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Poker is considered the purest of games; and No Limit Holdem (NLH) is surely the purest of the "sacred" illnesses, also known as, addictions, because it is behavioral rather than chemical. see Grey Matters- In search of The All-In Molecule

Gambling isn’t as scandalous as writing about it.You can’t be a poker blogger and not think about addiction. It’s like not thinking about death because it lasts too long. More than that, there is very little difference biologically between what is going inside the head of a drug addict and a poker "pro". There is no shame, however, in being a Poker Pro, only in still being one, once you realize your brain made you re-buy.

Furthermore, as the selfish
brain fears death and looks for predictable experiences, poker is a great placebo that hijacks the brain with a predictable surprise: card players are surprised if they win and surprised if they lose. see: Poker= f(dopamine flow); Money= happiness in the United States of Unconsciousness

It's not winning that makes a winner, but losing. The excitement is not from the winning, it's avoiding the disaster, because you're flirting with it every day. It's not like every game you play is the Super Bowl, but every game is the Playoffs.

Let's drill down and go even further: Poker is not unique from Crack. It is crack. The way the system works is if we get rewarded in a surprising way, dopamine is released and that kind of alerts the brain how that is going to happen again.

There really is no way for your brain to differentiate, between a
love affair, or the behavior of gambling, ie.the pursuit of a fast buck or for that matter, pursuing a drug. When run amok, drugs, alcohol (Substances) and sex and poker (behavior) are not unique "moral" challenges, but brain diseases.

The disease of poker is especially destructive because it affects the very brain areas that people need to play good poker---thinking straight, applying good judgment, and making good decisions for their lives (It messes with Executive Function, seeking a short-term gain at the expense of a large long-term lose). Gambling thinking is magical thinking, the selfish brain competing for your finite resources and instead of mindfulness, you get mindlessness.

Just as in "diseases" like diabetes or asthma, The Poker affliction can be managed through proper treatments and individual responsibility.It's a brain disease,and a consumer choice. It doesn't show a lack of will power, for even the mantra "Everything In Moderation" provide an excuse for (the) bad behavior.

What is a habit but self-discipline? Yet, consider you are not playing because you like to; you are doing it because you have to, especially if your playing poker usurps all other "normal" activities, like sleeping,eating and drinking.

and now:

The Demographics of Overconfidence--- Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players

Men Behaving Badly or My Brain Made Me Re-buy

You gotta be willing to die, however, in order to live, to be a great player: to Go All In with the best or bluff with the worst. Consequently, T
here's no such thing as good and bad math in holdem: 1+1=infinity, but they are empty infinities of bliss and death, an abyss of divine enjoyment. This is the Sex of Poker, your bargain with chaos. Are your ready to shuffle up and deal with it?

You see,
Poker Doesn't think. It is an infinite game;the overall phenomenon of NLH has no end. It is always a frontier, always on the edge .The rules are simple but the dynamics of the game are ruthless: it is designed to F with you. For instance: If playing against 5 other opponents there are more than 9.7 trillion possible hand combinations that could come up.

Once in a while there's a night when you get exactly where you're trying to go. Magic. Then you chase that memory for a while. (Nostalgia) But precisely because you so want to get there it becomes harder and harder
. If you think long, you think wrong, it make your game weaker because Poker doesn't think.

Like you(th), poker is best understood in retrospect: from within the experience, you cannot see it for what it is. see: Feel Athletic, go to a sports bar; feel lucky, a casino.

Denial is a River in Vegas
The future is not what it used to be---neither is taking risks --thanks to Wall Street's Viagra up and down math and after math, even number atheists and non "investors" get the picture. The market cannot be controlled and neither can a deck of cards.

Poker is not a form of gambling---but gambling is a form of poker
Most market theories and models assume “investors” are rational decision makers who act in their own best interests. But, in reality, our investment brain often drives us to do things that are quite illogical, but make perfect emotional sense.

Ipod Shuffle Mode-Delusions of Reference
Poker’s patterns are not our own. There is no order to this chaos. Less an illusion of control, more a delusion of reference, magical thinking, however, may lead you to believe you have found a Super System.
Poker is more reflective of real-life "wild" randomness because No-Limit has major strategic and tactical components to it that is mashed up with the quasi-dealer element of a shuffled deck.

Think of the ipod shuffle mode----the shuffle mode has an algorithm that randomizes the selection of songs that your IPod can select. Any 'pattern' you discern from what songs your IPod selects is illusory. Just because you los
t five times in a row, doesn’t mean you are “due” to win one. Yet, Motion Creates Emotion...not progress.

I’ll talk about Discounting The Future in this post; a mental bias that affects all sorts of risky behavior---from the paradox of smoking cigarettes in the healthy conscious USA to the fact that more people in America die from over eating rather than starvation, fast food for a fast world. But let's move from th
e United States of Unconscious eating,Your brain on French Fries to Unconscious Gambling, your brain on Poker and Decision

The quicker you go, the longer it takes---That's why Instant Gratification Takes Too Long. Perform the Psychological Judo and
Procrastinate NOW! because Infinite Patience brings immediate results to your game.

The Impatience of Patience

There is Mr. Right and Mr Right NOW---Players very robustly want instant gratification right now, and want to be patient in the future.
Instead of inspiring caution, when we risk money, our brains' typical response to this uncertainty is to sharply reduce the importance of the future in our decision-making, an effect known in Behavioral Finance as hyperbolic discounting.

Most Rounders know hand values and preflop strategy, but post flop is where a bit of hyperbole comes in. This irrational affliction is ubiquitous in the DNA of grinders; a mind over money problem,er, I mean challange, valuing imminent hands over future ones.

Poker's outward simplicity-The ability to affect the outcome is present, unlike roulette. If no one sees any cards, the cards did not play a role in the outcome. Thus, the outcome was determined by the betting of the players, clearly a process of skill or strategy. If he checks bet. If he bets raise. If he re-raises, go All -In. Put the commitment on him; last in money creates the edge instead of First Money Vigorish. see First in Money is so pre 9 Eleven

There is no YES in Yesterday, because of the luck factor and the fact that poker is situational, you don't learn from you mistakes, you un-learn from them.

Consequently, The future isn't what it used to be because it is perfectly reasonable to "think" you will suck out and get lucky. (That makes it a thinking problem, not a gambling one). In fact, those who think about the past (scared money) have no future. You see, Too much respect for money, therefore, makes you a bad no limit holdem player. This game is sick, isn't it? Check please.

Spending Your Derelict You(th) at the Poker table
A little past playing good is playing badly.

"There is no shame in being a poker pro, only in staying one" Ed Reif Wise and Otherwise 2007

In order to open the Black Box up after your game crashes, there shouldn’t be any disconnect between what I’m doing and what I want to be the future...But on some level, there always is.

Forget about the degeneracy that surrounds poker. the addiction, drug and alcohol use, depression, and sleep deprivation. After all, Few things are harder to put up with than a good example--- If it wasn't for pimps, prostitutes, hustlers, gangsters there wouldn't be any No Limit Poker as we know it today.

There was a time when one could almost be afraid to call himself a poker player because it meant so much, now it means so little. You are not keeping up with the Joneses. You’re dragging them down to your level on the green felt jungle.

It's like using Visa or MasterCard--- You(th)buy(s) things they can’t afford on a credit card, and as a result you get to buy less over the course of your lifetimes.

After all, Who thinks of saving for retirement when the urge to merge and spend is always on and ever present. Who thinks of Insurance? I am in the business of creating risk. Insurance protects me from risk, you're betting you're gonna lose, you're gonna get sick, you're gonna get in an accident. Nah, I'll bet on me, and fund the risk myself.

Putting some quo in your status or “But there’s Still A Chance”

If you ask people, ‘Which do you want right now, Vegetables or Pizza ?’ they say, ‘Pizza !’

But if you ask, ‘Which one a week from now?’ they will say, ‘Vegetables .’ Now we want Pizza , beer and cigarettes. In the future, we want to eat Vegetables , Vitamins, and drink Evian bottled water.

Likewise, you can always tell a poker player, but you can't tell them much---about holdem being a game of position, about holdem being a game of (selective) aggression, about folding 60% of your starting hands.

Ah, but you are going to need a compelling reason to fold more starting hands. As long as you remember your choices as better than they actually were (Using the past to predict the future), there's more pain for sale. (Your brain made you re- buy).

There is never a certain prescribed way to play a hand, just a way to think about them. I've had racks of chips only to be felted 14 hours later because instead of an attitude of gratitude, I personally have the Mick Jaggar Tumbling Dice "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing"soundtrack playing. There is no limit like no limit!

Holdem is too random to be left up to chance so you want to play against people who say, “But there’s still a chance” or better yet, “But they were suited!” Most players will gravitate towards low probability high payoff bets. Most players experience risk in the short-term thinking that money doesn’t grow on trees but trees grow to the sky.

To short circuit this kind of thinking, simply ask yourself, If they weren’t suited , would you still play them---Of Course not. Making decisions by accepting the default option-But they were suitedand There’s always Bob (Hope) is hopeless. Yet something that everyone knows isn’t worth knowing.

Choosing Preferences over Outcomes

It's not success or failure only outcomes.It's not about winning or losing, but exceling and making good decisions in spite of the outcome! ER

Poker is, first and foremost, a game of managing resources, or if non are available, being resourceful. You can explain anything with preferences- For example “I always play 7 deuce unsuited”. It’s The Hammer. 7-2 off suit is considered the worst hand in Texas Hold'em. ... Because it is the worst, some players will play it for fun, and will continue to keep betting, even if they expect to lose This .Belief perseverance-that you can spike that one out, and get lucky is every where in Poker, the seductive NOW moment in the the game. It's becoming a routine observation.

This malignant optimism can create the happy accident-- you can get lucky 100% of the time....on any one hand.

This is a predictable surprise in holdem, the cost of doing "Business" are chips, and BAD BEATS are the overhead!

Playing holdem without a helmet

This is one of the secrets to Beating America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players:Most players are experience rich and technique poor. They most likely are gambling not betting. This is your demographic of"overconfidence", of magical thinking,Every Americon Gambler is only a hand away from a very humbling wake-up call.

Most people will choose preferences over outcomes. like playing Russian roulette and saying to yourself "You have a 5/6 chance of surviving. People sometimes select the choice they put less monetary value on. That is why calling to the river is a way of folding. The Cult of the amateur has drunk the kool-aid. The close choice of say, a heavy metal fan of Metalica verses Mozart Effect. The glass is not half full, it’s not big enough for gamblers. If you swim in the river, you drown in the river. Things don't even out with time, they even out with the number of hands you play against "fish" PS Don't tap the Aquarium, you'll scare the fish.

Every hand of poker is a series of risk/reward decisions. America's 92 Million Irrational Poker Players cannot always figure out what is in their best interest.

Money and risk are abstract, complex things. We act less rationally, less logically, and more emotionally when playing cards. When your left brain gets good at telling your right brain what to do, you even the score, and gain a competitive advantage.


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