Math, Robots, Stupidity: JCW, ChipTrader, Doug Hull - a Debate on this Forum

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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    If the point of your question is that at higher stakes the money matters more than at lower stakes then all I can say is this: I don't think that will be true for me. If my bankroll for poker, as opposed to my bankroll for life (separate categories), tolerated higher stakes my attitude would be the same.

    Yeah, but that's the whole point. The closer the stakes are to your bankroll threshold, the more the money will matter to you.

    I think you're just saying you should disassociate yourself from the money to make decisions. Soto is just saying the money matters when the stakes get relatively large for you. As for me, I think it is a money game for the simple reason that it's a dumb game if wagering weren't involved. I think we're all right, and that really isn't the interesting part of your post anyway, so let's just ignore this part of it :-) The money part has been well discussed before.
  • 4 Horseman4 Horseman Red Chipper Posts: 38 ✭✭
    Imperator wrote:
    So yes, the game is not about being smart. It is usually the ones who think they are "smart" who also have false confidence, egoism, and pride. These are all psychological leaks. Such people mismeasure their own stupidity. The game is in part about not being as stupid as we usually are as biological beings who only have a limited capacity to make accurate measurements of anything, mathematically or psychologically.

    And no, the game is not really about the money, it is about having the mental, physical, emotional capacity to play your best when you choose to be at the table.

    This is excellent!!

    I have read the thread from the beginning and am constantly cutting and pasting excellent quotes to use as a mental game warm-up before I play.
    I am normally not a poster but this thread is extremely interesting because it's challenging the way I think. Thank you to all involved.

    FYI- I am also excited that I finally learned how to copy a quote and assign a name to it, lol. I am most likely a little older than most of you posting so all of this is new to me.
  • GabeyJGabeyJ Red Chipper Posts: 436 ✭✭✭
    Jeff have you read the whole thread?
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    4 Horseman wrote: »
    I have read the thread from the beginning and am constantly cutting and pasting excellent quotes to use as a mental game warm-up before I play.

    I am normally not a poster but this thread is extremely interesting because it's challenging the way I think. Thank you to all involved.

    FYI- I am also excited that I finally learned how to copy a quote and assign a name to it, lol. I am most likely a little older than most of you posting so all of this is new to me.

    Given your biographical info, I think I would have good odds if I bet you that I am older than you.

    For a writer quotation is the highest form of flattery.

    I have been keeping a checklist and quote book for "competition" (which I have rebooted for poker) for a very long time. I know it is high praise if a piece of my writing gets into somebody else's "quote book."

    This thread has been clarifying for me. It has helped me to define what I want to do in poker. In fact I have reset my goals higher. (A personal note: What is working against me is time, age, endurance, more than anything else. That is why, for me, going to the gym at least 4 days a week is a big part of my poker-life focus.)
  • Matt BerkeyMatt Berkey Red Chipper, RCP Coach Posts: 278 ✭✭✭
    4 Horseman wrote: »
    Matt, question for you. When in your poker career did the money not matter? We are at different points in our journeys through both poker and life so I'm sure the more I play and understand the game, the more my thinking will change in how to prepare both at and away from the table.

    Believe it or not it hasn't really mattered beyond my first couple of years playing. Once I decide to do this for a career I understood emotions are too debilitating to attempt to overcome in the moment. So I detached myself, along with that came a detachment to money.
  • zagaresezagarese Red Chipper Posts: 200 ✭✭
    Matt Berkey

    Having just read the beautifully written

    https://thevoicewithin.me/2016/04/07/throwback-thursday-first-love/

    I think there is some chance you're a bit of an outlier in terms of humans who understand this game.... out toward the understanding side.
  • RCP Coach - Fausto ValdezRCP Coach - Fausto Valdez RCP Coach Posts: 859 ✭✭✭✭
    I def came way to late into this conversation but all im gonna say is i understand and agree w/ imperator and matt berkey. Also want to add, i dont dismiss the importance of the relevancy of money because it is a real tangible source on how we continue to live and obviously impacts peoples behavior and decisions, however when simply striving to become greater than we are everyday, we have to learn the nature of the game itself so we could swim trough it and not let money become and object that affects our own decisions.

    Of course this easier said than done but it is a must, for our mind and knowledge to expand and become the best that we can. This method/ behavior and aproach is applicable to pretty muh anything. Once we get past the fear factor with every step, we simply get stronger.
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  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    bill_sabre wrote: »
    If you need an example of how money matters, consider the story of Andy Beal and the "Coroporation" which is well documented in the book The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King, which I highly recommend. It describes how Beal's billions of dollars offset the pros edge. To counteract that, the pros pooled their money and played Beal heads-up, one at a time.

    Even the best in the world have a limit, a threshold where the money matters.

    Read it more closely. The pros all pooled their money together mitigating the risk and leaving Beal dead to an outlier of positive variance. None of them feared the risk beyond the brief consideration of what if we all go broke, to which they shrugged and moved forward. At no point were their decisions compromised by the stakes at risk, at least not by the two top pros leading the charge Ivey and Todd Brunson. I can say this with confidence as I've spoken to Todd at great length about the matches.

    That's not the conclusion Michael Craig reached.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Many interesting ideas here, but to me the critical question is how does one succeed at the highest levels of poker without turning into a complete asshole? Some do, but for every Tommy Angelo there are ten ****** ****** [edited to avoid any more law suits]
    Moderation In Moderation
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    [a] critical question is how does one succeed at the highest levels of poker without turning into a complete asshole?

    To some extent this becomes a problem for all people who are engaged in high level pursuits to which they dedicate there lives.

    How does one become a fully rounded mensch when pursuing excellence to the fullest extent?, is another way of putting your question.

    In areas such as poker it seems to me that this problem mostly comes up when part of your pursuit is not only excellence but a desire to be a "star" or to be "famous." So keep in mind that the pursuit of stardom and the pursuit of excellence are not the same thing.

    But still, even physicists who only want to pursue their physical theories and mathematicians who are lost in their proofs, deal with these issues.

    I don't have a complete answer, but here's a partial answer: Pursue excellence in your "one true thing" and cultivate self- humor and a little bit of humility in your life as a whole.

    Laugh at yourself. It's healthy.


  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    My bluff was correct, but his hand was not in my bluff target range: that hand should have called, and I should have lost the hand and the buy-in. But he didn't, and I didn't, because of fear. He tanked for a good two minutes, not I think because he was unsure of the correct play, but because he was balancing his knowledge of the correct play vs his fear...

    How do you know? Perhaps from his point of view folding 2 pair was simply a good play in that situation.

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    Where did I write this?
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Imperator wrote: »
    My bluff was correct, but his hand was not in my bluff target range: that hand should have called, and I should have lost the hand and the buy-in. But he didn't, and I didn't, because of fear. He tanked for a good two minutes, not I think because he was unsure of the correct play, but because he was balancing his knowledge of the correct play vs his fear...

    How do you know? Perhaps from his point of view folding 2 pair was simply a good play in that situation.

    Jeff,
    Where did I write this? I have never written the phrase "bluff target range." So who are you quoting?

    If I did write this then I must have an alternate personality that I don't know about. It is not my style.

    I wish I played like this though. Since I wish I played like this, I am going to assume that either Soto or Berkey wrote this, because I wish I played like them. :-)
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Look at the great inventors, thinkers, scientists who made society as we know it possible: Plato, Aristotle, Newton

    Yeah, but the challenge you're going to face is that the things they learned and taught actually work and produce good results. There are physicists working every day building things and making money using Newton's discoveries and equations. And if they reach a point where that doesn't work, they use Einstein's. But my point is, more generally, you have to acknowledge that some of what you're (apparently) criticizing does actually work. There are poker players making a lot of money playing the way they're playing (practicing what they're preaching.)

    So I'm not saying we shouldn't think more deeply and individually, I'm saying if you want to convince some people, you're first going to have to acknowledge that a lot of what they're doing actually works. Most people aren't very motivated to change unless they're unhappy with the current results.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    kagey wrote: »
    good posts, Imperator.
    great food for thought.
    BTW - if you haven't already - I suggest checking out an MIT lecture on poker economics on youtube. It expands on the influence of poker in our economy.
    Interesting stuff.

    By the way, I don't know if you know this but MIT has some of the best free on-line courses of any university. I have taken some of the math and physics courses just as a review of my undergraduate education and most of them are fantastic.

    Thanks to you guys for this. Have been wondering about a poker curriculum as it might be taught by a real university.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Simply put, who has the highest ceiling... The player who cares about money or the one who does not.

    Partly depends on whether he busts his bankroll before he hits the ceiling or not :) Or to put it another way, do practical considerations matter? If you think you have the technology to make it to the moon, but you only have enough rocket fuel to get 200 feet off the ground, what is your ceiling?

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    jeffnc wrote: »
    So I'm not saying we shouldn't think more deeply and individually, I'm saying if you want to convince some people, you're first going to have to acknowledge that a lot of what they're doing actually works. Most people aren't very motivated to change unless they're unhappy with the current results.

    I'm going to the casino today so I don't have a lot of time to answer this question. It is one I have thought about for a long time.

    Partially, I think you are confusing two different levels of human endeavors. People will do what works, without pursuing what's best because, it's easier to get by in life. (Especially if you are not working for your own growth but for someone else's profit.) In our society it is often more "profitable" to be in the middle and to be lazy.

    But the pursuit of excellence is often riskier and it has different motivations than mere profit.

    In biological evolution you often have similar choices between immediate procreation and overall procreative advantage. I don't bring this in as a joke, bur only to point out that these kinds of trade-offs replicate themselves on many levels of life.

    On another level, Turing and Wittgenstein had a year long debate between themselves just before World War II on these very issues in mathematics. This debate took place in front of 6 other students who had no idea what was at issue between the two. It was the debate about the "exactness" and the "perfection" of mathematics in its pursuit and the "actualization" of mathematics in its imperfect application. Turing was on the side of perfection in pursuit and Wittgenstein, that almost insane perfectionist, was on the side of mathematics as always imperfect in application. (Wittgenstein was on the side of the working engineers and Turing on the side of the pure mathematicians.)

    I am not trying to blow you out of the water with these names, but only to point out that the questions you bring up have been pursued at least since Plato and we can't solve them all in one go. But I will write in more detail when I am not off to the races.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    Where did I write this?

    I think Ruxton wrote it, and he had quoted something you said. Probably a quoting and editing error on my part.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Imperator wrote: »
    Where did I write this?

    I think Ruxton wrote it, and he had quoted something you said. Probably a quoting and editing error on my part.

    You have to realize I am a writer by profession, Thus:

    1) I can recognize my own writing style from one sentence;
    2) Quotation is the highest form of praise;
    3) Misquotation cuts into the psyche.

    So if I forgive you I can forget it. So give me that and forgive me for forgiving you when you probably don't think you need forgiveness.



  • Matt BerkeyMatt Berkey Red Chipper, RCP Coach Posts: 278 ✭✭✭
    Too much to address as I'm off to play, but as a blanket statement allow me to just say that things, particularly in the poker world, are rarely as you perceive them. Aside from the fact that it's a game of deception, just bear in mind the level of pride. 9 out of 10 stories you hear or net worths you think you know are exaggerated, likely by a factor of 10 or more. Few are significantly(again factor of 10 as a baseline) more successful financially than the majority of you reading this.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    Partially, I think you are confusing two different levels of human endeavors. People will do what works, without pursuing what's best because, it's easier to get by in life. (Especially if you are not working for your own growth but for someone else's profit.) In our society it is often more "profitable" to be in the middle and to be lazy.

    No, I'm familiar with that. I agree but it's a different topic than what I meant. If I made my point sound like that, then I didn't word it well enough. Roughly, it's the known vs. unknown/unprovable/incomplete.
    Imperator wrote: »
    I am not trying to blow you out of the water with these names...

    Don't worry, I have a postgrad degree in computer science, so Turing's name isn't blowing me away :-) If you write something I'm not familiar with, I'll just read more about it.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Imperator wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    [a] critical question is how does one succeed at the highest levels of poker without turning into a complete asshole?

    To some extent this becomes a problem for all people who are engaged in high level pursuits to which they dedicate there lives.

    How does one become a fully rounded mensch when pursuing excellence to the fullest extent?, is another way of putting your question.

    In areas such as poker it seems to me that this problem mostly comes up when part of your pursuit is not only excellence but a desire to be a "star" or to be "famous." So keep in mind that the pursuit of stardom and the pursuit of excellence are not the same thing.

    But still, even physicists who only want to pursue their physical theories and mathematicians who are lost in their proofs, deal with these issues.

    I don't have a complete answer, but here's a partial answer: Pursue excellence in your "one true thing" and cultivate self- humor and a little bit of humility in your life as a whole.

    Laugh at yourself. It's healthy.


    I keep a clown's red nose in the bag I take with me to the card room.

    I also know a bit about being a physicist since up to the age of 43 I was paid to be one. I resigned my tenure and started playing poker for a living partly because I felt universities, as they exist in the US, had become a useless anachronism and because it is impossible to be a research scientist without also being a cog in the machine of the military-industrial complex. And while I try to simultaneously attempt to pursue excellence and do no harm as I negotiate life, I can't get round the fact that bills have to be paid, and that my second profession at a practical level is mostly advanced bum-hunting.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • WhichWhich Red Chipper Posts: 114 ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    To deep thinkers, philosophical people who deal in the "why's" not the "how's" it's an entity. It's a living breathing organism that exists far beyond this definition of monetary value. You ask what happens to the game when money is removed? My answer is an adjustment....But to others, to knowledge seekers, to people who live in the theoretical realm just as often as the bottom line world, the game is pure and boils down to excellence in oneself.

    The game is not about money. Life is not about money. The game mirrors life in a myriad of ways. The absolute top of the food chain are those who consciously or subconsciously think differently. You guys don't see it yet; most don't. But just engaging in this discussion w/an open mind tells me that you will.

    Just my final 2 cents.
    Matt--

    this part of your post (which I cropped, perhaps incorrectly) and other parts of various posts makes me think of the concept of "reciprocity"....

    Would this be a correct way to think about what you are writing?

    To me, what you are implying is that until you learn to think for yourself, you will never better than the group average (group think). Even the act itself of thinking for oneself does not guarantee this, just offers the opportunity for you to perhaps excel beyond the peer group.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    I guess my take on this is kind of the same as when we had previous discussions with Soto. I like the ideas, I want to believe it, I even tend to think it's probably true (I've often had the feeling I'm leaving money on the table somehow, but I'm not sure how.)

    But here are the problems I think exist. First, we're talking about psychological and metaphysical stuff. Stuff that can't be "proved" or shown to be logically or mathematically true. Stuff that you really only believe if you have experience seeing it give good results in practice.

    I read some poker book with a strategy, I play that given strategy, it makes sense and I also make money. This has happened so I know it works. But there's no book here. And there's definitely not enough in this forum to base an actual playing strategy on (regarding the current topic, of course.)

    So where does that leave us? I suppose we could hire Berkey as a coach. I can't really think of anything else.

    "Think for yourself" and "don't follow the herd" are nice platitudes, but they're not enough to bring home the bacon in the heat of battle.

    Berkey says "The absolute top of the food chain are those who consciously or subconsciously think differently. You guys don't see it yet."

    I suppose that depends on what he means by "see". Do I see exactly how to alter my decisions in specific hands? Uh, no. Do I see that people "at the top" are different? Yes, that's intuitively obvious.

    "But just engaging in this discussion w/an open mind tells me that you will." What can one say to that other than "Ooookay, if you say so!"
  • WhichWhich Red Chipper Posts: 114 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »

    But here are the problems I think exist. First, we're talking about psychological and metaphysical stuff. Stuff that can't be "proved" or shown to be logically or mathematically true. Stuff that you really only believe if you have experience seeing it give good results in practice.

    I don't know Jeff, it seems very logical to me. When you end with your "ooookay, if you say so!" with the bolded as a precursor, it seems to me you are not of "an open mind".

    I find it hard to believe that so many strong players (like perhaps Soto, before this thread) would have an issue with Imperator's argument. Especially on a site where Ed Miller, an acclaimed poker communicator, says of himself that he can afford to play higher, and could perhaps win, but that the money matters too much to him (sorry Ed, if I am misrepresenting you)

    To me, it boils down to motivation. We all 'say' we understand that people play poker for different reasons, but just like it is hard for many to 'think like my opponent' at the table, it is hard (and perhaps impossible) for many to understand their opponents' motivations for playing.

    One final note, and not trying to beat on you specifically, your view seems to represent many out there, but this statement threw me:


    jeffnc wrote: »

    I read some poker book with a strategy, I play that given strategy, it makes sense and I also make money. This has happened so I know it works.

    two problems

    1) by reading a book and just playing 'their strategy', you can never become the best. The most you can achieve would be emulating them, clones

    2) saying "it works" is results oriented thinking, and we all know it can be short lived. And time is measured looking backwards, never forward. You can be playing a flawed strategy for a long time, and never know it.
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Think for yourself" and "don't follow the herd" are nice platitudes, but they're not enough to bring home the bacon in the heat of battle.

    Totally disagree with this on so many fronts, but I would start with a quote from Sun Tzu

    "“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War


    Jeffnc, again, not trying to be mean (not trying to single you out) just some thoughts..

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Which wrote: »

    this part of your post (which I cropped, perhaps incorrectly) and other parts of various posts makes me think of the concept of "reciprocity"....

    Would this be a correct way to think about what you are writing?

    To me, what you are implying is that until you learn to think for yourself, you will never better than the group average (group think). Even the act itself of thinking for oneself does not guarantee this, just offers the opportunity for you to perhaps excel beyond the peer group.

    I think that this is the "learning theory" and "psychological side" of what we are talking about in this thread.

    But there are so many other aspects of the conversation that have to do with what might be called "existential choice" on the one hand and basic ideas of our own approach to complex rule based games of any kind on the other. In other words simple contextual "game theorizing" which might include the basic mathematics of Game Theory... But this "game theorizing" also includes how one prepares for a game, or treats the rules of the game in relation to life as a whole. Most importantly for the context of this thread this kind of game theorizing includes trying to discover the game's deeper dynamics of symmetry, asymmetry, and balance, than others have discovered in the past. In a word excellence. It is this last that I think that Berkey is trying hard to make a part of his life goal.

    At least this is how I view the terms of the debate that I have engaged in. I am of course speaking for myself but I have come to regard Berkey as a kind of philosophical partner in this debate. (I hope that Matt does not think this is too arrogant on my part.)

    Which", you are perceptive to bring up Angelo's concept of "reciprocity." Off thread I exchanged emails with Berkey and pointed out some chess concepts that are related to reciprocity and to what we have been debating on this thread. There is a chess concept of "dynamic imbalance" that Kasparov has at time wrote about, that has many aspects of some ways in which Angelo used his idea of "reciprocity."

    Angelo used the term "reciprocity" to mean very many things. It was a sort-of denormalized floating-point for him. He could put the decimal point for his concept of reciprocity on any aspect of poker depending on where he placed his "Zero", i.e. he could start with psychological reciprocity and then relate it to strategy, or to the mathematics of poker, etc. But we should be aware that when we overuse a concept such as "reciprocity" they either become cliche's or null-sets. They become what the post-moderns call floating signifiers or empty signifiers.

    I think that what Angelo did was actually rediscover an Information Theory concept and begin to apply it everywhere. It is as if he looked at the whole of poker through the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    I am being ironic of course. I have to be. Years before I started playing this game I read two books when they came out, Sklansky's The Theory of Poker in the late 1980's and Angelo's The Elements of Poker 20 years later. You might laugh but I kept these books on my chess book shelf because I bought them to learn to play better chess. Chess players, and especially chess coaches, should read these two books as if they were books about chess. But writers always have to keep a certain ironic distance from the books that have influenced them. It is the anxiety of influence.
  • WhichWhich Red Chipper Posts: 114 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    And while I try to simultaneously attempt to pursue excellence and do no harm as I negotiate life, I can't get round the fact that bills have to be paid, and that my second profession at a practical level is mostly advanced bum-hunting.

    perhaps there are multiple issues, some of them contradictory (for various players, either you or others) at work for someone at your level?

    If you are the best in the world at poker, do you still need to bumhunt?

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I also know a bit about being a physicist since up to the age of 43 I was paid to be one. I resigned my tenure and started playing poker for a living partly because I felt universities, as they exist in the US, had become a useless anachronism and because it is impossible to be a research scientist without also being a cog in the machine of the military-industrial complex. And while I try to simultaneously attempt to pursue excellence and do no harm as I negotiate life, I can't get round the fact that bills have to be paid, and that my second profession at a practical level is mostly advanced bum-hunting.

    I fully understand every aspect of what you are saying here. My undergrad degree was in physics and my graduate work was in the history and philosophy of science.

    As a sidelight, I was very much interested in the physicists who migrated to biology for some the reasons you mentioned above. I am a technical science writer myself and I can tell you that the governmental-pharmaceutical-industrial nexus is every much as politically demoralizing as the MIC and the University system that it supports.

    Poker, Hustling Culture,Advanced Bum Hunting
    As far as "advanced bum-hunting" goes all I can do is refer to the post entitled Artificial Economics and Moral Economics: The Games We Choose and the Force of Circumstance. This may be too abstract for you but they are my "deep" thoughts on the business.
    ,
    I also laughed at the phrase, because more personally, in my grandparent's generation a section of my family were "advanced bum hunters" as a career. They were bookies and ran numbers and had casinos in the basements of the night clubs they owned.... etc. They also had weekly high-stakes poker games for "the big wheels" who they referred to as "marks." Also in chess and in pool halls I became very familiar with the hustling culture. To some extent admire this culture, when it doesn't turn into a confidence game.

    There is an aspect of poker that is part of this hustling culture and that is why it is looked at much differently than a game like bridge. (Though if you read about the history of bridge there was a kind of high-level "bum hunting" that took place in that game also, just within different social circles.) All that I can say is that the part of the hustling life of the game that is bum-hunting is a pre-poker game decsion, the kind of decision you make before you sit at the table. It is not the kind of game decision that I am talking about.

    My Own Bum Hunting
    This weekend I went to the Sands for a self-imposed endurance test. I could write about that but it is not what I want to do.

    In the first place I didn't go to make money but to test myself in a few areas. The first table I sat at was all regs. Some were better than others but none of them just spewed money. I played with them for 6 hours and left with $160 over my buy in. Not as good as I would have hoped but I made a lot of stupid decisions experimenting with6 simply trying to play a little more "at risk."

    Then when the tipsy and inebriated customers came pouring in off the slot floor at about 7 pm I asked for a table switch. I waited for a "new table" and got on one. I played there until everybody went away and had to switch back to playing with the all-night regs at about 2 a.m. I played at this table for the money. I am not ashamed to admit it. I wanted to pay for the trip and a nice hotel room. I was also building my bankroll because I want to move up in stakes. I made so much money at this table that eventually everybody just kept folding to me in almost every hand except for the fresh drunks who wondered off the floor with their $100 buy in that they left at the table. Friday and Saturday nights on a busy day! Who are these people I wonder! I hope they are having fun.

    The Mark
    I'm embarrassed at how much money I took from them but I was lucky with my table assignment. I got people who the dealer had to explain the idea of what a "big blind" was. But I don't think that this kind of bum hunting is a bad thing. It is just not about the game. It is about some other kind of hustling mind set that applies to all kinds of human endeavors including "salesmanship" and "negotiating" and a kind of "circus barking."

    There was one mark sitting directly to my right. He drank four free whiskey and cokes delivered to him by a pretty waitress who he leered at, and only briefly turned his attention to his cards before deciding to bet and mostly looked at the pretty Asian card dealer more than he looked at his cards. He bought in for $200 and lost it in 20 minutes. He bought in for another $100 from the dealer and another and another and another.... He played for four hours and made a huge contribution to all of us clear thinking, non-drinking players.

    He was a little frustrated but luckily a rather mild mannered fellow. He was in his early 40's and he was a corporate lawyer and he was staying at the casino with his girlfriend. (Since my father's a judge, my daughter's a lawyer, we had things to talk about and I made sure to engage him in light conversation through-out his stay at the table. I also pointed out when it was his turn to bet.)

    At one point he said to me, "I don't know how you play this game! Are you a professional or something?"

    I said, "Noooooo. No," with a big laugh. "You don't know how badly I play? You just think because I'm winning here that I am some kind of player. No, I'm just lucky tonight, that's all. I just play this game as a hobby. I used to play chess. Now I play poker."

    But I would have said, "I also want to be in every hand that you are in, because you have money you don't mind losing and because you are so damn drunk. I would play 7, 2 off-suit just to be heads up with you, my new friend. Thank you very much for sitting down with me."

    This is "not-so-advanced" bum hunting. And if bum hunting is your game then I advise you to make your "marks" feel very good about you and what you are doing. But that is a different kind of game all together. There is a kind of excellence in bum-hunting too. I am not sure of its moral standing, but my feeling is that my corporate lawyer "mark" from above was just getting rid of some money to impress his girlfriend in some way. I was glad to help.

    But my point is that the pursuing bad-players so that we can make more money is not in-itself a poker decision. We may find results at the poker table from this decision but it is a moral decision about the game that we make before we enter the game.


    The problem with this is that at a certain level of play we all develop "easy habits" that help us pursue goals that are outside of the game. So we do play differently with "Marks" than we would play if we were playing at a table with SplitSuit, Soto, Miller, Berkey and company. And in so doing we develop habits that don't serve us well in other contexts.

    Once again I have to apologize for my writing. I am not rereading. At this moment I am at the Sands writing on my lap-top cooling down from last nights session. I'm writing very quickly listening to the whir and rings of the slots and I am not editing.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Once again I have to apologize for my writing. I am not rereading. At this moment I am at the Sands writing on my lap-top cooling down from last nights session. I'm writing very quickly listening to the whir and rings of the slots and I am not editing
    .

    Re-read my last 2 posts on my phone during a change of dealers, and dealers counting chips.

    Damn there were a lot of mistakes, typos, etc. That is what I get for typing with a lot of slot machines whirring around me. Sorry. It's not writing, it's typing; as Capote famously remarked about Kerouac.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Imperator wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    But my point is that the pursuing bad-players so that we can make more money is not in-itself a poker decision. We may find results at the poker table from this decision but it is a moral decision about the game that we make before we enter the game.


    In that case we may be getting back to something a la Wittgenstein versus Turing again. If poker is an organic entity as Berkey asserts, it is not existing in a vacuum as some sort of detached Platonic form. To me the very decision to be a poker player is entangled with the essence of the game of poker. We don't enter a magic bubble when we sit at the table.
    Moderation In Moderation

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