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StrategyPsychology

Attitude towards Money

Introduction

In this article
  • Three different kinds of players
  • Attitute towards money and chips

Disinhibition through Abstraction

The profit of the gambling industry and the success of poker pros has to do with the abstraction of money to a minimally important role. The greatest boom to the curators of casino games was the introduction of chips. Instead of using imposing bills with the stern faces of puritanical American presidents drawn on them, like hard earned money, all you get is some pretty colored chips.

A bank note is already an abstraction of work or value on which it is based. People who are not good with money forget how hard they have to work for it. Chips are an abstraction of an abstraction, and thus even further removed from reality. Everyone knows what can be bought with cash, but you can't use your chips in a store, for all their glittering. Their appearance suggests a cool lifestyle. They send enticing messages to the subconscious. Hoards of product designers and psychologists have put strenuous effort into making the perfect play money. Play money that can be easily thrown about.

A further revolution was the introduction of online casinos. Now you don't even get chips in your hand, no haptic sensation to remind you of their worth. Online chips don't have to be shoved around the table. Online chips can be moved with a simple click of the mouse. The door and gate for disinhibitation both stand wide open.

The Characters

The Uninhibited
Online poker is so profitable because players forget the money on which the game is based because of the multiple abstractions of the money's value. For some players online poker is like an exciting videogame. A weak call is easy to make with the muscles in a single finger. It's tempting to stay in the race and get some action, but a dumb bluff is also just a click away.

There are two strategic implications: More people call and bluff in online poker. This is contradictory, since the bluffs lose profitability because of the loose calling. He who understands this will make more money. What, then, is to be done? In comparison to live poker, bluff less and make more calldowns on aggressive bluffers.
The Grounded One
The player who remains grounded is not taken in by the abstraction of money and is careful with his chips. This also means he also has two potential weaknesses: passiveness and fear. He's often a moderately winning player. He gets his money from the uninhibited.

Many players of this type don't have what it takes to go pro. They are too careful. Hold'em is a game where aggression pays. If I take 100 dollars and think about it's equivalent value, (say, 2 pairs of jeans or 8 meals out), I'll be too impaired by fear to apply the aggression that is required. Moreover, I'll be very disappointed if I lose (and potentially start tilting).
The Pro
The pro takes lessons from both the uninhibited types and the grounded and blends them perfectly to suit his needs. In the short term he handles his money with a deliberate disdain (misers will have trouble climbing to the top rung). His attention is on long term financial gain. He knows that this is the true measure of his success. The pro player separates the chips in his hand from their true financial worth. He thinks of them as big bets. He gets his profit from the uninhibited and in much smaller amounts from the grounded.



 

Comments (10)

#1 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 14:29

ok

#2 jp2570, 04 Jan 09 22:59

Not sure if it is just my computer but the sound quality of the audio explanation is very poor

#3 Taiwan185, 09 Jan 09 15:40

How to know who were bluffers?<br /> Find out the way and earn the money from table.

#4 SPeedFANat1c, 23 Jan 09 21:38

when I play in browser, the quality is bad, but when I downloaded and played with winamp the quality was ok.

#5 LemOn36, 10 Oct 10 13:05

the definition of pro seems very similar to uninhibited :)

#6 Salivanth, 02 Jan 11 13:47

Seems like a pro is uninhibited in the short-term, and grounded in the long-term. He's okay to be aggressive with his chips, but is a miser with his bankroll.

#7 SPADES1, 30 Jan 11 18:04

Not so bad, simple but effective.

#8 svendeucer, 06 Apr 11 21:14

"A further revolution was the introduction of online casinos. Now you don't even get chips in your hand, no haptic sensation to remind you of their worth. Online chips don't have to be shoved around the table. Online chips can be moved with a simple click of the mouse. The door and gate for disinhibitation both stand wide open."<br /> which is why i when moving to online poker started having a chip stack in front of me and moving it accordingly

#9 Pouserly2, 12 Aug 11 09:10

Still a good and interesting read.

#10 ShawnlovesShawn, 26 Jul 14 11:12

These psychology articles are the bong man!