July 07, 2011
How come we can give advice easily but its often hard to take?
A question which has just popped into my mind is this:
If you were to take a clone of yourself, absolutely identical to you in every single aspect, but your job was to coach your clone how to play better poker, WHAT would you do?
What I mean by this and to understand it, takes a bit non-conventional thinking. Let me try to explain - have you ever known a player who has similar results to yourself, yet you can JUST SEE that IF THEY ONLY DID X-Y-or-Z they would increase their win margin DRAMATICALLY!?!
When we look at another players game, we make our best efforts to see their flaws and we look to exploit them in order for us to make our edge on them turn into profit.
When we look at another players game, we can see their flaws in different aspects and use this against them at the tables.
When a friend of ours wants us to look at their play over a certain period of time and assess on where they can improve, we can look at their game OBJECTIVELY and make very good often brilliant analysis on where they are going wrong, things they can do to improve their edge in specific spots, places where they can be tighter/looser, places where they need to just sit down and have a word with themselves, aspects which are kind of intangible individually but when we add up different intangibles together we can say overall you can improve on this part of your game.
In fact, it is pretty easy to do.
So, WHY is it so hard to do for ourselves?
Lets try a thought experiment:
Imagine you take your database of results over the past 200,000 hands that went to showdown and swap that database with another player who plays the same limits in the same types of games completely at random. All of the screen names are removed to anonymous, your sn becomes hero, your opponents you face day in day out become villain and all the other players in-between become in where they are sat simply as SB, BB, UTG, MP, CO, BTN. Then, again at random you both agree to analyse 25% of the hands of other players database, I'm sure they could be done in some kind of random fashion with some kind of algorithm. Your goal now is to go through this database of the remaining 50,000 hands chosen at random so that you have to find the leaks of that player you are analysing.
Within a short time period I am certain you could find a huge majority of the leaks that this random player has by diving into the filters of HEM and reviewing all the different situations where he loses more money than he should, wins less money than he should, and even the spots where he is playing near perfect and explain why he is doing all of these things.
Now imagine that after you have done your analysis on the random player at the same limits and games you play, you have to present to him the ways he can improve, areas he can work on, things he does well which can be done better, things he does badly which can be made to become less and suggest all the things he can work on to drastically improve his game.
Here comes the fun bit - just before you meet this player and are ready to tell him his leaks, you have to wait behind a curtain before you can tell him what you have found. This builds up the anticipation, You begin to question your analysis. Further, you begin to wonder if he will become defensive about your advice; is your advice driven out of other motives, are you jealous of his winrate because he crushes/do you feel sorry for him because he sucks so bad? Whatever, you sit there and realise, this is the data and this advise is IMPARTIAL, you have found the leaks in this players game and the facts dont lie, you say to yourself.
Well now its time to meet the random player who you have been helping find their leaks. The drums roll, the crowd awaits, the spotlights are ready, its lights, camera, ACTION!
*CURTAINS ARE RAISED*
Finally, all is revealed.. You are staring at a mirror
HOW WOULD YOU COACH YOURSELF?