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

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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    Remember when Harrington first revealed his "trick" of 3-betting with any two after one player raised and another called? Known as the squeeze play... this was unheard of by rec players prior to his introduction of it. Today, it's very commonplace and actually has lost it's effectiveness because nearly all players know about it. More poker knowledge hurts the game by making it tougher to play.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It can work either way. I think it's better for the game that people learn a little because then they get interested and think they know something.

    In 1962, Edward Thorp developed computer programs to determine a winning strategy for blackjack, including card counting. When this book hit the market, some casinos panicked and stopped spreading the game since they realized they could be -EV. But what actually happened was that people flocked to the game where it was still played, and those casinos made more than ever. The reason was that people heard the game could be beaten but didn't actually study it, or they did study it but didn't get good enough at it or made too many mistakes. So the casinos found themselves in the position of spreading a -EV game that people played so poorly that it was more profitable than ever to keep it going.

  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    In 1962, Edward Thorp developed computer programs to determine a winning strategy for blackjack, including card counting. When this book hit the market, some casinos panicked and stopped spreading the game since they realized they could be -EV. But what actually happened was that people flocked to the game where it was still played, and those casinos made more than ever.

    pretty sure we've had the convo before...
    what happened is casinos started "blackballing" players who were thought to count cards
    what happened is casinos stopped using one deck but began using 2-6 decks making card counting harder
    what happened is the game changed and now the casion allows players to us a hand chart to tell them when to hit and when to stand
    what happened is "bad" players are often belittled by knowledgeable players when they "take somebody's ten" which often causes them to leave the table

    blackjack still exists... but a game that was once king of the card games has lost a lot of its appeal. Today, casinos continue to introduce the next "blackjack" with 3-card poker card games and such. But the fallout from Thorp's education overall hurt the game, not helped it.

    Casinos reclaimed their edge (with multi-decks) and by doing so made it transparent that they insist of the Average Joe always plays in a -EV game, making playing such a game less enticing.

    Same holds true with video poker. Since "perfect play" was revealed - casino tweaked the odds from 9-6 machines to 9-5, 8-5 and now even 7-5. When Nash is exposed, games lose their luster.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That stuff happened eventually but early on, before Thorp's second book in 1966, the casinos were overwhelmed and it took time for those changes to be implemented. In the meantime, more people were losing than winning so overall it was still profitable for the casinos.
  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 336 ✭✭✭
    I understand the whole anti-training site/anti-college course/whatever viewpoint, especially from the perspective of the fulltime player who has to work within the constraints of a limited player pool above 5/10. But to me it just seems like the wrong argument to have. I don't think we can artificially change the course of poker as to return to a previous era. First off, it takes years to become an excellent poker player. No one is going to go through a semester at MIT and quit school and just start crushing big cash games and big tourneys right off the bat. The absolute number of players who will actually affect a live pro's winrate is probably not that much more than if there were no course/training sites. It just doesn't seem like a winnable war. I enjoyed life before cellphones. It was simpler, I felt I had more real conversations and experiences, and I think kids who grow up in the smartphone era become less well adjusted adults on the whole. But we can't just say smartphones are bad and we need to go back to the way things were before they existed. We have to adapt to the changing times. I don't see any reason why live poker pros "deserve" to have a certain number of unstudied fish in their regular game
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »

    This is another thing that @Imperator believes... but I strongly disagree with.

    I don't know if this is a good analogy or not... but think about this:
    what if prolific songwriters like McCartney, Jagger, Wilson, Joel, Stewart, Petty (or whoever you think is "good") taught a class and gave up their secrets on how to compose a pop/rock song? Once every band gets the "formula," the achievements are diminished. The market becomes flooded with sameness that suffocates original voices. The music biz suffers.

    The magic business doesn't grow because some dude in a mask reveals how the best tricks were done.

    I believe that the "Masonic" secrecy of magicians has hurt magicians in the long run. Short run secrecy is not a bad thing but multi-generational secrecy has retarded the development of the "illusion" game.

    I have a long argument about this that I have never posted. I'm not trying to be secret.

    As far as the arts are concerned, I think you are way off-base. Liverpool was such a hot-house of bands because it was a musical cross-roads; excellence and hard-work elevated the standard, making those who were above standard simply fantastic.

    @Kagey may be correct to some extent about poker but I don't think that we have seen a Fischer-style poker boom post-internet. When half of the poker players are women then we can talk about whether teaching excellence will slow down the game. But in fact I think teaching excellence will attract more women and thus expand the game. This is not a feminist argument but just something I've been thinking about.

    By the way I once had an argument with @Kagey about Bill Gates, which is memorialized in this thread. He said that Bill Gates should start out at high level and not a low levels. Come to find out he used to play a lot of poker. His stakes? $2/$4 Limit Hold-em. Why? It is not even worth the opportunity costs for Bill Gates to expend the energy to rake-in a $2/$4 limit pot. But it was the mental aspects of the game that attracted him. That was before Buffet stole him away for Bridge, which has a better cache.

    @Adam Wheeler above quotes me describing my family poker games. They were cheap and competitive. These games remain my ideal and not the big Saturday night games that my grandmother played in my Great-Uncle Tony's casino.

  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »

    In 1962, Edward Thorp developed computer programs to determine a winning strategy for blackjack, including card counting. When this book hit the market, some casinos panicked and stopped spreading the game since they realized they could be -EV.

    For those of you interested in Ed Thorp I would suggest that you investigate the relationship between Thorp and one of my favorite mathematicians Claude Shannon, the developer of Information Theory. Shannon and Thorp together made great contributions to what might be called "gambling theory" and "edge theory". (My name for what they were doing. I don't think that either Thorp or Shannon wanted to confine themselves to simple "probability theory." Even the mathematics of Information Theory started for Shannon as a thought experiment about how we can "cheat" on information transfer with limited carrying capacity.)

    Poker player think that game theory is the golden chalice of our game. But I would argue that larger areas of economic theory, including behavioral economics, decision theory, and what might be called "edge theory" are the larger areas of study for all areas of poker. But as I argued in the thread, these theories can only get us so far.

    Both, Thorp and Shannon, play a role in my on-going project of a philosophy of poker book.

    As a project I would assign everybody to think about what "Maxwell's Demon" thought experiment has to do with the above thread ,with Claude Shannon, and with poker.



  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »

    In 1962, Edward Thorp developed computer programs to determine a winning strategy for blackjack, including card counting. When this book hit the market, some casinos panicked and stopped spreading the game since they realized they could be -EV.

    For those of you interested in Ed Thorp I would suggest that you investigate the relationship between Thorp, and one of my favorite mathematicians, Claude Shannon, the developer of Information Theory.

    Shannon and Thorp together made contributions to what might be called "gambling theory" or "edge theory". (My name for what they were doing. I don't think that either Thorp or Shannon wanted to confine themselves to "probability theory." Even the mathematics of Information Theory started for Shannon as a thought experiment about how we can "cheat" on information transfer with limited carrying capacity.)

    Poker players believe that game theory is the golden chalice of our game. But I would argue that larger areas of economic theory and probability theory, including behavioral economics, decision theory, and what might be called "edge theory" are all part of the fuzzy science of poker. But as I argued in the thread, these theories can only get us so far. They are models to think about. Application is the problem.

    Both, Thorp and Shannon, play a role in my on-going project of a philosophy of poker book.

    As a project I would assign everybody to think about what "Maxwell's Demon" thought experiment has to do with the above thread ,with Claude Shannon, and with poker.



  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Ryan A my arguement isn't for turning back the clock - but simply to proceed with caution. WPT does a WPT academy to "teach" tourney players the basics. This is good.
    Helping players feel comfortable at the tables is a good thing for poker.

    Upswing poker's "range charts" for various positions is good. It helps give players fundamentals and again, make them feel comfortable at the table.

    (and in a way - brad lampman advocating to ⅓ c-bet in his "how to play premium hands" video is also good for my live cash games!)

    But @Imperator's desire to expose all of poker's "secrets" by documenting all hands played by pros (like in chess) and create programs/models that reveal strategies me thinks hurts the game. Also having more public academies/training sites gain exposure and reveal themselves to casual players is also harmful. (This is why I don't wear any poker-related clothing to my games.) I don't want casual players to know that I'm constantly studying the game and taking it so seriously that I have a quantifiable edge over them. (This may be why @Matt Berkey is often not invited into bigger games.)

    If everybody knows that poker is such a highly-skilled game that MIT is creating courses on how to win a poker (as opposed to the theory Nash stuff they do now)... this will drive away players because they will know that they're at a massive disadvantage.

    As it goes now - rec/fun players see me make moves that they write off as "lucky" or "gambly" ... without realizing that math/experience was behind it. This is good for the poker economy. They don't need to know that if they studied more, they would win more. It makes them feel comfortable playing a traditional game that they think they can win at.

    The more the game and its members reveal how deep the rabbit hole goes - the less likely we're to get future "bad" players. What will happen is what's already happening to some extent: guys like @colldav and @Adam Wheeler are studying and working their ways up the ranks to get super-solid understanding of the game before they put big money on the table. So when they do come to my table - they will not be "scared money" or easy to exploit. THIS specific generation of players will make the games tougher and tighter and less profitable. Luckily - theses guys are a small minority of new players. But as this trend continues, the allure of easy money that the game gives off will be replaced with the need for hard work or get whacked. (imho this is why the online games are no longer lucrative or frequented by the massive amount of fish that used to exist.)

    More knowledge among "professionals" is fine. But revealing to the entire populous that study is NECESSARY (by promoting more poker education) will in the long-run hurt the number of casual players who just want to play for fun and not feel like they have no chance of winning.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    @kagey

    The problem here in my opinion is that you can't have both worlds. You would like Poker to regain popularity and attracts more players but the thing is that once you slowly removes the old generation by natural selection, the new generation that arrives is more trained or at least have a better understanding overall. Not that this understanding will make them crushing the game right off the starting gate but the error margin is closing gap. But then you would prefer to not have a boom attracting the new generation but inevitably you would find yourself also competing in a tougher field since the weakest players can't play forever with infinite bankroll.

    It's life, things change, move, evolve we can't stop that. This is a materialistic finite world. Renewable energy doesn't exist it's a fallacy it has been proven. So someday the mine will be empty, just like the oil field that were dug at the start of the 20th century. Would you try to start a digging oil field company in our time ? Boom or no Boom the game is probably going to slowly die, but we probably won't see this in our lifetime.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    If everybody knows that poker is such a highly-skilled game that MIT is creating courses on how to win a poker (as opposed to the theory Nash stuff they do now)... this will drive away players because they will know that they're at a massive disadvantage.

    Not a single player in a casino (other than poker) is under the illusion that they are playing a +EV game. I think you're missing the reason people gamble.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    The problem here in my opinion is that you can't have both worlds. You would like Poker to regain popularity and attracts more players but the thing is that once you slowly removes the old generation by natural selection, the new generation that arrives is more trained or at least have a better understanding overall. Not that this understanding will make them crushing the game right off the starting gate but the error margin is closing gap. But then you would prefer to not have a boom attracting the new generation but inevitably you would find yourself also competing in a tougher field since the weakest players can't play forever with infinite bankroll.

    It's life, things change, move, evolve we can't stop that. This is a materialistic finite world. Renewable energy doesn't exist it's a fallacy it has been proven. So someday the mine will be empty, just like the oil field that were dug at the start of the 20th century. Would you try to start a digging oil field company in our time ? Boom or no Boom the game is probably going to slowly die, but we probably won't see this in our lifetime.

    I think you misunderstand: I'm not an advocate for having regain its popularity.
    It has its natural allure to your typical guy. I see the "next generation" of poker players coming to my tables as part of a batchelor party trip, business trip or vacation. ... all the time. They show up on their own.
    They just want to experience a little of that James Bond mystique while they're sipping on a beer.
    They don't want to talk pot odds, hand equities or pre-flop ranges.
    It's casual. It's entertaining. It's a feable attempt and trying to turn a couple hundred bucks into 500.

    Now take these dudes (and sometime ladies) and put them at a table where folks wearing 3Bet, RunGood, WSOP or WPT shirts, hoodies... FullTilt, PokerStars, Bovada, Red Chip, RIO or CLP caps, and blue shark sunglasses, earbuds or Dre headphones... and have backpacks... and no desire to talk about the Mayweather fight, the craziness in Charlotte or the eclipse... and you've got novices that feel outclassed and overmatched. Add to this more public exposure that in order to win at poker, you MUST study it... that poker is such a complicated game that computer programs, university courses and an entire of industry exists to turn average Joes into Joe McKeenan...and those guys are going to take their 200 bucks and walk it right over to the craps table.

    We don't need to be more "popular." In the US, it's rooted in our heritage just like hot-dog eating contests and panty raids.

    The next generation will naturally gravitate to things they like to do... especially if it doesn't take too much effort. If they're uncomfortable during the WSOP in Vegas, I'm okay with that. It's like the US Open where you'd expect to find world-class players battling it out for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Come if you wish. But don't get pissed off if I ask you how many chips you got behind. The WSOP is an intense, hard-hitting competition where only the strong survive. Here, you're up against pros or wanna be pros, and you will see that the more educated/experienced players typically do the best.

    But back at my local poker room - this needs to be toned way down. You shouldn't need to know everything about poker. If you raise a bet and it's not at least 100% of the original bet, don't sweat it... I've done that too. We're here to play a "game."

    More poker education will not revive poker's decline. Nor increase its popularity.

    water seeks its own level...
    those that are interested in the spirited competion will be attracted to it.
    those that want to excel in it will seek books, YouTube videos, training sites and eventually coaching. That's natural.

    what I'm trying to avoid is this:
    dude1: hey, I'm think of going to play poker later. you wanna come?
    dude2: nah it's rigged.
    dude1: watta you mean?
    dude2: most of the guys at the tables read books, watch webinars... actually have coaches that show them how to beat up on guys like us.
    dude1: oh.
    pregnant pause.
    dude1: wanna go play some craps?
    dude2: I'm in! c'mon boxcars. Papa wants to buy a new rolex!
  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 336 ✭✭✭
    I completely agree that the hoodie/headphones/backpack nerds are bad for poker, which can definitely lead to the hypothetical convo you just mentioned. I just can't envision a solution to this though(not that there isn't one). Its hard to make people act different/change their ways. If I pull one of these guys aside and let them know its bad for poker when you berate a fun player for 10mins after he hits a gutshot on you and he gets up and leaves the table - odds are it has no effect and he doesn't change. If he does change, great. But a lot of freakin' people need to change to make a difference.

    Like Adam Wheeler mentioned it just seems hard to reverse this trend. Poker is going to need some sort of Black Swan event in order to make it great again
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    The next generation will naturally gravitate to things they like to do... especially if it doesn't take too much effort. If they're uncomfortable during the WSOP in Vegas, I'm okay with that. It's like the US Open where you'd expect to find world-class players battling it out for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Come if you wish. But don't get pissed off if I ask you how many chips you got behind. The WSOP is an intense, hard-hitting competition where only the strong survive. Here, you're up against pros or wanna be pros, and you will see that the more educated/experienced players typically do the best.

    But back at my local poker room - this needs to be toned way down. You shouldn't need to know everything about poker. If you raise a bet and it's not at least 100% of the original bet, don't sweat it... I've done that too. We're here to play a "game."

    More poker education will not revive poker's decline. Nor increase its popularity.

    water seeks its own level...
    those that are interested in the spirited competion will be attracted to it.
    those that want to excel in it will seek books, YouTube videos, training sites and eventually coaching. That's natural.

    what I'm trying to avoid is this:
    dude1: hey, I'm think of going to play poker later. you wanna come?
    dude2: nah it's rigged.
    dude1: watta you mean?
    dude2: most of the guys at the tables read books, watch webinars... actually have coaches that show them how to beat up on guys like us.
    dude1: oh.
    pregnant pause.
    dude1: wanna go play some craps?
    dude2: I'm in! c'mon boxcars. Papa wants to buy a new rolex!

    I think you are missing a large part of the reality of poker.

    As in everything else there will always be skill levels and players will settle to the games where their skills seem appropriate.

    Strangely, for cultural reasons, I don't think poker is as popular as it was in my childhood. Maybe I grew up in a abnormal environment but I remember that many groups of friends used to have regular games of dealer's choice. These amounted to "family" games and were played at low stakes. Today, I'm used to $1/$2 home games but where did all of those family games go? Are they still around?

    I'm reflecting here on a larger cultural phenomena. With the growth of the internet and NLHE there was a mass "professionalization" of poker or more properly the "institutionalization" of poker. There was a large take-over of poker by the casinos. The professional poker player was once a gypsy and a rarity. Now we can talk of the professional poker player as something more than just "a character," a rarity, or an internet junkie.

    With the institutionalization of poker has come a quest for excellence at all levels. But, as with chess, there will always be people who are willing to study a little, and people who are willing to dedicate there time to developing the expertise, emotional and mental agility, and mental toughness to play the game at a higher level.

    The variance will keep people coming back. Most people have an irrational belief that there is something in the universe called "luck." I wish I could purge our politics of such irrational beliefs but it is not going away soon in any area of society. At the lower levels of NLHE players believe in luck more than skill.

    But players come back to poker in casinos because they realize that they are playing against other players and not the house.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    BTW @Imperator

    I'm very glad you start to post again.

    Every time we enter a thread in which you participate, we become instantly more intelligent :)

    Few peoples on the site have this effect so thanks to come back.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Imperator wrote: »
    But players come back to poker in casinos because they realize that they are playing against other players and not the house.

    This is important and very true.

    It is so funny you say that. 2 days ago my father was at home and in the night i was grinding and he came by the door of my office and say: "Oh your gambling on an online casino !"

    And i told him that i was playing against real peoples and the scepticism in his face was priceless. Like you can't escape the tentacles of the house.
  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 549 ✭✭✭
    @Imperator let me be the first to say im am stoked to read your poker book. if you need early readers sign me up...
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    With the institutionalization of poker has come a quest for excellence at all levels. But, as with chess, there will always be people who are willing to study a little, and people who are willing to dedicate there time to developing the expertise, emotional and mental agility, and mental toughness to play the game at a higher level.

    But players come back to poker in casinos because they realize that they are playing against other players and not the house.

    If enough players at the table are "good" - the "excellent" player will make very little after rake(in a live game).

    I also feel that players come back to the casino because they occasionally book a nice win, and chase that high.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    jeffnc wrote: »
    kagey wrote: »
    If everybody knows that poker is such a highly-skilled game that MIT is creating courses on how to win a poker (as opposed to the theory Nash stuff they do now)... this will drive away players because they will know that they're at a massive disadvantage.

    Not a single player in a casino (other than poker) is under the illusion that they are playing a +EV game. I think you're missing the reason people gamble.


    I hear people claim they win at blackjack fairly often.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    Ryan A wrote: »
    Like Adam Wheeler mentioned it just seems hard to reverse this trend. Poker is going to need some sort of Black Swan event in order to make it great again

    True.

    I have seen games SLOWLY get tougher over the last ~10 years. That said there is still plenty of money to be made now, and my only concerns are about my ability to make good money in 10 years from now.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    I remember that many groups of friends used to have regular games of dealer's choice. These amounted to "family" games and were played at low stakes. Today, I'm used to $1/$2 home games but where did all of those family games go? Are they still around?

    A friend of mine invited me and my son to a monthly poker afternoon. 3 or 4 guys and 2 or 3 sons (9-13 years old) find a comfortable bar or restaurant and we play dealer's choice. No real money. No one seems to know what they're doing and I don't tell them (the 9 year old keeps calling games with 12 wild cards, string raises are comical, and people have a hard time figuring out what they have.) But it's a fun social time.

  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    @kagey

    I started to think about what you said about recreational players who might be put off by the idea of ​​throwing themselves into the lion's Den colliding with players who are much more educated than they are.

    It is true that they can understand that the players against whom they compete are more educated at the level of the game but this remains unquantifiable for them, since they themselves have not put efforts to increase their level of play. So they are left alone with their imagination which rests on their personal evaluation of the effort to achieve a certain goal. For many this evaluation will remain very vague and it will be all the more diluted by the fact that before anything else, they sit at the table to answer the first goal which gives them their qualifier, that of recreational player.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Imperator wrote: »
    The variance will keep people coming back.

    Jeff Hwang explains a variety of this in Advanced Pot Limit Omaha, vol. 2. He calls it "Variable Ratio Reinforcement".

    "Once you get to a certain point in your development as a poker player - once you've learned hand valuations and attained the necessary technical skills to play the game - the next big step to opening up your game is figuring out how to regulate your opponents' behavior in such a way as to make them easier to play against. That is, the next step is founded in large part on psychology. Enter variable-ratio reinforcement."

    He goes on to explain that people will not play slot machines if the payout schedule is fixed (for example, you lose 4 times in a row, then win some amount.) But they will play a -EV game if the payout schedule is random. (This assumes the average payout is the same, of course.)

    In poker, the cards you're dealt and the hands you make and the pots you win require decision making more so than slot machines (there are decisions in slot machines too), so it's easy to believe due to the variable payout schedule that you're actually a winning player (something that isn't even possible in slots.) So poker will always have that extra allure going for it.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is true that they can understand that the players against whom they compete are more educated at the level of the game but this remains unquantifiable for them, since they themselves have not put efforts to increase their level of play.

    not totally true...
    wearing poker gear, talking poker lingo and refusing to engage in friendly banter clues the casual player in about what he/she might currently be ignorant about.
    On several occassions, I've seen good players make "advance plays" for a large pot (in low stakes games) and then discuss the variables/decisions that informed their play... and watched Bubba's eyes grow to the size of dinner plates and quietly walk away from the table with his 250 stack. It happens. Not very frequently. But it does.

    Lemme ask you: if you regularly crushed PlayerX in your game, would you inform him about RCP?

    @Imperator
    agree - the enitre family fabric is very different from our childhood when we played cards against one another frequently. video games, texting, online forums, etc. offer family members different avenues to interact with their preferred friends and family... "family" board games like Monopoly are probably going by the wayside as well.

    You're right - poker has become institutionalized. It's become more common for average folks to know or know of a person who plays poker for a living.

    But let's take your chess example as maybe a forewarning of things to come for poker: many of us (myself included as well as Ed Miller) were drawn to the game of chess at an early age as a way to challenge oneself and play competitively. But all of us - at one point or another - realized that to truly excel at the game, it would take years of intensive study. To become grand master, one had to have the ability to visualize/memorize boards and have an in-depth understanding of cerebral concepts that go way beyond "bishop moves diagonally." Hence, the truly gifted players who had an inate ability to think many streets ahead continued to study - the rest of the general population bowed out.

    Playing chess was no longer "fun" for the unstudied player. You were certained to get crushed. There came a point where you would have to choose: do I study and dedicate myself to the game to win or do instead play Exploding Kittens?

    As of right now - the average poker player understands that there are some players that study and play higher... but it's considered as being somewhat of a rarity among the casual players. I'm not advocating for turning back the clock - simply for us players to be more conscious about how we portray ourselves and our industry... that's all. A large part of poker's appeal is its "democracy" where everyone gets two cards and any two cards can win (technically). This thing called "luck" that you abhor is the fuel that allows the poker economy to drive on...
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    Playing chess was no longer "fun" for the unstudied player. You were certained to get crushed. There came a point where you would have to choose: do I study and dedicate myself to the game to win

    All you have to do is play people with the same rating as you and you'll never get crushed. That's what's going to happen whenever you enter a tournament.

  • Jason LawrenceJason Lawrence Red Chipper Posts: 16 ✭✭
    One brief thought - I was thinking about making a small investment on Draft Kings, and then I read that something like 8% of the players made 94% of the money in a media profile of one of the big sharks. I'll go buy a Powerball ticket or play craps or baccarat before I get my money in that dead.

    I've dissuaded over ten friends from throwing their money away on real money fantasy sports by sending them that article. If they're willing to be that rational, I don't see why your generic Joe won't be any less rational when it comes time to buy in (or not) at the live poker tables.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    kagey wrote: »
    not totally true...
    wearing poker gear, talking poker lingo and refusing to engage in friendly banter clues the casual player in about what he/she might currently be ignorant about.
    On several occassions, I've seen good players make "advance plays" for a large pot (in low stakes games) and then discuss the variables/decisions that informed their play... and watched Bubba's eyes grow to the size of dinner plates and quietly walk away from the table with his 250 stack. It happens. Not very frequently. But it does.
    .

    I agree partially because for them it's only scratching the surface. What i meant is they have no clue about the effort, dedication, study etc. that they need, they romanticize it but they don't have a real clue.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Let me give you an example.

    I have long been a hockey fan. I played 15 years until Junior. Until the age of 11 or 12 I thought I could play at very high levels. I ate, talked, walked, breathed, slept hockey.

    An afternoon off during the Christmas holidays I was heading towards the ice rink of my neighborhood to go to stretch my legs, handle and shoot hockey pucks. As I approached the rink, there was already a man skating on the ice and dribbling with the puck. I remember the strange feeling that inhabited me. The sound, the sound of his skating. When I arrived near the house where we tied our skates, I remember watching him for a long time alone, skating with power. The sound of the ice breaking under his skates was not a familiar sound, the sound of his shots, the way he moved on the ice, everything seemed to be light years from what I knew about hockey.

    When I entered the house, the man who took care of the maintenance of the ice rink said to me "You have nice company this afternoon!" And he told me that he was a player from The Chicoutimi Saguenéens, the major junior team in the region.

    I was 12 years old, I was 4 years of this level. I understood that day that I would never play at this level.

    But all this was tangible. It was not someone who described to me how far my skills should be to play at this level.

    Now transpose this story to Poker.

    It's impossible.

    The tangible aspect of what it takes to be a good player does not exist with the uninitiated eyes of the recreational player. How could it be?

    Since it's a game, they understand some players are better but they don't know by how much and it is very difficult to quantified it for them specially in a game that involves luck.
  • porterporter Red Chipper Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
    Imperator wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »

    In 1962, Edward Thorp developed computer programs to determine a winning strategy for blackjack, including card counting. When this book hit the market, some casinos panicked and stopped spreading the game since they realized they could be -EV.

    For those of you interested in Ed Thorp I would suggest that you investigate the relationship between Thorp, and one of my favorite mathematicians, Claude Shannon, the developer of Information Theory.

    Shannon and Thorp together made contributions to what might be called "gambling theory" or "edge theory". (My name for what they were doing. I don't think that either Thorp or Shannon wanted to confine themselves to "probability theory." Even the mathematics of Information Theory started for Shannon as a thought experiment about how we can "cheat" on information transfer with limited carrying capacity.)

    Poker players believe that game theory is the golden chalice of our game. But I would argue that larger areas of economic theory and probability theory, including behavioral economics, decision theory, and what might be called "edge theory" are all part of the fuzzy science of poker. But as I argued in the thread, these theories can only get us so far. They are models to think about. Application is the problem.

    Both, Thorp and Shannon, play a role in my on-going project of a philosophy of poker book.

    As a project I would assign everybody to think about what "Maxwell's Demon" thought experiment has to do with the above thread ,with Claude Shannon, and with poker.

    I've taken up your demonic assignment. Have you read Thorp's new autobiography yet? I did, in part I think because of this thread (though it may have been another). There is also a new biography of Claude Shannon that I've just started reading.

    Here are a couple quotes from Thorp's autobiography, A Man for All Markets, that I think are relevant to the discussion of sharing strategic information.

    In 1967, Thorp published Beat the Market, detailing his investment methods. At the time, he was an academic merely experimenting with investing his own money:
    Ed Thorp wrote:
    Just as in blackjack, I was willing to share our discoveries with the public for several reasons. Among them was the awareness that sooner or later, others would make the same discoveries, that scientific research ought to be a public good, and that I would continue to have more ideas.

    However, in 1969, he started his hedge fund and decided to stop sharing his best ideas.
    Ed Thorp wrote:
    I could use my mathematical skills to develop strategies for hedging and possibly become rich; or I could compete in the academic world for advancement and distinction. I loved university-level teaching and research, and decided to stay with it as long as I could. My best quantitative financial ideas would be saved for our investors, not published, and over time would be rediscovered by and credited to others.
  • TravisTravis Red Chipper Posts: 455 ✭✭✭
    Option D... all the above.
    I play free money sites for the fun of the game and once at higher levels it is still a learning experience for playing at bingo tables no pain threshold live.. as Soto has said "bingo can be fun". I play .05/.10 onlne for fun and practice. Trying new things and getting comfortable with new concepts with little risk but plenty of enjoyment. Also keeps my small bet poker skills honed for when in live the situation dictates. I play live for the challenge and the money. The stakes i play are definitely limited by my bankroll and not by my comfort level at higher stakes. So the money matters. I also know that it is just a matter of time before i move up with a proper bankroll. I have gone up and had to come back down a few times.
    So put simply, i play for love of the game. Yet the money does affect what i play when.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    porter wrote: »

    I've taken up your demonic assignment. Have you read Thorp's new autobiography yet? I did, in part I think because of this thread (though it may have been another). There is also a new biography of Claude Shannon that I've just started reading.

    I have both of these books on my bed side table. But have only dipped into them for inspiration. I'm waiting for a length of time to set aside for serious writing and intense research.

    Even though Thorp is quite well known in gambling circles, I'm quite surprised that so few poker players know the thrust of his ideas behind "betting markets."

    Just a little taste of Shannon, Thorp and Kelly (the developer of the portfolio management theory known as the Kelly Criterion) here....

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Larry_Kelly,_Jr.#The_Las_Vegas_connection:_Information_theory_and_its_applications_to_Game_theory

    and here....

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambling_and_information_theory

    The Kelly Criterion is a very important idea for bankroll management and every professional poker player should have a glancing knowledge of it.

    Kelly was a physicist after my own heart. Thorp and Shannon were, of course, mathematicians. They all had fun times in old Las Vegas.

    I have mentioned this before.

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