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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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:

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!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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.