Two Plus Two Newer Archives  

Go Back   Two Plus Two Newer Archives > General Poker Discussion > News, Views, and Gossip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #131  
Old 11-21-2007, 01:29 AM
Dire Dire is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,511
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

[ QUOTE ]
...
Also, currently, the average age of top chess players is solidly in the 25-35 age range, as it has been for about 4 decades. There are still a fair number of young phenoms coming into the game - in fact by age 21 they are veterans, having played serious chess for over a decade in almost all cases.

[/ QUOTE ]

Top 5 FIDE players birth years:

1. 1969
2. 1969
3. 1975
4. 1975
5. 1979

That puts the youngest one at nearly 30. The top two at 40 each. There are some major exceptions like Karjakin (1990) ranked 24, and Radjabrov (1987 - ranked 8th) but they are the exception and not the rule.

Child 'prodigies' get alot of attention because of their novelty (which is quickly losing it's novelty!), but very few end up amounting to anything. Hello Waitzkin! Which in alot of ways is why chess is such an interesting analog to poker in the this thread.

Many many many players have chess shoved down their throat from the time they are a baby by parents looking to live vicariously through their children. Of these, a miniscule fraction go on to become 'prodigies'. And of the 'prodigies', an even smaller fraction go on to do anything besides break a random age record here or there until moving onto other things. The ones that do go on to accomplish big things, don't do so as child prodigies but as the few adults that actually manage to maintain their work ethic towards chess.
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 11-21-2007, 02:21 AM
blueodum blueodum is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 250
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

I was considering a larger number - say the top 70 or 100.

It the same thing as when parents push their kids into sports - tennis being the prime example. Nearly all the top players started when they were young, but of course only the best survive to make real money in the sport.

Also, Waitzkin was nothing special, except that he was American and somebody wrote a book about him. At the same time there were probably 50 kids in Central and Eastern Europe his age that were ranked higher.

When I speak of chess prodigies, I mean the ones who achieve a rating of 2600+ while still under 18. Nearly all of them achieve some level of success and usually stay with chess (because they have usually cut off all other avenues of development in order to become great chess players). Gata Kamsky was the last real prodigy to quit poker at a young age altogether (to pursue a medical degree). He's since returned to chess.
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 11-21-2007, 02:42 AM
CrazyLond CrazyLond is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 117
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

Very interesting and thought-provoking article.

I don't think it is fair to discount the opinion of live players who haven't had success in online games. The skill set for playing live is far more complex than that for playing online. People talk about online pros who have seen more hands in their life than, for example, Doyle Brunson and are thus, more experienced in a fashion. The thing is, a player in a live game has a lot more information to process per hand. You get information from the way people bet, talk, dress, drink, the way they handle their chips, the inflections of their voice, where they are looking, conversation they are participating in, etc. There are a host of other distractions and things to divert your attention from the game. There are also a number of psychological factors. For example, for the most part, people can leave or join an online game without much concern for going to the board, infuriating the other players(hit and run) or the time spent traveling to or from the game. There is a higher level of patience required only seeing 20-30 hands per hour at a single table. There is also a psychological difference between handling casino chips and online ones. Not only this, but there is a need to maintain your own "poker face." People who have never or rarely played poker in a casino think this just means being a rock, but this is often unrealistic for people who play a lot. Words will be said, bets will be made, etc. Every player gives out a certain amount of information and becoming "unreadable" is a skill all in itself.

Many of these things are processed subconsciously. Good players who play live will often mention having a "feel" without exactly knowing where it comes from. There are so many things going on at a live poker table. The subconscious and conscious minds have to put together a host of things along with the basic poker information such as bet sizes to develop a range for a player's holding. When thinking on multiple levels (what does he have, what does he think I have, what does he think I think he has, what does he think I think he thinks I have, etc) this extra information multiplies the complexity of the game.

I am not taking anything away from online pros, just stating that the fact many of the best live players cannot beat online games is not surprising. The online game is missing much of the information that live pros use. Those live pros who rely more heavily on the information that is available online will do better in that forum.

Add to this that online players are exposed only to certain facets of the game and indeed, do play zillions of hands with only this information available and it follows that they will generally be more adept at online games.

However, the statement that online pros would not dominate live deep stack games with the best and most experienced live players in the world seems a reasonable prediction.
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 11-21-2007, 02:53 AM
spino1i spino1i is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: im a tagfish that always folds
Posts: 2,429
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

[ QUOTE ]
Very nice post Brandon. Unfortunately as a 22-year-old I am distracted from completely mastering the game by things such as college girls and alcohol, but I try my best [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 11-21-2007, 02:59 AM
spino1i spino1i is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: im a tagfish that always folds
Posts: 2,429
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

Im just so suprised you guys believe online players suck at live and live players suck at online and that they require completely different skills. As someone who has basically put an equal amount of time into both live and online at this point in my career, it seems like most of the skills are pretty darn similar. And I think the top live pros are not quite as good as the top online pro's. For instance, I think cts is a better player than Kenny Tran. But I mean I dont think cts is better than say Daniel Negeranu. I mean the live pros right before the Bobby's Room folk.
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 11-21-2007, 03:18 AM
kickpushcoast kickpushcoast is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: you can find me in the A
Posts: 1,082
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

i think its absolutely hilarious that some people on here actually think someone is on the decline mentally by age 30. you guys are looking at the wrong reasons for young players' success if you think its because mentally they are superior.

it has far more to do with the amount of free time and willingness to take risk because of lack of responsibilty for anyone other than yourself and also being much more computer savvy than older people, basically alot of you were in the right place at the right time of your life, and not because of some inherent superiority of having a young mind that gives you an edge over someone a little older. i also think the top young players will easily get better through their 30s and 40s as long as they continue to apply themselves and dont burn out or lose interest.

new and better players will always come along, because they will take knowledge thats available and improve on it. the best players will also be leaving the game when they realize there are far better ways to make money once you have a decent amount of capital
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 11-21-2007, 03:56 AM
Idiotex Idiotex is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Min Donking A Wide Range
Posts: 364
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

Great read Brandon, and I enjoyed everyone's comments. I would venture to say that there will one day be a poker player that is the Kasparov, Tiger Woods or Roger Federer of poker.

I don't think any of us could have ever concieved that a sportsman would come along like Tiger Woods. He may only have as much pure talent as Federer or Kasparov, but it's his mental endurance over such a long period competing. It seems like he is not going to to slow down and may end up essentially being the best golfer in the world over twenty years plus. He seems to always give 100%.

For those that believe downswings would not allow anyone to reach this level, I disagree. All great players in all sports lose form at some point in their careers. For example, Tiger has had swing changes and struggled for as much as 24 months at a time. But mentally he was equipped to still compete mentally at 100%, and from what I as a member of the public can tell he never waivered in his preparation despite going so long without winning.

What am I saying? I guess, just because something is inconceivable, it is not impossible. A poker player may come along that is beyond anything we can imagine at this point in time. If we don't blow ourselves up in the next few thousand years, I'm sure someone will come along that could beat a high limit for a winrate that we would consider impossible at present.

Anyway I'm ranting. Nice article Brandon.

p.s. I do disagree that online players would lose in deep stacked live games, unless Kenny Tran really can tell to 100% certainty whether or someone is bluffing or not. And I just can't imagine that someone with great experience could not train themselves not to give off that kind of non-verbal information.
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 11-21-2007, 04:01 AM
Idiotex Idiotex is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Min Donking A Wide Range
Posts: 364
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

Oh and as an aside, I think marriage would be key to long-term sustainable success for most (but not all), poker players over 20 year + career. I would need a few thousand words to say why, so I won't bother trying. I think girlfriends / marriages may have some short term downsides that will be far outweighed by the long-term emotional stability of a healty relationship.
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 11-21-2007, 04:51 AM
WJL WJL is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 127
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

Lots of good posts in this thread. Hope this one can add something to the discussion. I'm no great poker player, but I am learning, and I have played most of the games mentioned in this thread at an advanced level.

Something nobody has really mentioned in this thread is that unlike chess and tennis, poker is generally played against multiple opponents. I think this is why there will never been a Kasparov/Federer sort of dominance for anyone in poker, no matter how good they become. Golf is a much better analogy, and that's one of the reasons I think poker players seem to like golf.

Golf and Tennis are both very high skill-level games, requiring a fairly long practice regime to even become competitive at low levels. But golf has never seen anyone who had a year like, say, Jimmy Connors had in Professional Tennis in 1974, when he won 98 of 104 professional matches. If a golfer wins 6 or 7 tournaments in a year, he had a phenomenal year; it is much the same in Poker. One reason is that there is a lot more varience in golf; every course is different, and weather conditions can completely change the character of any one of them from day to day. Sometimes you hit a wicked slice off the fairway, hit a tree, and end up sitting in front of the green. Sometimes you hit a great shot and land on a sprinkler cover and end up in the rough. Major tournaments have responded to the increasing skill and improving equipment of today's golfers by adding even more varience to the game in the form of narrower fairways, larger sand traps and very difficult green topologies, leading some players to compare certain courses to a putt-putt course. Tennis has much lower varience, and with today's equipment, the game is played pretty much the same on all surfaces, unlike the pre-composite days.

I'd agree with Brandon that online poker can have a high stress component, and what he says about stress chemicals in the body is quite true. The massive number of hands played by many online players can generate great skill, but may tend to burn out many of them before their games can fully mature. Live players, while experiencing periods of high stress, have time to recover due to the slower pace of the game, and have more time to observe their opponents. It is also very difficult for someone playing 12 tables to take any decent notes on their opponents, while live players often have volumes of notes on various hands they played and against whom. Online players 12-tabling are competing against 70-120 opponents at the same time, while the live player is only competing with 6-10; an online player and a live player with similar mental/emotional/physical attributes are equally focused on the games they are playing, but they are focused on different things, and the live player is observing more and making fewer decisions based on a broader range of variables. In the end, I think Brandon is more right about the possible results of prolonged high stress in relation to online players, but live players, not so much.

Now, let's address the math issue. I think most of us can agree that the math involved in NLHE ain't rocket science, folks. Not many people can do an ICM in their heads live at the table, but it doesn't take a genius to figure it out on paper. Figuring out the pot odds in a given hand is about all the math you really need at the table in this game. You can do some Structured Hand Analysis away from the table to analyze tight situations, but at the table itself, there's a lot more to the game than the math

I'd also argue that starting poker young is not really required for the development of a great poker talent, but a game-playing mentality is. Many game skills transfer across disciplines; Harrington was a great chess player before he was a great backgammon player before he was a great poker player. Stu Ungar was a gin rummy player, and didn't pick up hold'em until much later. Brandon seems to be saying that a player will rise from the current milieu that will be superior in character to any of these, but I'm not so sure. The variance that exists in poker by design seems to be enough to absorb any future improvements in precision that more in-depth training can deliver.

There are some qualities of great players that Brandon doesn't mention. Courage, resilience, self-awareness, dogged competitiveness and empathy are qualities most great players have or must develop over time to have long-term success. I say this, and I think of Phil Hellmuth, and you know, maybe I'm wrong . . .
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 11-21-2007, 07:48 AM
Sciolist Sciolist is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: London
Posts: 4,135
Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

[ QUOTE ]
Although the neurophysiological hormonal fluctuations of the poker player may be more dramatic, or more prevalent then the average professional, is it not worth noting that poker also comes with a great decrease in stressors very prevalent in the traditional acceleration of career x or in academia?

It's almost as if a poker player's neurobiological life cycle may be condensed on one hand, but lengthened on another.

[/ QUOTE ]
I was thinking the exact same thing. I doubt many people go through life without experiencing a certain amount of stress on a regular basis. Perhaps one in a thousand? A million?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.