This is my first blog post and I plan to add more than talk about poker, to the content. So lets jump right in with the happiness treadmill and how it relates to dealing with wins and loses, in poker.
It appears that we are genetically programmed to prepare for the lean times, by engaging in activities that favor survival, such as acquiring food and passing on our genetic material. Today, survival behavior, entails more " greedy " acts, like acquiring money and engaging in all manner of materialistic pursuits, that please our genes and make us temporarily happy, but not for long. So what exactly does this have to do with poker ?
Well, I think it is important to maintain an emotional balance and understand why having balance is important. Have you ever won a few big pots and felt pleased? How about having taken a few bad beats and becoming more than just a little annoyed?
We inherited the genes of our ancestors, who happened to take enormous risks and certainly had a lot of gamble. They needed it, just to survive. So when we acquire something like money, we please our genes because the acquisition is a sign of progress, in terms of survival. When we lose some coin, we are not at all pleased (survival being threatened) and often make matters much worse.
Do numerous short term/immediate and regular gains produce long term happiness? Most studies find the answer is no. It is analogous to putting a lot of effort on a treadmill and going nowhere. So how can we benefit from this knowledge?
I think that having knowledge of our internal theatre will provide enormous gains by allowing us not to waste energy on short term results. We know why we get happy or mad, but we also know that definitive performance results require many, many hands. There is really no need to ride the exhausting and fruitless emotional roller coaster.
Ok, now a hand from a recent session.
I played the hand, in that manner, because I thought it would be a good time to balance my calling range in that particular spot. There was also the possibility that I would face a 3 bet, which is not bad, when you hold â€œthe hand.â€ Not surprisingly, that hand totally changed the dynamics of the table. I had a solid and unpredictable image, which seemingly left the others giving me a lot of repect, which in turn made it easy to win a number of non-showdown hands.
Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Holdâ€™em â€“ 6 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter
Hero (MP): $82.60
Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is MP with A A
UTG raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1.50, 3 folds, BB raises to $6, 1 fold, Hero raises to $14, BB raises to $37, Hero raises to $82.60 all in, BB calls $19.65 all in
Flop: ($115.05) J Q 4 (2 players â€“ 2 are all in)
Turn: ($115.05) 9 (2 players â€“ 2 are all in)
River: ($115.05) 4 (2 players â€“ 2 are all in)
Final Pot: $115.05
Hero shows A A (two pair, Aces and Fours)
BB shows K K (two pair, Kings and Fours)
Hero wins $112.05