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Old 05-28-2011, 09:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14
Congratulations on your card playing abilities. I have never played poker unless you consider one evening where I donated money to everyone sitting at the same table.

However I do play other card games like bridge. I have played with or near life masters and the effort they put into the game is amazing.

They master observation of tells, determining the actual card in the hands by bids and point values. Also logic of play is involved in the finesse of a trick that a less skilled player would not make.

I have determined the only "safe" game for me is roulette because I know the odds are heavily stacked against me. An early win and I pull off the winning as each further spin only confirms my probably demise.

Should I win a few poker hands I might delude myself about my skill level.
Serious question: How do you justify to yourself taking the money of people who just are not at your level?

I mean I know they are there voluntarily, very similar to the stock and bond markets, but how is this really much different than playing a retarded person tick tack toe for money?

Do you ever take a player aside and tell them confidentially that they are in way above their head? Perhaps these players are just slightly below your level.

Many times in life I could have hosed less knowledgeable or slower people in business transactions and didn't. Was I a saint or a fool?
While you have some great ideas, Ready, It has been my experience, including my own, that people have to learn the hard way, especially when it comes to betting/gambling. A lot of people will hang to the clinging idea, that their luck will change, or they had some bad breaks. Plus, while everyone likes to make money, some just love the challenge and are willing to lose money to "be in the hunt". If it isn't destroying the finances, why not?
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:36 PM   #22
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One thing to keep in mind is that very few people are able to accurately assess their skill at poker.

Like driving, it is something that everyone thinks they are good at.

The luck factor in the game is huge, so even most bad players have a fair number of winning nights. To get into the math of it, the standard deviation of the game is probably 10-15 times what someone's longterm win rate is. So if someone is good enough to win $20/hr, they will have some hours where they win $620, and some where they lose $580 (three standard deviations). The bad players will have a similiar distribution, but just shifted down to win $580/lose $620. Note that these are wild simplifications, but it means that you're rarely playing someone bad enough that you need to feel bad about winning.

Trying to tell someone that they're over-matched is almost impossible. The odds are, they think you're the actual terrible player

Most of the time, the edge that a good player has over a bad player (unless they are really, really bad) is not gigantic. It's probably no higher than the house edge in roulette.

People happily dump money to the casinos for entertainment. Poker is just a game where they dump money to the other players for entertainment. And win or lose, poker is a lot more fun than any other game in the casino.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 View Post
Should I win a few poker hands I might delude myself about my skill level.
Serious question: How do you justify to yourself taking the money of people who just are not at your level?

I mean I know they are there voluntarily, very similar to the stock and bond markets, but how is this really much different than playing a retarded person tick tack toe for money?

Do you ever take a player aside and tell them confidentially that they are in way above their head? Perhaps these players are just slightly below your level.

Many times in life I could have hosed less knowledgeable or slower people in business transactions and didn't. Was I a saint or a fool?
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:55 PM   #23
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When someone sits at a poker table, they do it knowing full well that they might lose their money. They know that they might not be good enough to win but they do it anyway. The challenge of it is what makes it fun.

If I could see everyone at the tables cards, the game wouldn't be fun. I would win a lot of money but it wouldn't give me a rush. The rush is why people gamble in the first place.

What am I supposed to do? Play with only people who are the same skill level or better than me? Then I would be the guy who someone needs to tell that I am in over my head. Ive played in games like that, but not for long. I have the free will to play in any game I want and so does every other adult.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 View Post
Should I win a few poker hands I might delude myself about my skill level.
Serious question: How do you justify to yourself taking the money of people who just are not at your level?

I mean I know they are there voluntarily, very similar to the stock and bond markets, but how is this really much different than playing a retarded person tick tack toe for money?

Do you ever take a player aside and tell them confidentially that they are in way above their head? Perhaps these players are just slightly below your level.

Many times in life I could have hosed less knowledgeable or slower people in business transactions and didn't. Was I a saint or a fool?

The beauty of poker is that even really bad players have winning nights, sometimes even winning weeks which keeps them coming back. I definitely will give players advice if asked and occasionally unsolicited, I am sure the former is appreciated more than the latter. I also have a soft spot for pretty girls (big shock) and young kids in the military and will keep the pots small when possible.

Still overall I know that golfers, pool players and many other events the higher skilled players routinly take money off the lower skilled ones. I also think there is some truth to the saying "there is no such thing as losing poker session, just expensive lessons" .

Finally, I just got copy of Nords The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement, and I'm going order a bunch and hand them out to all the military poker players. I am sure if they follow the advice they'll save more money than I'll ever take from them at the poker table.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #25
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Still overall I know that golfers, pool players and many other events the higher skilled players routinly take money off the lower skilled ones.
A deceased friend was a professional pool player all his life starting in the 1930's. It's not a life that he would have recommended. He fell into it by circumstance and had the talent and ability make it work for him.
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #26
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Gambling for a living is a pretty tough existence. I've never done so, but I've known a few people who have tried. People almost invariably overestimate their abilities and overplay their bankroll, either by moving up in stakes too quickly or by spending money.

When you're on a winning streak, it feels like you will never be on a losing streak, but they inevitably come.

There are a couple of jokes that have an uncomfortable amount of truth in them--

What do you call a professional poker player that just broke up with is girlfriend?

"Homeless"

What do you do to get a professional poker player off your porch?

"Pay him for the pizza"

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A deceased friend was a professional pool player all his life starting in the 1930's. It's not a life that he would have recommended. He fell into it by circumstance and had the talent and ability make it work for him.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #27
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Which is why I think playing poker is nothing like investing. When at a poker table I usually know exactly who the fool is. And if I don't, I usually leave.
Market makers can quickly identify fools, as can mutual-fund managers who have just "closed" their funds...

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You have to be an awful lot better than the average player at your table to win money over the long term.
There are many, many tables of poker being played in which everyone at the table is really losing money long-term, due to the house rake.
At the other tables, there may be only one or two players that is actually playing the game with a positive expectation.
If I were to guess, I would say that 95%+ of players are losing players, or at best very marginal winners (like me).
Even for the winners, poker is not a pleasant way to make a living. The luck factor is gigantic, and can take literally thousands of hours of play to overcome in many forms of poker. When you start looking at the amount of money you need to be able to ride out the swings of the game if you were playing for a living, you start realizing that if you have that much money you probably don't need to play poker for a living
I can't get over the amount of money lost at Vegas blackjack tables. The casinos provide as much education as some of the books. Some will even give you the basic-strategy card and do everything but tell you how much to bet. Even just basic strategy tips the odds to the player by a small percentage.

Yet while I'm quietly nursing a stake for an hour or two, the dealer will keep raking in money from the drunks and the tyros.

I'd keep playing, and even make Clif's regular pilgrimages, if the wages weren't so low and the casinos weren't so smoky and dirty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 View Post
Serious question: How do you justify to yourself taking the money of people who just are not at your level?
I mean I know they are there voluntarily, very similar to the stock and bond markets, but how is this really much different than playing a retarded person tick tack toe for money?
Do you ever take a player aside and tell them confidentially that they are in way above their head? Perhaps these players are just slightly below your level.
Many times in life I could have hosed less knowledgeable or slower people in business transactions and didn't. Was I a saint or a fool?
You're a smart business owner if you don't take advantage of the customers-- because they'll keep coming back to spend more money.

Same thing in poker. Take some of their money, educate them (whether they ask for a tutorial or just for playing time), and keep 'em coming back for more.

Maybe the analogy is more like owning a bar-- you provide pricey entertainment but stop serving them when they're too drunk to make it home.

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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
Finally, I just got copy of Nords The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement, and I'm going order a bunch and hand them out to all the military poker players. I am sure if they follow the advice they'll save more money than I'll ever take from them at the poker table.
"Bulk discounts available"!!
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:58 PM   #28
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This is not true for any game that I am aware of that is currently being offered.

There may have been a time when you could get a single deck game with all of the small rules in the player's favor that would actually give the player a small edge if they played correctly.

Nowadays, they've made sure that they have the edge. They play with multi-decks, the dealer hits on soft seventeen. Heck, in a lot of places you're lucky if they still pay 3:2 for blackjack (there are a lot of places trying to get away with just paying 6:5).

The house has at least a small edge against a player playing perfect basic strategy.

I suspect that most of these games may now be unbeatable by a decent card counter (something I've never really tried to do).


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Even just basic strategy tips the odds to the player by a small percentage.
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