SP's hit & run nuggets of poker wisdom

SavagePenguin

SavagePenguin

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Sometimes when reading a thread or playing poker I come up with something I want to say, but post it into a text file instead. Here's what I've collected:


Know what's worse than making a bad call? Complaining when your enemy makes a bad call.

Poker is like a river. Everybody sees the rapids, but the master knows the layout of the river bed by reading those rapids.

Poker is 50% luck, 50% experience, and 50% math.

Poker is all about the math. The problem is you don't know all of the numbers and you don't even know the full equation. Intuition is just insight into what some of those unknowns might be.

Some people would rather appear smart than play optimally.

The result is what it is. You can't change it. Accept it or poison yourself with whatever tilting emotions you are prone to.

You know what the alternative to taking it like a man is, don't you?

People who go on tilt because of chat are nice enough to let you know about their leak.

Scaring a fish off, or embarrassing him into tightening up or leaving only helps the fish.

Whoever scares the fish off or embarrasses him into tightening up is the real a-hole, not the fish who was nice enough to get his money bad and then happened to get lucky. This a-hole's badgering decreases the EV for everyone else at the table by changing the fish's behavior.

If you believe in yourself and dedicate yourself to the craft I guarantee you’ll make history in the poker world (just like everybody else every single second of every single game).

Accept it. That insult the cards gave you is just a short term misinterpretation based on your limited perception, so don't cry over spilled milk.

Implied odds are based on the shortest stack. If you have 3k and he has 10k, or if you have 10k and he has 3k you're only dealing with a potential 3k more.

If you cannot happily fold A/Jo under-the-gun at a full table you need to make an adjustment. (Unless you are short enough to justify shoving with it)
Ditto with small pairs.

Humans are designed to see patterns. I have seen people make ridiculous complaints about similar cards at the same time when playing multiple poker rooms at the same time. You don’t keep getting sucked out on because the site has it out for you. Yes, we all hate you and have it out for you, but the cards are just a coincidence and a part of a short term anomaly that you are not getting proper perspective on.

On the bubble or in the money, shorties never die. Unless you are that shorty and shove with a superior hand. Accept this short term anomaly.

Luck is always balanced. You get just as unlucky as he gets lucky, and vice versa.

Winning a $10,000 pot with Ac/Kd vs 7s/8s all-in-pre-flop means that you are ripping him off. equity says that you deserve to only make a $810 profit. So every win as a favorite is winning too much because you're getting more than your equity. Now quit whining when their worse hand beats you.

Poker isn’t about getting unscathed. Adapt to the blows as they come. If you tilt, you exacerbate their damage.

The basics are a strong fortress, but if you’re game is confined to them they are a prison.

Tilt is a prison only you can lock yourself into. Others can lead you there, but you have the keys.

If you never watch other players in a hand and think, "I wish I was in this hand because they both have nothing and I could take the pot right now" then you are not playing optimally.

The merit of your pre-flop decision has nothing to do with the cards that show up on the board.

If you muck your bad hand and feel regret when the flop would have brought you a miracle, you are poisoning yourself.

There is no overcoming variance. There is no beating bad luck. All you can do is survive it with a proper bankroll, not let these less likely results effect how you play in the future.

The #1 reason for bad results is because you are a bad player. #2 is because you are a good player who hasn't played enough to overcome variance, but 2/3 of the time you are in the former category and not the latter. (More than) 2/3 of players are losing players, and no matter what they think it's not because they are unlucky. Chances are you are not special (no matter what your mommy told you).

"I'm a good player but..." pretty much means that you can hold your own (like most people), but you have flaws (like everybody) that make you unprofitable (like most people). Just because you can make the correct play 90% of the time (like most people) doesn't mean you are good. Everybody can fold 80% of the time. You are not "good" until you can keep your few mistakes from overshadowing your usually-correct plays.

Never get a handjob from a pissed-off woman who gives deep tissue massages. Seems obvious, huh? So why did you try to bluff the calling machine AGAIN?
 
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medeiros13

medeiros13

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Everybody can fold 80% of the time. You are not "good" until you can keep your few mistakes from overshadowing your usually-correct plays.

Thank you for this nugget specifically....it really hit home for me.
 
arahel_jazz

arahel_jazz

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> Never get a handjob from a pissed-off woman who gives deep tissue massages


Ouch... Watch that grip!
 
SavagePenguin

SavagePenguin

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Thank you for this nugget specifically....it really hit home for me.

Most of poker is easy. I mean, you see the people who are in over half the pots and know they are bad, but a lot of people compare themselves to those donkeys and conclude that they themselves are good. In fact, most poker players make good decisions most of the time (the #1 decision being that they fold pre-flop more than 80% of the time).
Most people are folding 75+% of their total hands as they should, and raising 10% of their total hands as they should. So 90% of the time they are making optimal decisions. But 2/3 of players still lose money.
Really, the devil is in that 10% or so of plays that they are screwing up. It could even be less than that.
For example, a lot of people can't fold an over pair no matter how scary the board. Or if they flop a weak flush, and the turn or river puts the 4th suited card on the board they stack anyway. I think some part of them feels that they are owed a win and stack out of anger or frustration.

If a tight player check/calls the flop, check/calls the turn, then makes a big bet on the river you're Q/Q overpair is no good. You're raises might have been justified, but that last call is the killer that's ruining your game.

There are a lot of different leaks that people can have and most of the time they are things you do fairly rarely in a game. It's those thing that separate the good from the bad (profitable from the unprofitable).

I say 2/3 of players aren't making money in poker but when I look at OPR rankings I assume people are winners at about the 75% mark. I say 2/3 to be conservative.
 
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playerk7

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play tihgt in that situation, dont wanna reraise to much or do anything crazy like that. pker is a of patience and well timed aggresion, to quote the great eric k lindgren
 
Debi

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Some good stuff in there!
 
LarkMarlow

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What an insightful collection, SP. When I read through them I wanted more, more and then more! Ever thought of writing a book further expounding and expanding upon these nuggets? I'm serious. You've already got a great title going.

Kudos!!!!
 
Maid Marian

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I really liked reading this thread, SP...it's very good & so very true!:girl:
 
SavagePenguin

SavagePenguin

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What an insightful collection, SP. When I read through them I wanted more, more and then more! Ever thought of writing a book further expounding and expanding upon these nuggets? I'm serious. You've already got a great title going.

Kudos!!!!

Thanks.

I like reading through quotes. Whether it be TextsFromLastNight or Bruce Lee quotes, I enjoy reading through them. Sometimes I'll Google "quotes on wisdom" or something like that. This is my own version of the literature I consume.

I don't have nearly enough to do any sort of book. (My English degree is in writing though, I just never did anything with it)

Bruce Lee has some awesome ones that can be applied to poker:
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

Be happy, but never satisfied.

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.

Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely- lay your life before him!!

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.
 
belladonna05

belladonna05

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im more confused then ever now on where i fit in the scheme of things, good observations :)
and bruce lee....
"boards don't hit back"
 
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doops

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Some great nuggets in there -- and I like the Bruce Lee quotes, too.

I think it all boils down to:

Keep your head and do your best. :D
 
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tcummo

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i like the 3rd nugget of the OP,
50% luck,50% experience,50% math.
it proves my theory :
'there are 3 types of people in the world,
those who can count and those who can't'
good luck all
 
PoKeRFoRNiA

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This is some real speech right here. real talk.
 
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