Monday, August 17, 2009

Poker gems, #307

Ed Miller, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth, in Small Stakes Hold'em, pp. 17-18.

The beats do not cause you to lose in the long run. Playing passively does.


The strange notion that your profits might be bigger against better players comes from the exact same trick that poker plays on your brain. The most horrifying result in poker is the "bad beat," when you lose a big pot that you were heavily favored to win. When you experience a terrible outcome, your brain tells you to avoid the cause, the same way your brain tells you to avoid a hot stove after you get burnt. It is trying to help you, but instead it is misleading you! Bad beats happen most often in the very best games. Avoiding bad beats by playing against only good players is the worst thing you can do.

...Your opponents' mistakes create the potential for more profit, but if you play incorrectly, you may not take advantage of it. If you do not win in the long run, it is not because your opponents are making too many mistakes; it is because you are.

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