I thought about making an article reviewing a hand that had an interesting call I made, but people are already too good at poker for my taste, so, instead, I thought I would talk about something everyone can apply.
So here are a couple of fun facts for you guys:
- The majority of people who play poker are capable of being winning players
- Practically none of them are
- Playing bad is the reason losing players end up losing at poker
I’ll repeat that last point, because it is the universal truth of poker: playing bad is the reason losing players end up losing at poker,
and that’s regardless of them being actually good at playing poker or
not. Most people lose over the course of their lifetime not because they
make dumb decisions in relation to poker theory, but because they make
dumb decisions in relation to playing poker in general. I’m talking
about things like trying to “win money back,” or playing when tired and
frustrated, or playing after having drinks.
Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to play well despite
being drunk or depressed, but the human mind is at its sharpest when
it’s sober, rested and focused, so it’s better to play poker at those
moments. If we made better decisions drunk, we would have evolved to be
drunk all day long. Even though a species of drunkards might sound
really awesome in theory, in practice, the human race would be much less
attractive by now had that been the case.
Now you might be wondering how a poker player can know something
worthwhile about mental stability. Well, I’m not referring to mental
stability like it’s some chapter in the DSM-4. You don’t need a burning
desire to murder baby cats to be mentally unstable by my definition; you
just have to make decisions differently depending on your state of
mind. The mental stability we’re going to refer to here is a skill that
you can develop, and, the sad news is, there are no prescription pills
to fix that problem.
The ideal is to be the kind of guy who would be making good decisions in his life regardless if he just got married or divorced.
It can sometimes be hard to understand why people would make
obviously bad decisions. Well, luckily for us, I’m an economics major.
So, obviously, I try to reduce everything to neat little models. Here’s
my model for people and their decision making:
A decision is made either to feel better, or to avoid feeling worse.
For example, someone who is stuck a lot of money doesn’t mind making a
decision with a risk of additionally losing money, because he can
hardly feel any worse, but winning money can possibly make him feel
better. It also explains a crack addict pretty handily, but crack
addicts don’t play poker, so I have little interest in studying them.
You can also improve your mental stability through practicing
meditation (and I seriously encourage it), or taking a note of how well
you played at the start and end of every session. What’s most important
at the end of the day though is to understand yourself, and why you do
things you do.
SOURCE : BLUFF