Thursday, June 24, 2010

Poker players are as gullible as anyone

I just saw this Twitter message from Doyle Brunson: "Had great endurance at the poker table & was pain free. Go look at this really works. Unbelievable!!"

I looked, and it is indeed unbelievable. Literally. So why does he believe it?

I mean, look at the manufacturer's explanation for how the strips work:

The human body is surrounded by an energy field. Proprietary methods to store
“intrinsic energies” into a holographic strip have been developed that
communicate externally with the human body’s energy field. Nothing enters the
body. These communications are instructions that allow the body to naturally
regulate itself back to an optimum state. Strip programming and placement are
crucial to stimulating the numerous natural body reactions. Our formulas are
optimized to stimulate the body to naturally move towards a desired result.
Optimum chip placement, in conjunction with the formula, help the body naturally
move to that optimum point.

Oh, please. Could you possibly pack more pure BS, vagueness, and meaninglessness into one paragraph?

One question I notice they don't bother answering in their FAQ section is why you have to apply a new strip every 48 hours, when no matter dissipates from the things. That is, if the way they work is the "program" that they carry interacting with the body's supposed "energy field," then why can't one strip last forever? I don't have to replace my copy of Excel every 48 hours. The answer is both simple and obvious: So they can keep selling them to you.

Take a look at the FAQ page. But before doing so, imagine that you had a product that did absolutely nothing--maybe you pick up random pebbles from the roadside and sell them as healing rocks, infused with the spiritual energy from being blessed by the Grand Guru of Nahirzebol in Tibet. You want to anticipate questions that potential buyers might have. Your goal is to sell as many of your rocks as you can. You will therefore write your answers so as not to dissuade any potential sales or uses. If you think in advance about what the answer to any question would have to be in order to attain that result, that's what you'll find in this FAQ section.

What if you get a bad batch of strips? No such thing! Can you take them through security at the airport? Sure! What if they don't work? You must be either placing them wrong or not giving them enough time--keep trying! Any side effects? None whatsoever! Can I use multiple strips at once? Of course--that will make them work even better! Can I use them on pets? Absolutely! Do doctors recommend these things? Yes! Will temperature extremes affect them? Nope!

These things are just the latest incarnation of snake oil. Throughout recorded history, flim-flam artists have sold pills and potions and lotions and contraptions and incantations that claim to heal whatever ails you. They are all nothing more than a million different ways to package the placebo effect.

I am genuinely surprised that Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu both attached their names to this unadulterated hogwash. I would have thought both of them were smart enough to see through one of the worst bluffs anyone has tried to pull on the poker community. Seriously--if you can read a statement such as
The Endura Poker Strip technology communicates with the body through the
human electromagnetic field. This is known as bio-magnetic transfer. It works
similar to acupuncture.
and it not only fails to cause you to laugh out loud at the outrageous, audacious idiocy, but makes you think, "Wow. Cool. I want to try it," well, I hold out little hope for you.

Doyle and Daniel, while you're affixing your little energy strips to your skin or clothes, you might as well at the same time plaster on a sign that says, "I'm an idiot. I'm a sucker. I'm gullible. I'll believe anything you tell me," because that's exactly what the purchase and use of these silly things announces to the world.

What complete bullshit product are you going to endorse next? Dowsing rods that tell you what your opponents' hole cards are? Hey, how about those x-ray glasses advertised in the back of comic books, so you can SEE the hole cards? Or maybe a pill that gives you mind-reading abilities? They would all be just as plausible and credible as the hoax you have fallen for here, so why not?

Addendum, June 25, 2010

Negreanu just sent out a message on Twitter: "I do NOT endorse Endura Poker Strips!I didn't write that testimonial.I have absolutely ZERO to do with that company! They better correct it." A short time later he added, "It's fraud. This happens sometimes where people use my name to endorse a product without my permission. I expect it to be cleared soon."

I'm willing to take his word for that at this point. The manufacturer is lying about everything related to what the product and how it supposedly works--why not also lie about who endorses it?


Grange95 said...

I'm hoping that Doyle and Negreanu are just opportunists shilling anything for a buck. Somehow, that's less offensive to me than two great poker players believing in flimflammery.

Anonymous said...

I can do you one better, I work in the audio industry. We have people like this

rational thought anyone?

Sonata#8 said...

Dewey Tomko is endorsing that crap also. I've lost so much respect for the three of them.

NoLimitDoc said...

This kind of garbage is seriously an issue. Many have a general distrust for traditional medicine and look for these unnaproved, unresearched "natural/holistic" and in cases like this "magical" methods to cure their maladies. The reality is that the placebo effect is real. I'm pleased to see you are calling out people who we respect and trust on promoting suhc nonsense.

Glenn said...

DN was tweeting last night that he does not endorse this product and that his endorsement is fake. I believe Pokerati tweeted that it was the same for Doyle.