re: Poker & Are you still learning ? After how long ??
Work ethic, the brain, these two terms comes to mind because learning is such a broad term. The brain, it is unnatural for the brain to learn poker because inserting logic does not always work, much about what makes a player better is the unnatural moments in poker when it is opposite for the brain to interpret in places where decisions do not make sense, pressure of situations, results of what you thought and what actually is will drive tilt, and what is learned could be lost in a black hole of thought.
Understanding and acceptance helps the brain to relax, learn, be more consistent because the brain is not utilizing the mental muscle of worrying about these situations and is now freed up to learn new things. People fail in poker because of not understanding the beginning, the root of the situation, the brain is the beginning, the root of all situations, from these experiences we allow our brain to plant seeds of doubt, mistakes, monsters under the bed, come from this beginning. As well as the obvious good from learning, improving their game, and when the player improves their decision making skills.
The brain only interprets results that have happened most recently; if it is bad results then can the player interpret the right decision amongst bad results to change the outcome of bad results? What I have learned through observation, it is not done consistently among players I watch every day, because the brain tracks our decisions in situations where we fold, can not interpret the situation properly, even when the player is holding hands they find valuable.
All things that require decisions to be made that put the brain in distress, because we do not have any experience to make a competent decision that would change an outcome that would be different than folding,making mistakes, and give the player a new way to win chips they were not entitled to win. To improve the brain has to filter information to make a decision. Ability comes from the brains interpretation of all information that is learned to the point of unconscious competence, even the mistakes that are made repeatedly, and have not been recognized as mistakes to be fixed as of yet. Mistakes that are not recognized and made repeatedly to the point of unconscious incompetence that are not recognizable to the player because they do not recognize a mistake is being made as the situation plays out each time. This last part is how the person who has the ability to learn this about themselves, fix these mistakes, or recognize the mistakes made by another in this area will now have an advantage.
If the brain is not put into these spots to gather new information, if the person does not understand the routine of folding, or any other example I could give that would be a mistake; then how would the person know what to learn if they believe what they are doing is not a mistake in their own eyes in the first place? However, it is a mistake in another poker players eyes from observation every day? What would drive them to explore other parts of their game that are not obvious from reading poker books or talking to other people of respect? Most do not venture into parts of poker that would result the person into feeling shame, failing, being wrong, ponder how great they think they are, what actually people think about them, or what they eventually find about themselves. Coming to terms with that last sentence separates good, bad, great players? Subjective question?
Work ethic, at some point to strive to be better, a person will have to go through all of what would be self-evaluation of the poker player; acceptance of who each person is will let them learn, coming to grips and admitting to themselves that shame, being wrong, failing, making mistakes, honesty about how bad in areas each of us are where chips matter, making losing hands win, winning hands pay, and recognizing which areas that need improvement that before were not considered mistakes in a person’s game now are clear to the brain as an example.
At the table is a person willing to pull down their pants, stick out their tongue to the whole table on a read, and are willing to absorb the consequences, even if the table could possibly ridicule, feel shame of a wrong decision. Especially if they are still at the table and not knocked out if they are wrong? Can the person now continue to play and gather chips they lost based on ability, and not waiting to getting dealt AA to replace the lost chips as an example? Or does the emotion of the situation, does their own ability get locked down by how the brain shuts down from negative emotion? Can a player be comfortable to repeat this to learn more about themselves and their game throughout their career? Or are the results more important than learning? Crossroads of what could be most important? Subjective?
Learning is subjective in poker because poker is broad and abstract. To gain levels, to gain against opponents, I believe work ethic, the brain, drive of competition are important terms for me to learn more about myself, my game, shame, failing, being wrong, making mistakes is part of who I am as a poker player. The desire to fix myself, to understand how the brain works for each person in a moment of weakness including myself is the drive I need to continue to learn.
Because just the need of learning is not enough for me to separate myself from the competition on a consistent basis throughout my poker career; out working my opponent at or away from the table that has more ability than I, being different, looking for areas of the game that others would not give a glance towards. Work ethic, to find how the brain interprets information, learn what is not taught, embracing all of poker keeps the game fun for me to continue to learn.
I was playing for two years before black Friday but started learning since this time; but just in the last 6 months, I cut back on how much I play each day. I was playing and learning away from the table 5-7 days a week 10-12 hours a day because of the vastness of what I needed to learn about an abstract game. I now play and learn every day, with more focus on breaking my sessions into two separate sessions around four hours per session, evaluating, grading my sessions, and concentrating on sit-n-go’s; as I get ready to graduate college next year, I am forming my plans that involve poker and the reality of having to have or job or not? Still have more learning to understand this part of the poker reality, and more learning about the “self”, evaluation of the “self” before any concrete decision can be made or written down in print. Subjective?
Reality, learning might have been just staring into the “Abyss” with no realistic chance of making a career of poker, but I have the ability to either use my degree or go back to installing windshields that I have done my whole life, and I can accept this reality as well. I did learn new things about me, I am having wonderful journey, learned a great challenging game in the process, the fun of the journey was the best experience, and this helps to keep learning fun in all aspects of life, poker.