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Archive for August 2008

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

Live At The Bike OVER AND OUT!---The Bicycle Casino Tonight With Jamie Gold, 2006 WSOP Champion.

"Since you didn't write a book yet," I told him, "the only thing I can imitate about your game is the Blueberries". (He ate them constantly during the World Series, and credits them with his win--because they are a super "brain food"

Leaving Las Vegan

I bought 4 pints of Blueberries, before I went to play poker and channeled Jamie! I had no idea he would be playing last night so it was a "meaningful coincidence" or was I Being Fooled By Randomness again....the architecture of my own brain that thinks things are happening by chance when they are actually happening by design.


I got to talk story with The Oracle, Jamie Gold, and yes he does possess Christ-like healing powers. I could care less if I ever played cash games again. The chip swings are too huge. Just Like I left Las Vegan, and started eating egg whites again (that's chicken eggs folks!), I am leaving Las Vegas, and giving up live cash games. From now on, only 10K buy in's for me! Black Swan Events---The Impact of the Highly Improbable, and the Law of Large Numbers.

In tournament play, once your chips are gone, so are you, but the prize payouts are so high compared with cash games: In a cash game, you can always dig into your pocket for more money, when you bust out. I no longer want to dig in. Dig?

Tournament play demands patience to survive and win. Winning at cash games demands a whole other level of thought and deception. You need to reach into your bag of tricks and run the occasional big bluff to be a consistent cash game winner. It's like chess + luck, or 100% skill and 100% luck.

Another difference between big buy-in tournaments and high-stakes cash games is the level of players that compete in each. Even in the $10,000 WSOP 2006 main event, there was a high percentage of low-skilled amateur players. That’s just not the case in high-stakes cash games where the tables are littered with professional sharks, like Jamie Gold.

Instant gratification takes too long! Falling into the "Now"Trap and being impatient about patience...

Jamie has a weathered look, and I think the instant overall conceit in his own abilities as a poker player after he won the WSOP, and the absurd presumption in his own good fortune that followed, is over...Yet, we won't be seeing a THS True Hollywood Story on "E" about his Lottery demise. He's bankable and intelligent and a donkey---that makes him a Smart Ass!

A Poker Epiphaney-A Movable Feast

Nevertheless, too much respect for money makes you a bad holdem player--- I have become a bad player--I used to say, "When you lose, you lose money, when you win, you lose respect for money." I Respect money again! thanks to the W2 world of work.

My definition of TILT:

The number one thing I hate about the game I love---It is when inspiration turns to motivation: when I stray from the detached results mode of playing--where making good decisions is more important (process) and how I make decisions based on incomplete information, situations and people, are paramount regardless of the outcome. When, instead, the "gulp" factor of having to win (results oriented) takes over, I am not just risk averse, but also lose averse; and when wanting to win is replaced by needing to win, you become impoverished.

Three things have to take place to play at my higher levels-There are things about poker you know (the rules, the facts), things that you know you know (intuition), and then there are things you know you know you know (inspiration). Even Jamie can't inspire me at this point. Two out of three is bad Mr Loaf, I mean Mr Meatloaf! Subject matter expertise and Intuition without inspiration ...


Tight is Right, I mean wrong

Last night I won, but I lost...my edge... I didn't play my traditional A game(loose aggressive). I didn't shove all in with the nut flush draw (I would have made it). I didn't call with the right implied odds.(I would have tripled up) I folded the best hands pre flop to raise and re-raise. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Just ask Chip Reese


Calling poker a sport is like calling bald a hair color. Yet this male pattern madness--- an 800 lb gorilla known as Texas No Limit Hold em (a.k.a. NLH)--- got a new haircut last night in Bell, CA.


Broke Back Poker-Jamie Eats What he Kills

Without the right game, the right people don't show up. Jamie's still running his game, the trash talk, the playing people instead of cards...Poker is, after all, anything you can get away with.Things don't even out with time, they even out with the number of hands you play, and Jamie has certainly played a lot of hands.

You can't spell Manslaughter without laughter, so when Jamie eats what he kills, he makes sure his neighbors are having a good time. It's not keeping up with the Jonses, but dragging them down to his level. Opponents got spun with a no limit dyslexia, the inability to read the writing on the wall. Finally, when Jamie was done with Sqaure One, he picked it up, and cashed out.

The table had that "Loyal Order of The Moose Lodge" -aqua velva stench to it---Playing poker like the Joes, -Karaoke Poker a cheap imtation of -The Phil Helmeuth Starting hand requirements for pre flop raises—AA,KK,AKsuited JJ---lots of banter and very little card playing...and Jamie owned the table.

Sometimes nothing can be a good hand. Jamie made this great continuation bet, when he pre-raised, and flopped nothing, (He flashed his cards and I saw AK as the table folded and he mucked! ) One after another, players got spun with a no limit dyslexia, the inability to read the writing on the wall.

ROUNDER verses FLOUNDERS--The Fish were on the hook


For a poker Balla like Jamie, nothing is better than when that average Joe Player sits down at a poker table. Why? Because JOE just sat down with money he INTENDS to lose!

There is no more +EV situation, and most tables in a live poker room are filled with players exactly like that. When you treat No Limit Hold em as only a game of chance instead of skill, it is not a law of probability, it's a fact for games with negative expectations: Risk of ruin is 100%.
JOES verses PROS

Joe plays when he "feels" like it, a Pro, all the time! Call them perpetual shortcuts JOES make when losing poker ASAP; and as any of the PROS will tell you, they don't need cards to win--that's for amateurs. Pro Players specialize in other people's biases! especially that malignant optimistic one that beats its chest and says, "I'm the best player at the table".
Jamie's Secrets to Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players, Part Behavioral Finance-Part ART Part SCIENCE

The Six million dollar man's won and lost $1 Million Dollars on GSN's High Stakes to Poker's Royalty--- Brunson, Negreanu, Farha and Antonius, the cream of the crop; but did a lot better with the Joes, the bottom of the barrel: as he took down the $1000 buy in NLH game at the Bicycle Casino; as Vinny Bag a Donuts And Joe Six Pack "donated" to Jamie's buy in for Tomorrow's WPT Legends Of Poker $10K event.

My favorite hand Jamie ever played, on High Stakes Poker, Sent Patrik Antonius to Hellsinki. I wrote about it: Driving Raisey Daisey--750K Largest Pot in High Stakes Poker History


In the "This has nothing to do with poker" department...


And now the truth about lying... This is like VISA--priceless!


Apparently, Jamie Gold is one.(But his critics mean it in the nicest way---I don't have a problem with Jamie's "bluffs"---telling lies and getting paid is called Poker.

Jamie happens to have a pathological relationship with the truth, according to Defamer...

Jamie Gold never represented any of the people he keeps saying he has. Lies, lies, lies. He was an ASSISTANT, and then a very very junior agent at a small agency in the early 1990's who MIGHT have taken messages from some of these people, before forwarding them to their real agent. He is a classic Hollywood liar - other people's successes become his own, and his own failures become somebody else's. He has always had a pathological relationship with the truth...which makes him ideal for poker. Sigh. But have you noted his deranged ramblings about being the basis for the Ari Gold character in Entourage? What would your dancing Ari Emanuel mascot say!? It's really kind of sad, if you think about it; first taste of fame that he says he doesn't want, and he pops off a few corkers that defy credulity.

It's really freaking a lot of us out who have known him over the years, to hear these wild, ridiculous claims in the press; it is also crude that the mainstream media has never checked any of this out, and keeps calling him an ex-talent agent, and citing this long list of stars he has supposedly been instrumental in creating. He's an ex-talent agent like Naomi Campbell is an ex-actress - forgettable, failed and dangerous. He hasn't even managed or been an agent in years and years.

To be perfectly blunt, the only REAL celebrity Jamie Gold has ever personally signed and represented was Ron Jeremy. That's right. Ron The Hedgehog Jeremy. Not Jeffrey Wright. Not Lucy Liu, not Melora Walters, not Felicity Huffman, none of them. His agency was more like Talent Agency Waiting Room of the Damned. Think last stop on the downward spiral, and those were his clients. As for being James Gandolfini's rep (an actor he somehow managed to steal when he went solo for one disastrous year), that's a joke; that honor REALLY belonged to his ex-partner, who at that time wisely broke up with Jamie, probably right when he started repping porn stars. Which most of his former theatrical clients did, by the way; seems even they, in the ninth circle of agency rep hell, couldn't bear to be associated with Jamie Gold's Van Nuys Talent Hut.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you want!

Brick walls are there for a reason - they let us prove how badly we want things.

Play the Hand that you're dealt.

I wish I had said these things, but Randy Pausch, did; the Carnegie Mellon Prof who died two weeks ago at 47 to cancer. Here's his last lecture, made famous by You tube: (His last words are 76 minutes long! so even if you watch just a bit of it, you'll be inspired)




Here are the "Cliff Notes"
  • Always have fun
  • Dream big
  • Ask for what you want
  • Dare to take a risk
  • Look for the best in everybody
  • Make time for what matters
  • Let kids be themselves
"How do you get people to help you? By telling the truth. Being earnest. I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short-term."

* "Apologize when you screw up and focus on other people, not on yourself. How do I make a concrete example of that? See, yesterday was my wife's birthday. If there was ever a time I might be entitled to have the focus on me, it might be the last lecture. But no, I feel very badly that my wife didn't really get a proper birthday, and I thought it would be very nice if 500 people... [a birthday cake is wheeled on to the stage]."

* "Remember, brick walls let us show our dedication. They are there to separate us from the people who don't really want to achieve their dreams. Don't bail. The best of the gold's at the bottom of barrels of crap."

* "Show gratitude. When I got tenure I took all of my research team down to Disney World for a week. And one of the other professors said, 'How can you do that?' I said: 'These people just busted their ass and got me the best job in the world for life. How could I not do that?'"

* "Don't complain. Just work harder [shows slide of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player]. It was in his contract not to complain, even when fans spit on him."

* "Work hard. I got tenure a year early. Junior faculty members used to say to me, 'What's your secret?' I said, 'It's pretty simple: call me any Friday night in my office at ten o'clock and I'll tell you.'"

* "Find the best in everybody. You might have to wait a long time, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting, it will come out. And be prepared. Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity."

video

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

A good poker player is like a good QB. The Quarterback uses "the facts" before him to make adjustments, but sometimes the decision to "call an audible" is based on a "gut feel" for the situation. Some of the greatest plays ever have resulted from the QB calling an audible and changing the play.

Poker is a game of incomplete information, a game of situations. Q
B's are skilled at reading situations and being able to change plans "on the fly" in real time, under great stress.

Playing Poker When You Are short-stacked: The Hail Mary Flutie's Miracle in Miami Mistaken Agenda raises the risk of getting nothing over the possibility of a windfall! Winning in this way also has a way of turning money into problems. See an episode of THS Investigates: Curse of the Lottery!
Been there. Done That.
Rockstar Poker:
When you lose, you lose money,
and when you win, you lose the value of money.

Thinking is something that we do, not something that happens to us. It's not a feeling; it's a verb!

We like to think that we are thinking, but apparently a lot of our choices, at this point, in the HAIL MARY Offense are automatic. Especially when we are on the negative energy budget called TILT-taking more risks, unaware of risk free choices! like getting up from the table.

Making the wrong mistake at the right time--spotting someone the nuts and sucking out---works every time except once! -In fact, Poker on TILT plays, not like a sport, but a concussion. In a New York minute, an ACME anvil pancakes you, and then a split second later, you’re expanded - accordion-style - back to normal, like some tempurpedic mattress. It’s a formula of ins and outs, need and speed, aggravation and acceleration. Beep! Beep!

Ed Reif's brain is not " risk" averse, but "lose" averse... Last night, I got pocket Aces two times in a row, and re-raised All In twice to take down the small pots. I won small pots, not chips ---because AA win small pots and loses big ones--I had to do that because too many callers would have set me up for a bad beat-I had to isolate. I'd go heads up all-in with anyone and any two cards The optimal number of callers in any pot is not one however, it is zero! That's why first in money has so much "fold equity".


You can never get enough of what you really don't want. For instance: Playing to many starting hands, the Lay's Potato Chips "I can't eat just one" rookie style, becomes an all-you can eat buffet. It's like shopping when you're hungry. You buy too much....you should be folding 6 out of 10 hands in a full table cash game.

It is impossible for us to learn what we think we already know. At some point in our game we realize the poker world is divided into two categories, JOES that learn something new everyday, and PROS that un-learn something everyday. Guess who does the dividing?

Allow me to sound like a thing from another tax bracket, and quote some proud members of the right wing conspiracy, “We rich are different. We know when to leave.” Think Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing? Most of those guys knew when to bail. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Most poker pigs end up making hogs of themselves. They never get disgruntled.


On the other hand, Poker is about living with and moving through ambiguity---The Biology of Fear: Fight or flight—doesn't allow for that. Guys like Warren Buffet have leapfrogged over this common inate weakness---the inability to stay in the scary situation to create a better future response. There’s an evolutionary advantage to being able to hold off the reflexive fight-or-flight response while you work out a more sophisticated analysis of the situation and your options for dealing with it.


The human brain wants to take risks. Small but steady gains are not enough to keep the Hail Mary Agenda alive. It needs a higher hope in striking it rich , a windfall.

The Poker Universe always has the first move. There’s uncertainty with every hand? Yes, it’s always a coin flip, not always 50/50, sometimes 60/40.


Taking the 60/40 gives you a competitive advantage—it is part of the first rule of gambling/investing: Don’t Gamble.


We are, really living in a state of not knowing. Poker is a game of partial information. The right Brain nevertheless, cannot bear not to know, struggling with the here and now, and in a sense, is struggling with the entire universe-or should I say YOUniverse. Poker courage is doing it with heart, empowered and fully engaged without attachment to the outcome-Sure you want to win, but don’t personalize it!

Your left Brain Knows the 60/40 end of a proposition--- when to hold em and when to fold em--- when you have some competitive advantage over somebody else is so money. Don’t bet, Don’t gamble, Don’t invest, unless you have some competitive advantage.

Poker is a game of partial information, and when you have a competitive advantage you have to take into account this and, more important, behavioral factors. Read my post: What You Think Is Right Is Wrong With Your Game---The power of mind over money is rooted in mental bias .


What you believe is “real” will be real to you in its consequences---Reframing is a technique that reinterprets challenges, events and conflict, and maintains it in all its richness but helps you look at it in a more open-minded and hopeful way. Learn how to change your beliefs about bad beats, re-interpreting (reframing) what it means to lose, and what it means to be wrong. In essence, you have to change many of the beliefs that cause you to interpret poker information in a painful way. Otherwise Pain is For Sale, and you can’t get enough of what you don’t want. Give yourself a free pass to explore a different mind set.

What we perceive as reality is only a canvas waiting for us to draw upon it any picture we want. Create a whole new set of beliefs that allow you to see from a WTF carefree state of mind, as well as a set of beliefs that always compel you to act with rational self interests. You want to reach a point where you’re playing without hesitating, very much like the way Eli Manning played the last minutes in The Big Game.


Life 101’s DNA has programmed certain instructions to act, and then we are told by the culture how to act. And while we have to honor the reality of these things, at the same time, we have to reflect on the implications that carrying out these instructions would have on your poker game.


Fear For Sale: These top three fears come from the belief that we can change---the fear of being wrong, the fear of losing money, the fear of missing out and the fear of leaving money on the table.
There’s a saying, Biology is biography---the sum total of your “stress”ful thought creates your health/dis-ease situation—Ulcers, once badges of distinction of “Hard working” Fortune 500 executives, has begged the question, Why don’t Zebra’s get ulcers?

---because they don’t play poker! Not really, because they don’t have Prefrontal cortex dysfunction”.er I mean, To see patterns that aren’t there--- Pattern recognition in random data---the characteristic conceit of our species—to see Order in chaos— Holdem is too random to be left up to chance.


In the United States of Unconscious gambling--- our greedy national brain is always hallucinating. Our shared prediction addiction, delusions of references,lucky "streaks" and "rushes" make the gaming world safe for hypocrisy. Unfortunately we cannot outperform animals, when tested for this. That’s why Zebras don’t get ulcers. They don’t have 'common neural currency' for valuing the many different kinds of opportunities and situations we face as human decision-makers.


A Revolutionary way to think of an Evolutionary flaw---Don’t get caught up in micro patterns-the cognitive illusions . . ZOOM OUT—Instead of ZOOMING IN! Our brains react quickly to patterns and minute changes in our environment. We are not equipped to handle the randomness of chip swings;a formula of ins and outs, need and speed, aggravation and acceleration. It is "unnatural" and therefore, we attempt to create a storyline-- meaningful patterns---where there are none and base our poker decisions on erroneous assumptions.


The good news is that awareness of this phenomenon can make us better players.


psychology-based poker theories

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

Your Brain On Poker and Decision


Your bankroll increases when the LEFT brain gets good at telling the RIGHT brain what to do

How does it help to know that you're literally "of two minds"? The Limbic RIGHT and Analytic LEFT.


"My brain made me re-buy !”

The one lives in the United States of unconsciousness--- on insta call and auto pilot. The other lives in Singapore, a happy dictatorship of rules and reason. So what should our nervous system do?

If you are on a diet, and seconds is your favorite meal, it’s because the limbic “I want it now” dinosaur brain overrides the Analytical 21st Century “Wait and see” play-it-safe patient reward switch.

Think about the cost of doing something and it’s analytical. Enjoy the feeling of risk, it’s limbic. The money-making potential of this idea in your game should not be underestimated. Your bankroll increases when the left brain gets good at telling the right brain what to do. If you can name your demon, you have a chance to banish it. What motivates you to call or fold, or go all in—fear, or disgust? What inspires you-- the desire to gain something new and exciting—or maybe you just have the stone cold nuts?


Analysis is Paralysis

Think Long .
Think Wrong.

The Tipping Point: Start Thin Slicing

Hell is other people, and you usually meet them at a limit table! I spent a year there this weekend. It was three card no foldem holdem. Every hand went to showdown. Almost every pot was a family one, and the size of them were huge. After a while, it was just pushing around chips. I lost interest.

Expecting The Unexpected

The characteristic conceit of our species—to see Order in chaos.

Holdem is too random to be left up to chance!

If I have 50 Outs!, I am not going to be happy. The poker treadmill is not for me. That's why I like NLH, no limit holdem-- the poker roller coaster of the unexpected is exciting, and the payoff is 10x. to limit. Certain patterns of response to rewards seem to be biologically embedded in our brain; those tend to be the unexpected.

Poker is about partial information, and uncertainty. That means we're constantly having to choose actions without knowing what the outcome will be.

Game theory opts for the "rational"choice amid uncertainy; behavioral game theory has to consider emotional state. The most highly rational choice is the one with the highest expected value or utility--if that is the case, why gamble at all. Avoiding lose and maximizing return is that easy.

The first rule of gambling is don't gamble---It's all about presentation--Meat your meat--If I offered you 90% lean meat or 10% fat, is there a difference--Yes, in the way I framed it. The fact is my favorite animal is steak---and I don't eat my friends! I am a vegetarian--Meat is meat. Gambling is gambling.

Denial just ain't a river in Vegas

Poker players have to be masters at reframing, otherwise they couldn't handle the sting of loses. Some in therapy call this denial. We can expect a kind of botox for the brain to smooth out any cognitive wrinkle temperaments to our poker loses and even our accelerated learning on how to play better under conditions of uncetainty.

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