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nolan   Ireland. Nov 24 2012 16:45. Posts 6205

I think it's just a matter of perspectives.

Personally, I think it's a little misleading to say 'think about how good you have to be to get to the top x percentile in other fields' because in general a lot of people who would be reading/posting here are already in a high percentile.

I mean, Michael Jordan at his peak could probably watch college basketball games and say wow these guys suck and make so many mistakes. I don't think it means that those players worked more/less hard than he did necessarily, just the closer you get to the top the easier everything below you starts to appear.

I think if you take into account the sheer amount of people who play poker even just for recreation it's still pretty impressive to be a top player now. It's easy to underappreciate the amount of actual work you've put into poker when you 1) enjoy it and 2) are comfortable with multitasking on a computer.

In short, I think a lot of the hard work people who reach the top in poker have put in simply didn't always 'feel' like work and so has went under appreciated. There's so many plays / thought processes you probably have in poker that are incredibly complex and enacted in a very short frame of time that have become a second nature and so you discredit the long process that gave you the ability to make those complex fast decisions.

just my 2c.

On September 08 2008 10:07 Baal wrote: my head is a gyroscope, your argument is invalid 

bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Nov 24 2012 17:22. Posts 8646

Truck-Crash LifeLast edit: 24/11/2012 17:26

Loco   Canada. Nov 24 2012 17:43. Posts 20917

"In short, I think a lot of the hard work people who reach the top in poker have put in simply didn't always 'feel' like work and so has went under appreciated. There's so many plays / thought processes you probably have in poker that are incredibly complex and enacted in a very short frame of time that have become a second nature and so you discredit the long process that gave you the ability to make those complex fast decisions."

We know scientifically that we make decisions unconsciously, that when we deliberate over things (like should I call or fold?) the decision was already made many seconds before we are actually aware of making the decision. The amount of information that we must process every single day is too great for our conscious mind to handle. We gather info, we make links, learn patterns and we obey them. The more obsessed we are, the more that gets in. Those who are particularly good at poker simply have a set of skills, all of which work unconsciously, and are combined with a strong motivation to make money/become better/become famous. Successful little robots, that is all. When looking at it like this, it's almost funny that we would pride ourselves.


imo there are two dispositions that exist for being extremely good at poker: the logical/mathematical genius, and the extremely intuitive and fearless person. Probably that one can be miles better than the other in certain scenarios, and really worse in others. But as it is with anything in nature, it is the fight to make one's will prevail. Whether one's talented or not is secondary to how much one really wants something. The one who wants the most will work the most and will end up with the better results, unless there is congenital idiocy.

The medium is the messageLast edit: 24/11/2012 17:48

Loco   Canada. Nov 24 2012 17:46. Posts 20917


  On November 24 2012 16:22 bigredhoss wrote:



lol, they say a picture is worth a thousand words... this one really does.

The medium is the message 

Loco   Canada. Nov 24 2012 17:57. Posts 20917


  On November 24 2012 10:37 Ket wrote:
Show nested quote +


imo it's good news for anyone with any interest in playing poker online and trying to win, as doing so today is a lot easier than it could be (it's harder than it was sure but that kind of thing can never ever last surely? that was a one-time bubble because poker was new to the mainstream)



I'm not sure I'm getting what you're saying at the end. Are you saying that poker has a chance of becoming easier than it is right now? For this to happen there would have to be a devolution rather than an evolution in the way most people think about the game. But since it's a mathematical game, the chances of this happening do not exist.

Anyway, I don't think it's good news for anyone trying to win. Everyone is trying to win, you know? People aren't playing to lose. But not everyone has the potential to become great. And to succeed in very competitive pursuits we cannot exclude the necessity of the potential for greatness. Where internet poker was in the recent past, the potential for greatness was not necessary. Little talent was required to reap it massive income. Now, without talent and hard work, even a small, steady income has become nearly impossible.

Most of the people who are trying to win simply won't be able to, because that's how every single competition works. In this state of affairs it's everyone's will against everyone else's, but there are drastic differences between the information that has been gathered by those wills. After all, there has to be more losers than winners for the prize and glory to be worth pursuing. The idea that "where there's a will, there's a way" might be a nice thought, but in reality, there's only a way for a very few wills when there are many that are competing. If every runner ended up with a gold medal, there wouldn't be much of a competition. And it's quite easy given past information to know when a will is deluding itself as to what it can achieve. I mean, I think you get what I'm saying: if some guy has been grinding the low stakes for 4-5 years with a slightly positive winrate, you wouldn't bet on him reaching the top, ever, but you'd eagerly bet against him were he to be delusional enough to think so. So, there is more to it than wanting it: one must be fit for it.

The medium is the messageLast edit: 24/11/2012 18:32

Enigma   Canada. Nov 24 2012 18:32. Posts 158

Always thinking person and inspiring. TY Ket!
I have been having similar feelings lately, it is like you need to shift your focus to what you can control (your own skill level) instead of blaming outside factors/notions for your lack of results.
If you still have any work ethic towards poker left you will be able to improve and overcome, but if you just say the games are too hard you will never beat them. GG


Jhyun88   United States. Nov 24 2012 20:10. Posts 1383

I've been saying this for a while. It's not that I'm good at poker, it's that most of the population suck and make tons of fundamentally incorrect decisions.


teej1985    United Kingdom. Nov 24 2012 20:35. Posts 716

Not sure why people are getting so defensive...poker is still in its infancy and professional poker players are generally very lazy, so if you are willing to work hard and smart its possible to climb the ladder much quicker than other fields.

fuck mee... fuck U! 

Mariuslol   Norway. Nov 24 2012 20:51. Posts 4742


  On November 24 2012 14:43 Stroggoz wrote:
haha nice post ket. For me the games have become a lot easier to me this year from improvement. 2012 is the best year yet for me and i owe it to playing regs HU and also to the logical advice of people that are smater than me. (over 100k hands played HU this year, now playing weaker regs HU is where i can make the most money)

Dont need to be smart. My IQ is 110, which is pretty average. You just need to be able to be to absorb the information of people smarter than you. Every human being does this in school, learning the knowledge that has been accumulated from geniuses over the years.



Hey, I took one of them tests once and I scored 109 lol. That means you're smarter than me. Maybe that means you should pass down some knowledge to a friendly Norwegian!!

Yay


On a little more serious note. I've been fascinated by poker for the longest time. I thought I was suppose to do really well in it. Since I crushed games all my life. But not poker. So it's like a fickle bitch, the one I never found out, never got lol.

Also feel it's really inspirational when people on the site do really well. I get all warm and fuzzy when I look at longple hands, and read blogs of people succeeding in poker xD


Mariuslol   Norway. Nov 24 2012 20:59. Posts 4742


  On November 24 2012 16:43 Loco wrote:
"In short, I think a lot of the hard work people who reach the top in poker have put in simply didn't always 'feel' like work and so has went under appreciated. There's so many plays / thought processes you probably have in poker that are incredibly complex and enacted in a very short frame of time that have become a second nature and so you discredit the long process that gave you the ability to make those complex fast decisions."

We know scientifically that we make decisions unconsciously, that when we deliberate over things (like should I call or fold?) the decision was already made many seconds before we are actually aware of making the decision. The amount of information that we must process every single day is too great for our conscious mind to handle. We gather info, we make links, learn patterns and we obey them. The more obsessed we are, the more that gets in. Those who are particularly good at poker simply have a set of skills, all of which work unconsciously, and are combined with a strong motivation to make money/become better/become famous. Successful little robots, that is all. When looking at it like this, it's almost funny that we would pride ourselves.


imo there are two dispositions that exist for being extremely good at poker: the logical/mathematical genius, and the extremely intuitive and fearless person. Probably that one can be miles better than the other in certain scenarios, and really worse in others. But as it is with anything in nature, it is the fight to make one's will prevail. Whether one's talented or not is secondary to how much one really wants something. The one who wants the most will work the most and will end up with the better results, unless there is congenital idiocy.



Hey, I really like this post. I'll see if I can add on some things.

A little while back I learned that intuition is basically recognition. And we can built up a stronger and stronger intuition in areas which have set paramaters. Like chess, Sc, firefighters (since they get acustomed to the heat, which flames does what and smoke). But a lot of professions don't, or most don't.

So just by playing a stupid amounts you can get really good in poker without all that extra shizzle which will just make it iceing on the cake.


I also learned some stuff about the Visual cortex is 0,2 seconds slower than the amygdala. (I think that's at the back of the brain, and it notices something that's wrong, negative). I think that's why we're all so good with being a master critic. A few examples of this is, if you get shown a picture, 11 people on the picture. We first notice someone who's really obese, or getting injured, or someone we find "not normal" or different.

How this correlates to poker in my head is, we have such good grown synapses and braincells working for us due to our recognition. Aquired knowledge in poker, so this thing that reacts before we get told in the visual cortex gives us an incling, a "gut feeling" when something is wrong/off. (This is just a guess lol).

And lastely, I know that we retain memory of what we do/learn A LOT BETTER when we got a surge of dopamin. So people who actually love to play, having fun when they're playing, well, they learn a lot more and improve faster.

Ok, that's all I had lol

 Last edit: 24/11/2012 21:06

bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Nov 24 2012 21:37. Posts 8646


  On November 24 2012 19:35 teej1985 wrote:
Not sure why people are getting so defensive...poker is still in its infancy and professional poker players are generally very lazy, so if you are willing to work hard and smart its possible to climb the ladder much quicker than other fields.



maybe my lack of communication skills are coming through on the internet but i wasn't trying to be defensive, so i apologize if it came off that way. after reading his blog i just felt like he was calling poker "incredibly easy" without giving a lot of meaningful context. so i was hoping he would either elaborate on his point or explain what i'm missing.

Truck-Crash Life 

asdf2000   United States. Nov 25 2012 05:17. Posts 7683

wtf are u talking about

Grindin so hard, Im smashin pussies left and right. 

eestwood   United Kingdom. Nov 25 2012 09:36. Posts 698

great poast, I need to hear that right now

can we all ball 

asdf2000   United States. Nov 25 2012 12:20. Posts 7683


  On November 24 2012 19:35 teej1985 wrote:
Not sure why people are getting so defensive...poker is still in its infancy and professional poker players are generally very lazy, so if you are willing to work hard and smart its possible to climb the ladder much quicker than other fields.



i am really not sure what so much of this nonsense is
the majority of serious professional poker players, the kind that actually make a consistent responsible living, work very hard. in a job that requires more focus and is more stressful than the vast majority of jobs out there.

maybe they have fun doing it, maybe they can work their own hours. maybe some of them work less than a 40h work week(but a ton don't). that doesn't change how much effort and discipline they have to put into it. 9 out of 10 people couldn't even handle doing this for a living.

Grindin so hard, Im smashin pussies left and right. 

Ket    United Kingdom. Nov 25 2012 15:53. Posts 8665


  On November 25 2012 11:20 asdf2000 wrote:
Show nested quote +



i am really not sure what so much of this nonsense is
the majority of serious professional poker players, the kind that actually make a consistent responsible living, work very hard. in a job that requires more focus and is more stressful than the vast majority of jobs out there.

maybe they have fun doing it, maybe they can work their own hours. maybe some of them work less than a 40h work week(but a ton don't). that doesn't change how much effort and discipline they have to put into it. 9 out of 10 people couldn't even handle doing this for a living.

This is very debatable and I guess you base your view of "the majority of serious professional poker players" on something more like "most people I know who play poker for a living". If I were to base my views in the same way then from my observations of pro poker players I know, all are pretty lazy and have made tons of money 100000x easier than that same money could be made in a job like finance.

but let's give the pro poker players you've observed the benefit of the doubt and say they did indeed work pretty hard. in that case I would argue they did not work very smart (teej said 'work hard and smart'). they shouldn't feel bad about that or be insulted because nobody really knows how to work smart. More thoughts on the matter to follow in a longer post I'm trying to write now, but as teej said poker is in its infancy so 'how to work smart' is not really known yet, but instead being pioneered by those furthest along the curve


asdf2000   United States. Nov 25 2012 16:08. Posts 7683

im sure you know some very talented people ket

but even still, even given that they are probably enormously talented so that they have it easy in the poker world
i think it's easy to take for granted the work they've put in because they've enjoyed it or how they are able to live during it

poker is not easy! at all!

Grindin so hard, Im smashin pussies left and right. 

Ket    United Kingdom. Nov 25 2012 16:14. Posts 8665

i don't think we're really disagreeing Travis, when you say poker is very hard you're comparing it with other jobs you could have. when I say poker is easy i'm comparing it with being an equivalent percentile chess player or sportsperson.


Ket    United Kingdom. Nov 25 2012 17:22. Posts 8665


  On November 24 2012 16:57 Loco wrote:
Show nested quote +



I'm not sure I'm getting what you're saying at the end. Are you saying that poker has a chance of becoming easier than it is right now? For this to happen there would have to be a devolution rather than an evolution in the way most people think about the game. But since it's a mathematical game, the chances of this happening do not exist.


nah i was not saying poker might get easier, i was saying it'll never be as easy as it was, and that the way the games were around 2005-2010 was a freakish one-time thing. I can see how the way I was posting was unclear, I'll try to make an effort to be more clear from now.

You and nolan have both already correctly pointed out, it's just a matter of perspective whether you consider today's games easy or hard. In that case, if perspective is arbitrary, then why don't we try to consider alternative ones together? I would argue that to use the way the games were in 2005-2010 as a baseline from which to compare today's games, this perspective is not useful as those times are now history and we should let go of the past. The goal of this post is to present a different perspective with the hope doing so may yield fruit in some way.


  On November 24 2012 16:57 Loco wrote:
Anyway, I don't think it's good news for anyone trying to win. Everyone is trying to win, you know? People aren't playing to lose. But not everyone has the potential to become great. And to succeed in very competitive pursuits we cannot exclude the necessity of the potential for greatness. Where internet poker was in the recent past, the potential for greatness was not necessary. Little talent was required to reap it massive income. Now, without talent and hard work, even a small, steady income has become nearly impossible.

Most of the people who are trying to win simply won't be able to, because that's how every single competition works. In this state of affairs it's everyone's will against everyone else's, but there are drastic differences between the information that has been gathered by those wills. After all, there has to be more losers than winners for the prize and glory to be worth pursuing. The idea that "where there's a will, there's a way" might be a nice thought, but in reality, there's only a way for a very few wills when there are many that are competing. If every runner ended up with a gold medal, there wouldn't be much of a competition. And it's quite easy given past information to know when a will is deluding itself as to what it can achieve. I mean, I think you get what I'm saying: if some guy has been grinding the low stakes for 4-5 years with a slightly positive winrate, you wouldn't bet on him reaching the top, ever, but you'd eagerly bet against him were he to be delusional enough to think so. So, there is more to it than wanting it: one must be fit for it.


Thought this was a well thought out response and this line of thinking is very reasonable. Indeed there are a lot of people already trying to win at poker and you can't just will your way to victory - the game is negative-sum and you have to beat the population faster than rake which ofcourse structurally only allows a few to succeed no matter what. So however could I say games are easy? What was I thinking?? I guess it's time I explain. Quick disclaimer first, the following is heavy with a lot of my own personal speculation, and as such could easily be inaccurate or wrong in parts. Also it'll probably be pretty disorganized, sry about that. Turns out writing coherently takes me an incredibly long time, something I'd like to be much less chobo at but here I am.

I believe that different types of poker and different game conditions lend themselves to different skillsets. As times change and as games change, it follows that the skillset needed for success changes over time as well. I believe that the way the games have been in the good times at the infancy of online poker (which I'll now refer to as 'the early days') have favoured a skillset that will no longer be favoured in tomorrow's games. Being able to learn from things like forums and training videos, emulate some fundamental concepts you pick up and use poker software was good enough to get the job done in the early days. There were plenty of uneducated players and just doing this was enough to ensure an edge in the games that made playing professionally viable for many people. But that has been slowly changing over time (just ask wobbly!). Now it's very difficult to make a living without having an edge on the very same pros that did all the same things you did to get it done in the early days. Actually only the best and most successful of those pros that got it done in the early days, only the ones that have managed to survive up till now through increasingly difficult conditions, and are still playing today.

This sounds very difficult, as I believe that the current population of 2012 pros have gotten pretty good at playing the popular variants considering the tools and approaches we've used - tools and approaches that were more than sufficient to get the job done in the early days. We massively overtook the previous generation of players in those popular variants with the help of our much sharper tools (if necessary, refer to post #16 for what I mean by 'sharper tools'). That previous generation were probably really good with the tools they had too, but now it's common for people to say things like 'the best nlhe player in the world in the 80s (or whenever nlhe was the big popular game at the highest stakes before the poker-boom) would get roflcrushed at 400nl on stars today'.

As teej said earlier in the thread, online poker is still in its infancy. We don't understand too much about what makes a player successful or how one should train one's game off-the-tables for optimal improvement. The general principles of how to achieve excellence for other fields like playing tennis or playing the piano are well understood (see: Talent is Overrated - btw anyone talking about 'talent' should wikipedia the cliffnotes of this book's ideas) but because of the randomness element we don't really have efficient ways of translating 'deliberate practice' over to poker. Improvement is made much more difficult without direct and clear feedback of performance, and so methods of efficient training in poker with an aim for excellence is a wheel that hasn't been invented yet, or if it has it certainly isn't public knowledge. From what I can see, most regs aren't even really attempting to invent this wheel, how many people are trying to pioneer new ways or study new fields that might further their understanding of the game?

My guess is that there must be better ways to improve and gain insight than just play/review/discuss/training video/coaching/books/etc. My guess is that the players of tomorrow who manage to achieve a much deeper understanding of game theory applied to poker will be the ones with even sharper tools than ours, that turn us into dinosaurs like we did to the generation before. What's needed is not to catch up with the best regs in your games but to aim for a direction that puts you ahead of the curve. Try to find ways to improve beyond the level anyone is playing at today, not merely catch up. Ofcourse this sounds incredibly difficult to do and is prob beyond the realms of possibility for basically all of us. But because of the infancy of this game and the comparatively tiny amount of studying that has been done on it by the brightest and best of humanity, the possibility is very much there and the game is wide open compared to a game like chess. If you happen to be an absolute beast mathematician with programming skills and the necessary 'heart', 'mindset' or whatever prerequisites for gambling success, then poker is a low-hanging fruit.

Sorry if this is disappointing or depressing for people who misunderstood what I meant by the op, and thought I was giving a positive message like "hey you can do it too!".. lol. Poker is v hard for us but easier than professional chess.

Hope this was coherent.. I'm not really satisfied with how I've organised my thoughts here but this has taken too long so I'm just going to hit 'post' now and be done with it.


Ket    United Kingdom. Nov 25 2012 17:29. Posts 8665


  On November 24 2012 17:32 Enigma wrote:
Always thinking person and inspiring. TY Ket!
I have been having similar feelings lately, it is like you need to shift your focus to what you can control (your own skill level) instead of blaming outside factors/notions for your lack of results.
If you still have any work ethic towards poker left you will be able to improve and overcome, but if you just say the games are too hard you will never beat them. GG


not really what my post was about, but this attitude you describe is 100% correct


asdf2000   United States. Nov 25 2012 18:19. Posts 7683


  On November 25 2012 15:14 Ket wrote:
i don't think we're really disagreeing Travis, when you say poker is very hard you're comparing it with other jobs you could have. when I say poker is easy i'm comparing it with being an equivalent percentile chess player or sportsperson.


ok yeah i will agree with that

Grindin so hard, Im smashin pussies left and right. 

 
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