November 13, 2009
Something I have noticed while playing a lot of live poker is that there is so little critical thought processes going on in the majority of players. I suppose a little background on myself will play an important role in this entry. I am a science fanatic. I am constantly reading about almost any sort of physical science; astronomy, geology, biology, etc. I am also a huge fan of skepticism, (actual skepticism, not moon hoaxers and 9/11 â€œtruthersâ€) Iâ€™m talking about needing data before I accept a claim. Real data. No, a grainy photograph someone took of a dark room showing some sort of shadow is not evidence for a ghost, sorry. Nor is a funny light in the sky that I cannot explain. More than likely there is someone that CAN explain it, and even if there isnâ€™t the odds that its a visiting civilization are extraordinarily low.
So back to poker. I am constantly amazed at how much confirmation bias there is with most casual players. How many times do we hear â€œyea 9 3 is my favorite hand, it hits all the time.â€ Remembering the hits and forgetting the misses is how any psychic medium works when they are â€œcontacting the dead.â€ This is totally applicable to poker hands. The casual player remembers every time 9 3 hits for him, and completely forgets the vast majority of the time that it doesnâ€™t go well. A perfect example is weathermen. I constantly hear how the local weather man screws up the forecast and doesnâ€™t know what they are doing. Actually reflect on how amazingly accurate weather forecasts are these days. Yes they get it wrong once in a while and its funny and ironic to comment on, however the majority of the time it is almost spot on. There is no reason to go â€œwow, another day the weather man knows what he is doing!â€ We forget the misses. These sort of thought processes go on at a poker table all the time, Iâ€™m sure that it happens online as well, but I am primarily a live player. For obvious social reasons it is much easier to pick up conversations about how Q2 is a favorite players hand in a live encounter. I think someone paying attention to such statements can pick up lots of useful information about a player and his line of thinking. I usually just smile and nod, altho inside I am just cringing at the lack of critical thinking going on, whether Iâ€™m at a poker table or somewhere else in life. Think critically friends, whether at the poker table or not, it is one of the most important lessons in my opinion.