"
There's a wonderful phrase in Gladwell's Blink--"the power of thin slicing"--which says that as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience. That's what I mean about the difference between having fun and "having an experience"---pure house games like black jack and slots, verses poker. NLH is not just a "sport", it's a concussion. The difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Hello, My Name is--"I'm All In"-when bad things happen to good decisions.

Bad playing (Making the right mistake) can get "rewarded" 100% of the time on ANY one hand.This kind of poker---PUSH and PRAY-- is not a user friendly game, rather a user illusionaryone because : "Lucky" players will always have worse cards then you, and will draw out, even if there is one card in the deck they need, and they may very well get it.
Getting your money in good, only to get sucked out is a fact of NLH. Chips are overhead, bad beats the cost of doing business against random reDONKulous decisions.
For these types of absolute novice, everything is even money. The idea is to defeat that concept, making, for instance, balanced decisions---correlating the size of the pot to the strength of your hand.
Nevertheless, when you treat No Limit Holdem as a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with the "F" fun factor-- you may have great expectations , but you will get negative ones. Risk of ruin is 100%! That's the difference between gambling and betting.

Losing holdem ASAP is about that default lottery- Ka-ching- DONKey mentality of wish fulfillment.It is a portable magic---you rent but never own. Take it to your game and you will leave through the revolving door of poker on the old gambling world of luck's PUSH, verses the New wor(l)d order of NLH's PULL. It's rolling the DICE verses Inviting CHOICE.

Teach Yourself Poker in 10 Years ---Why is everybody in such a rush!

Learn to play poker like the Pros….and go broke. If you play like Gus (Hansen), you will..TVEPP TV Educated Poker Players-see:The MoneyMaker Effect.

It's closing time for the karaoke crowd, the old dogs of kitsch. Who actually cares that you can belt out,after three martini's , the loudest My Way: AK all in pre flop is still drawing hand! --It's still the S.O.S. Same ole ___ bland copies of the original AKA Doyle's by/buy-the-book, Super System; or Sklansky's Theory Of Poker --Don’t bring math to the game, bring strategy.

NLH is too random to be left up to chance. NLH is senseless, common sense and it’s not so common. It’s crazy delicious! The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, The Power Of New. It's less about how do I play 3 3 in early position and more about how should I think about it. There is no there there! in the distilled experience of the veterans.

Old wine in a new bottle is when you play ABC "I bought the book" holdem. "Money runs counterclockwise...You always lose money from the guy on your left and win chips from the guy on your right" or " Seat 9 only value bets here and only bluffs there."

The quest is not in these Either/or questions:---Am I gonna win this hand or lose it? Is my hand better or worse than my opponents single hand? Will I play it as a stealing hand or a hitting hand? Either/OR even in terms of thinking Pre/Post flop. .This duality of up and down, playing optimally verses exploitively -- There is no right and wrong, good and bad. odds and even. Zero Sum Minus Some, is too pedestrian, too run-of-the-mill. It's more than mixing it up and shifting gears---the mess is the message.

You can't predict the flop, but you can invent it--Plan around commitment.

It’s hard to think probability. Info is Lost In Translation when we simplify yet the simpliest concepts in NLH are the most powerful. There are no best starting hands, only situations. Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler. Think of it as a continuum, "AND". An infinite number of third options. This concept needs to be in your game.

Doing two things at the same time that apparently negate each other. NLH is 100% skill and 100% luck. The language of "and" is the language of NLH. The language of "and" is the language of passive and active, optimystical and materialistic, hard and soft. There’s a yang for every yin. It’s Fuzzy logic, and everything is a matter of degree and the player is fuzzy wuzzy to the nth degree. Get a clear, sharp view of the fuzzy.

E= MC2 Equity= More Chips Squared.

Equity—think in terms of what is my hypothetical share in this pot, not just “Am I ahead or behind”.

Commitment- Plan around it. Where is your equity coming from: Making the best hand by hitting or stealing it post flop.—to win the pot, but every hand has the potential for both. Most battles are won before they are fought. Consider the range of hands as well as the playah's temperament.

NLH revolves around the threat of an all in bet. It should be considered around ever decision. This may come at you. Play differently in big pots...Isolate hands that have a high showdown value, and overlimp in hands that have a positive and implied odds to invite more people into the pot. If practice makes perfect, and nobody's perfect, then why practice? There is absolutely no substitute in NLH than for a genuine lack of preparation.

A NLH session is one long conversation run by C students, and Cash is their report card. NLH is like high school with money. This is a world beyond the classroom besides getting the correct answer. The important thing, nevertheless, is not to be in the know, but to be in the Power of NEW . The glass ain’t half empty, it ain’t half full, the glass is not big enough.

What everyone knows about poker is not worth knowing. Challenge the Myths of One-Liner NLH Formulas-Think long think wrong. Dump it or pump it. Suited and booted. Tight is right. All in to Win. No set, no bet. Go big or go home. Raise more than call and fold more than raise.

I wrote The Power Of Paradoxical Thinking in High Stakes Poker This draws water from that wellspring-- Procrastinate now! Infinite patience does brings immediate results to your game. When was the last time you said "I think I'll go to the casino and fold 80% of my hands!"

In Poker the future is already here. It’s just not yet evenly distributed yet. You see, Poker is really a game of mistakes. The rules of Americon Poker are designed to achieve an important balance: an unskilled player(usually the guy with the three c’s condo, cash and cars) must be able to win just enough hands to keep him at the table losing his money. The Americon just look for opportunities, not guarantees. He is ready to make the right mistakes.

Come sideways at an issue instead of head on -It's Not the Big that Eat the Small...It's the Fast that Eat the Slow . Slowplaying fast...

Don’t ca-cheng unless you ca-ch’i--Physical energy capacity is measured in terms of quantity---low to high; and emotional capacity in quality ---negative to positive.. It’s energy, not time, that's your street cred, your table image.

Managing energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of NLH. You can be motivated to play holdem that's good. You can be inspired to play holdem, that's great. Good, however, is the enemy of great.

Remember what Michael said in Godfather 1, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"---Stay motivated, but recognize those moments of inspiration.

Everyone is a genius, it’s just that some of us are too stupid to realize it. It is easy to get de-geniused rapidly with a attitude of " I just want to have fun". Walking into a game because you "feel" lucky is like walking into a sports bar because you "feel" athletic.

Denial just ain’t a river in Vegas. If you want to plug some of the leaks in your game, as Einstein said, "You can't alter a condition with the same mind set that created it in the first place" ---The power of NEW is the power of thinking without thinking, and knowing without knowing.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression--Logic should yield to instinct. Rebuys are just rearranging the deck chairs of the titanic. The iceberg image, unless you realize something else is keeping the guy afloat who just took all your money , you are destined to become a human hangover, obscene and heard scareaming "I'm king of the world! The Emperor's new t-shirt says" But they were suited"...Check please.