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Relationship of poker and money

    • jmackenzie
      Joined: 04.06.2008 Posts: 1,268
      Following a read of a fellow poker players blog strat9 I came across a post from waiboy that really made me think

      Originally posted by Waiboy

      Well, I would assume one of your main objectives, like a lot of us, is to play with maximum profitably for your time at whatever limit/s that may be ie to maximise $/hour. Using BRM this is a combination of what limits your bankroll allows you to play and BB/100 you can maintain on those limits.

      In the short - medium term, things like bankrolls and winrates will show a combination of the quality of your play at the limit you play, the quality of your opponents via table selection (and I guess generally at your current limit), and variance.

      The question you really have to ask yourself is - what can you control?

      I know bankroll and winrates are an indicator of your standard of play, but honestly, with variance and table selection they can mask flaws in your game.

      The hardest thing I think is to learn to divorce yourself from focusing on these outcome based measures and REALLY FOCUS HARD on the quality of your play. This is really the only way these outcomes will, long term, improve to the levels you want them to.

      Sorry, think I'm starting to ramble a bit, but this is something I've been trying to apply myself for a while AND IT IS HARD!!! And apologies as I'm using this post as a bit of cathartic exercise for myself... I'll edit it without complaint if you wish. :D

      I've just had a bit of a dummy spit because of poor results (ie BR and Win rate). What really set me off though, was the realisation that this is because of poor play that had been masked by +ve outcomes.

      Brass tacks here, if your winrate is poor you should PRIMARILY focus on improving your game. If your winrate is outstanding you should PRIMARILY focus on improving your game.

      All this other stuff is short term and/or mostly peripheral. Moving up/down limits for BRM purposes should be functional, whether you do it quickly or slowly (based on winrate).

      So what is the answer? Find a way of divorcing yourself from the outcomes of your play, and focus on improving the process. I'm using a break from playing to do this. I have been getting waayyy too outcome focused and this has been masking a lot of my bad play. Hopefully I come back a better player for it.

      Have I responded to your post? I think I'm slightly off topic (sorry)!

      To reply in brief:

      Stop playing while having a positive session? Outcome focused.
      Stop playing when not playing well / your A game. Process focused.

      Move up limits with 2BB/100 winrate? Outcome focused.
      Move up / down limits based on fixed BRM levels. Process focused (and not emotive).

      And if you find yourself focusing on outcomes in any given session/day/week while playing or reviewing, find a trigger to stop yourself. Improving your game is, IMO, THE most important thing, and most relevant point of focus, for all of us working our way through the limits.
      You really hit the nail on the hammer with this...

      Unfortunatly for me it is hard to really take in sometimes because its very hard for me (+many others) to not be results orientated, as at the end of the day thats what nearly all players are playing for.

      What I have quickly realised for me though is that winrate and money are what I want but to help get it and keep it, I want a true understanding of the principles of probabilites especially in poker and how to deal with them in the most effective manner, which is reached most effieciently by constant improvement in my game.

      One of the first things I must therefore be able to do is to de-sensitize myself from money when it is used as part of a poker bankroll. I dont want it affecting my play and most importantly effecting my mood in life outside of poker.

      What I would like to discuss is how this can be trained into your brain in an effective way.

      I guess ill post a few ideas to get the ball started. (these are by no means optimal ideas and in part why I wanted to start this discussion,)

      1.Starting with a limited or no bankroll playing limits at which the money played for means absolutely nothing to you.


      3.Rewarding yourself for learning and implying those learnt strategies into a game.

      I actually like the 1st idea of mine but not for the reason you may expect.

      First off you'd have to battle with yourself over whether its a complete utter waste of time, which at first I thought valid point. Then I went back over it and thought why do I think this is so... Thanks to this capitilist world I live in from an early age it was drilled into me that time = money, something that contradicts my main current aim of improving my poker play. The other factor ofcourse, is there may be alternatives which help to accomplish this aim of mine just as well in a quicker period of time. Maybe you guys can help me see this :P

      Second of all You may think there is no need to learn when you are playing at such low stakes as you can easily win there anyway. Yet another obstruction to making sure my game is improving at all times, there is always extra big-bets to be acquired off fishes somehow.
  • 2 replies
    • roswellx
      Joined: 05.12.2008 Posts: 599
      IMO, being result oriented is not a bad thing. But a must on the way of achieving what you want from poker. Since your win rate is the only FEEDBACK for your quality of your game, it cannot be avoided. The most successful companies, or profitable say to so, are not always which produce the best quality products. Best companies are those which satisfy the needs of people and more importantly they satisfy much more people than others so their proift is greater than others. Of course quality is an important factor but shouldn't be seperated from win rate.
    • andyb43
      Joined: 23.07.2008 Posts: 903
      Hi roswellx,

      IMO winrate is not the way to measure your success at poker. Whether your moves on the poker table are -ev or +ev and not the result of the moves is more accurate.

      Comparing poker to business to poker is a flawed argument. As a businessman there is no way I would let luck (variance) play such a large role in the outcome of business desicions or ventures (unless you are a banker :D ). e.g.If you make the best widget and sell it at the best price .i.e. AA , you have nothing to fear from a rival company producing poor quality expensive widgets i.e. J 3os - in poker though you do.