Daryl Jace

Teacher, Blogger, Poker player.

Filtering by Category: Poker

Biased experience and luck in poker

By GLAS-8 link to  picture

By GLAS-8 link to picture

The problem with learning from experience is that we don't just take in information unbiasedly, we color it and shape it with ideas we had going into it. This is why 2 people can watch the same thing happen and have an entirely different perspective. It's why when I coach introverted shy types they are inclined to remember the bad shit that happens and think and vice versa for extroverts/outgoing people.

 

For example, a student said to me whenever I bluff the river I get called, that's why I don't bluff. So I went through his hand database and showed him what happened every time he bet river in the past year orso. Turns out he got folds over 60% of the time. How could his memory be so backwards? The times he bet river and got folds weren’t strong memories but bluffing and getting called was because it was painful. 

 

I coached an extrovert who did the same thing but in reverse. He loved to spew and thought his bluffs worked great but upon actually looking at it they didn’t. The different between the two types of people above are that when the introvert loses he places too much blame on himself and the extrovert places too much blame on bad luck.  

 

The amount of luck in poker rivals any other profession in my opinion. It's not just making good plays and losing and vice versa it's that  you can also make marginal plays (either small gain or loss) and instead get a huge loss or huge win. You can make a hugely profitable or unprofitable play but only show a small profit or loss.  

 

Every hand that you win or lose is unfair. Even if you get all in with AA vs 72o you're only supposed to win the pot 90% of the time, which means you are owed 90% of the pot. So when you win and get 100% of the pot it’s an inequity. The same goes for the guy with 72o getting 0 instead of 10.

 

If you bluff the river and get a fold you win 100% of the pot but you almost certainly won too much unless your opponent has no calling hands in his range (rare). You can call a river bet vs someone bluffing 95% of the time and he can show up with the nuts. Even If he had air you were only entitled to 95% of the pot but u got 100. Even when you try to steal the blinds and succeed it’s an inequity. A lot of this luck you can't see unless you know how to look. If you  make a bluff that's supposed to work 95% of the time and get called, it's easy to think you made a mistake. The same goes for a bad bluff that works, it's easier to say to yourself "I made a great play" rather than ask "Was that a good play or did I get unlucky? How do I find out?"

 

It’s hard to trust experience when every single hand is an inequity. Trying to make sense of the game based on experience alone is not impossible but most people fail i’d guess. 

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Putting my latest ideas into practice ( it's all about the love yo)

In my latest post I talked about tailoring coaching sessions based upon the persons interests in the game. I tried putting this idea a lot into practice with great success. I not only had more productive sessions but I also got them to work on their game BY THEMSELVES (ZOMG)  and enjoy doing it at the same time. 

 

One thing I did was use the HU idea I discussed before but in a HH review. Instead of asking how do we play balanced here, I asked how do we play unpredictably here? How do you think your opponent will perceive your range if you do X and how can you exploit that? I had them  think about it from a purely strategical/intuitive POV. Then I simplified the problem based on their skill level, the less experienced they were at this the more I narrowed the scope. For example i'd ask an inexperienced player what would he do with KJ/AJ on a Jxx board and a more experienced player what should he do with all his Jx given future streets and the tendencies of his opponent. The problem became doable but also challenging, fun but yet important. I don't wanna oversimplify but I think these 4 elements are the key to great progress and consequently really hard to achieve really.

 

I'm starting to realize that my job is more about this then teaching ideas. If you teach someone an idea/concept they get better at that one spot but If you take a person who is jaded/apathetic about poker and have create an environment that has all 4 of those elements you can potentially change their entire career (if you don't understand what I mean let me know). The thing is, a lot of poker players are jaded/apathetic. They learn from videos, 2p2, backers etc. that the game needs to be approached in a certain way, that they have to play a X amount of tables, play X amount of days, and they lose sight of why they first played this game and what they loved about it. They spend nearly all their time trying to maximize their productivity and increase their hours/volume and not nearly enough time figuring out/remembering what they like/love and how to tailor their lives around that. If I can figure out ways to turn this around I think that will be huge. 

 

The 1 example above is just scratching the surface, people are so diverse/different that applying this idea on a person to person basis is incredibly complex/nuanced. I'm interested in hearing your experiences, how do you like to learn, what excites/interests you about the game thats different/unorthodox? It could be anything from the way u think about the game to the amount of tables you play. I'll provide feedback if I have any thats worthwhile. Hope you enjoyed this, thx for reading.

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Ads suck, and I plan to keep this site completely ad free. To do that though, I need your help. I spend 100s of hours of month on this and need to spend a lot of money to improve the site. I ask that if you enjoy what I'm doing on here to consider subscribing to recurring monthly donations or a one time donation. Any amount is appreciated, helpful and motivating. Use the button below to send a one-time or recurring donation via PayPal. All major credit cards accepted. After donating you will be returned to my blog. Thank you!