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  #101  
Old 11-20-2007, 02:24 PM
ArmenH ArmenH is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

WOW, you actually wrote something worth reading for once.
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  #102  
Old 11-20-2007, 02:43 PM
Greeksquared Greeksquared is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

I really hope no one misses this post.

I think it more accurately describes some of the "pseudo-science" Brian was trying to put together in the OP. I believe Aaron has a Ph.D in math or some related field and always answers the very tough probability theory questions in the probability forum with great detail and accuracy.


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This is a great post, but I think it's too pessimistic.

Back when I learned the game in the 60's, it was conventional wisdom that a top player had to learn in his pre-teen or early teen years, and drop out of school to focus enough time on the game. That fits with the brain work that says you need to fix those analytic skills early; before your brain performance starts to erode after 19.

That meant there was a very small pool of potential top players. You had to be born in a place with good poker players, be enough of a geek to master the analysis and focus on the theory, be introspective enough to know yourself and shy enough to observe other people closely; and yet have the nerve to walk into an illegal backroom game populated by tough-looking adult strangers, with the intention of walking out again with their money.

Today, anyone in the world with an Internet connection can practice top poker 24/7, with minimal risk. That's a million-fold increase in potential top players, which is the main reason I think we'll see vast improvement in play. On-line players may not get the people-reading or life management skills on-line, but that's the stuff adults are better at anyway, they can learn it in their 20's.

The reason I'm more optimistic is I don't think poker destroys your brain, I think it hones it, like a steel with a knife. Of course, if you keep honing a blade, you grind it away; so if you play poker only to get better at poker, you do wind up in bad shape.

But poker can shape your brain for tough, creative risk-taking in any field. The intensity Brandon mentions; the hormones and sleep deprivation at ages when your neurons are plastic; these things change your brain. All poker, all the time, is a drug addict's life. All poker, some of the time, and some poker, all of the time, is a source of super powers.

The biggest reason we don't have a Kasparov or Federer of poker is you can do other things with your poker skills. Chess ability is not much good outside the game, you can be crazy and be a great chess player (but not a good poker player). Tennis skills haven't been useful since the neolithic age. So if you're great at one of those games, you stick with it. The most successful people in both sports, in terms of money, respect and life success, are not the best players, but some good players with outside talents who write or coach or manage or produce or whatever.

Traditionally, most of the best poker players went off to do other things. They focused on poker for a few key years, then moved on. They still played enough to be very good, and accumulated experience does count for something, but they didn't do the constant practice and refinement necessary in chess or tennis.

It's true that the rewards for being the best poker player have gone up. A top tournament player is a celebrity and can make a nice living. But I don't think people who want to be celebrities and make nice livings have the fire to be great at anything. The quality of play will go up a lot, but the potential best players will never devote the necessary time and discipline to reach the level of mastery possible in other pursuits.

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  #103  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:21 PM
raptor517 raptor517 is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

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Because anyone asking it clearly doesn’t understand the least bit about poker, gambling or any risk related endeavor. It is not a terrible question but the way in which you phrased the question makes you look ignorant and uneducated about poker. It basically reads, “ZOMG YOU LOST 700k YOU MUST SUCK. WHY DIDN’T YOU QUIT SOONER?”


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Ok perhaps the wordage was wrong....


Was his own experiences that led him to understand better what the difference is between the great online players psyche versus a live mentality and what different elements it takes to get to these levels. I am curious...

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u do realize, that more than a few of the 'really super sick great winners zomg they are the best' people have lost 700k in a day online right?
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  #104  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:22 PM
burningyen burningyen is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

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well, for six months, Viffer had a policy of never bluffing Kenny. That is, if he bet big on the river against Kenny, he was never bluffing. For him, that was optimal... if Kenny knows when you're bluffing, your optimal bluffing percentage is 0. Something like that just makes no sense in the context of online poker.

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having any percentage of a certain play at 0 can not be anything close to optimal no matter what

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If your cards are face up (essentially what hes saying) yes it is.

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but the cards arent face up...especially after a few months of kenny knowing he wont bluff him

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If Kenny always knows when your bluffing optimal bluffing percentage is 0.

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Unless your hopeless bluffs get him to call enough of your valuebets.
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  #105  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:29 PM
Max Raker Max Raker is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

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Let me take a giant leap and compare skill levels across two entirely different games, poker and chess. It seems to me that in poker, no one has ever reached the level of mastery reached by the top chess players. The level of skill that Gary Kasparov in his prime exhibited on a chess table has never been matched by anyone on the green felt. This is open to argument, but I believe it to be obviously true and I think there is a deep reason for it. Poker wears people down.

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I liked everything you wrote but this. Poker is not very good at distinguishing between people of similar levels of skill. Chess is VERY good at this, I think I would have a much better chance at playing Antonius heads up for like a year and being up then a chess player beating somebody a thousand points higher in a tournament. I don't see how anybody could ever separate themselves so much from all the other poker players.
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  #106  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Dire Dire is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs online)

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Pseudo-science! I love it. Seriously, to take a few poorly understood scientific factoids and try to extrapolate anything serous out of it with regards to poker is not particularly meaningful. More a case of garbage in, garbage out. Although it did make for an interesting read, so not entirely a wasted effort.

As to the thought that we may see a Kasparof of poker, or perhaps a tiger woods, or federer, it isn't very likely. The main problem is that the edge in poker is simply too small. Say a player came along who was a 10% better player than the next best player in the world. That's a massive improvement, and probably unrealistic. But even so, that doesn't directly translate to 10% better results. That increase in skill probably translates to a fraction of a percent increase in results over the competition. And that's simply not enough to give us a recognizable kasparov or Federer.

Also, if the player is so much better, isn't it possible that his game selection skills are better as well? That he doesn't need the ego stroking from playing the best and instead plays in the most profitable games? And thus rarely, if ever, playing the best (albeit inferior to him) players in the world, we would never recognize him as the best player?

Also, given that poker is a gambling game, it is highly unlikely you'll see large numbers of kids pushed into it, and learning and breathing poker from the time they're five as you do in sports and even chess. So you just aren't going to get that kind of development.

Finally a querry. Is the player that Brandon refers to, who plans to quit when a crop of better players comes along really making a wise choice? At the end of the day, as long as there are fish in the pool, poker doesn't require you to be the best. Unlike tennis, or golf, or whatever, in order to be wildly successful, you do not have to face off against the top players in the world...

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Excellent.

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Very excellent.
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  #107  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:32 PM
uter uter is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

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The story of my poker life in 07 is that I was a big loser online, but I was the biggest or second biggest winner in live poker from May-August. On the whole, that has left me pretty flush.


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wait i dont understand, since the live games are so much tougher than the online games, i would've thought that you'd be slaughtering all the online games in your hotel room, and then losing at all those super-tough live games because "it was unrealistic to think i could beat those games while playing those online games"

BULL-SH I T

what a joke for these guys like brandon and kenny to claim they're at a diff level when they cant even beat these guys. how do you have the balls to do that?
and the best part is you guys cant lie about your results like all the live players do where nobody can prove anything, cuz online DB's are tracking everything; its all documented.
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  #108  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:49 PM
 is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

Has Brandon ever claimed those things? Live being tougher?
I mean similar claims to the those Kenny Tran made.

And also hasn't BA been a well known online player for a number of years?
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  #109  
Old 11-20-2007, 03:51 PM
DAT MOOSE DAT MOOSE is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

brandon never claimed to be one of the best NL players in the world, or to be better than the top NL guys online. dunno why you guys are lumping him in with 'sick call' kenny.


there is, however, a big big difference between 'being the best' and 'making monies'
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  #110  
Old 11-20-2007, 04:11 PM
metamath metamath is offline
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Default Re: The Life Cycle of a Poker Player (and my thoughts on live vs onlin

durr, bldswttrs et. al would dissect kenny tran in any nl game.
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