Confirmation bias

    • 1984ioc
      1984ioc
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.07.2011 Posts: 712
      Hey Strategists,just wondering has anyone out there ever studied this with regards to poker.Something i have been thinking alot about recently with regards to my game and how it is effecting it.

      Below are some of the examples i seem to gather from my experience (some might say my selective memory but i don't believe this to be true).I have tried to keep a neutral state of mind.

      Cash out curse: Recently going on bad runs after cashing out which i do alot.I play NL10 and not bragging or anything but crushing it fairly well at the moment.I am happy at this level(i have played higher) as i make money on it without having to deal with the larger swings at higher levels.At the moment,i am not motivated for moving up,just happy making a couple of hundred a month.

      Kings and Queens getting cracked the majority of the time and overall lately i am down money with these hands and not up: I am fully aware of variance and large samples etc. but still feel annoyed with these hands in the last 2 months.With these thoughts in my head i go into the hands not feeling confident which i wonder does if affect how i play them though i don't think i play them differently (aggro and no probs sticking KK all in pre -flop).

      Some other examples would be having alot more success with suited connectors than having higher pairs as starting hands.Also seem to find small stacked fish at tables huge trouble.I know i am a better player than them but seem to end up losing to them and letting them tilt me more than i should.


      These are just some of the thoughts that i have gathered from playing alot of poker in the last 2/3 months (roughly 25,000/30,0000 hands) if not more.I don't use a HUD yet but will be getting one soon as though i am happy with my game i know that i have so much more to learn/analyse etc.


      Just wondering has anyone any feedback on this and as i asked at the start has anyone read into or studied it.I have not read any poker books so am not sure is there much out there on it.

      Ian
  • 8 replies
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,923
      Hi Ian,

      Sounds to me like your having some confidence issues at the minute and of course there is nothing wrong with that at all. It affects each player from time to time and it can offer you a great chance to become a stronger player.

      Right now, you are over-thinking pretty much every scenario and looking for faults in the wrong places. As I said, we all do it, we are all humans at the end of the day and we try to seek patterns that don't exist to satisfy ourselves.

      You know yourself that Variance is a big part of Poker and that sometimes the Poker Gods can be very unkind to us. That's why this time can be perfect for us to make ourselves stronger as players.

      Have you read all our psychology articles? There is some nuggets of gold in those articles and I would suggest that you read all that information and take stock at this time. Follow this link for all psychology articles

      I would also, take some time to study your hand-histories. Assuming you use a tracking software to enhance your game, try finding any leaks you may possibly have unknown to yourself.

      If you have lost your appetite for the game, why not try taking a few days away from the game altogether and do some other stuff? Go out with friends, have a beer (although not too many!) Sometimes, even a day or two away is all you need to get your confidence back and come back and start printing those $$$ again.

      I really hope this was helpful and that you start believing in yourself again!


      Kind regards,
      Gary
    • 1984ioc
      1984ioc
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.07.2011 Posts: 712
      Thanks for the reply Gary and much appreciated for the links to the psychology section which i haven't gone through yet.I will not only find them helpful but interesting as well as that part of the game interests me alot.

      The thread isn't really about me having a bad run at all.In fact over the last few months i am doing really well.What got me thinking about all this was i lost alot after cashing out a few times and naturally had my "poker is fkn rigged" moment.I'm sure a few of us have been there and it tilted the hell out of me.While of course i don't believe it,what im saying is that my mind was convinced that it was at the time,if that makes any sense.

      I just wanted to start a thread about the whole "confirmational bias" to find how other players are affected by it and what they in turn did about it.Also as you have already directed it to me,i wanted to know was there any articles etc. about it.

      Thanks for your kind words and help.

      Don't have a tracker yet but will be getting one soon so might take you up on that offer sometime ;-).

      Ian
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,923
      Hi again Ian,

      No need to thank me, the mod team and admins are here to help you throughout your stay so never be afraid to ask anything.

      Honestly, I think you are searching for answers that you will never find. It doesn't make sense for the Poker Rooms to punish you for cashing out. I can see your point of view though, so don't get me wrong. I used to think about it too.

      Have you read the Poker Mindset? It is a really enjoyable book and has some great hints and tips in there too. You can't go wrong with our Psychology articles though, they cover everything that you need to know.

      We also have our own Psychology coach here, Jared Tendler. He is running a Q and A thread here, so don't be afraid to ask him anything you need to. You may also find some quality information within that thread that many other members have.

      All the best my friend and long may the success continue,

      Kind regards,
      Gary
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      hey 1984ioc :)

      im studying psychology at uni and i'm thinking about doing some research into errors in logic for my dissertation which obviously includes confirmation bias, so i might see if i can write some sort of essay on it at some point in the future and post it on here cos i think it's important for people to understand these things, especially as poker players.

      not long ago i was thinking the same thing about my KK always being up against AA whenever i get into a preflop battle and eventually thought that whenever my KK raise gets 3 bet i was up against AA without a doubt. after a short break i sat and remembered learning about confirmation bias and tried to remember the times my KK was up against dominated hands and at that point i realised i was just forgetting the times the bad boys held up. i can't remember who said it but its true about remembering the bad beats much more than the times you win. i think that a lot of people feel they are entitled to pots when they are a favourite but fail to realise that they will never win in that situation 100% of the time (unless your sat with ze nutz).

      i think the best thing is for people to simply realise that their memory is indeed selective and in fact i'm convinced this is the reason why there are so many people creating "fkn rigged" threads. its almost like a cry for sympathy when variance hits them hard, and that coupled with the possibility that they are not quite the great poker player they thought they were, they look to blame someone/something else. i'm sure if people start to understand things like confirmation bias and apply it to their game they will not only improve but its possible that they will tilt less.

      my 2c :)

      oh and i haven't read anything about it in terms of poker but i'm sure someone has written about it. i would be interested to read it if you come across anything so let me know if you find something :s_thumbsup:
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,923
      Thank you DrDunne for saying what I couldn't put into words :)
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      no probs dude, i'm happy to help wherever i can with topics like this. i find it fascinating :D
    • 1984ioc
      1984ioc
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.07.2011 Posts: 712
      Great reply DrDunne,cheers.I believe my game has improved since i have become to understand it more.It's like you have to outthink what your mind is telling you which is pretty ironic.As you also stated you will start to tilt less once you start to understand these things better.I now tell myself when i get a bad beat even from ridiculous hands that even though they shouldn't have been in the hand in the first place that the person who played the ridiculous hand is entitled to play whatever way he wants and as we know anything can happen in poker so if you get the bad beat just put it out of your mind st8 away and move on.

      Easier said then done i know but the more you do it the easier it becomes.Tilt was the main cause whenever my bankroll took a hammering.The bad beat was what ignited it but then my state of mind and bad play that followed it cost me more than the bad beat itself.A knock on effect.Definitely important to keep long term thinking and strategy in mind and not just focus on short term results.Play your A game constantly and the results will follow.

      If you ever write that essay DrDunne i would love to read it,if you wouldn't mind.As i know now and from asking Jared Tendler i think we often neglect how important the psychology is in the game including mental state and focus.

      I will be getting The Poker Mindset asap Gary.Been recommended to me b4 so will pick it up this week and let you know how i found it.Have heard nothing but good reviews about it.

      Ian
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,923
      Originally posted by 1984ioc


      I will be getting The Poker Mindset asap Gary.Been recommended to me b4 so will pick it up this week and let you know how i found it.Have heard nothing but good reviews about it.

      Ian
      You can't go wrong with The Poker Mindset in my opinion. The Psychology articles I linked you to earlier are equally as good, if not even better and you will probably find a lot of the same information in both.

      Please let us know how you get on Ian and I hope you are back printing those $$$ very, very soon.

      All the best,
      Gary