re: Poker & Is this a leak?
Having read this thread, your post implied doubt and Al wrote an article just about doubt. I enjoyed Alís thoughts about doubt because this word is a clear indication of how the brain and poker are closely related; the game being abstract doubt can be in play in every hand.
For example, the person whom started the thread by having doubts whether to play AJo with 20bb. Whether he is unsure of the true hand the person opened with because he may or may not have the ability to put this person on an exact hand pre in this exact situation? Whether or not to play because of not wanting to risk their tournament life based on what the brain has stored in these situations? What information does this player have throughout his or her career that has led them to this point? Is this a regular situation in a MTT tournament this player faces because they have let themselves repeat this situation over and over with very little success going deep in a MTT field?
For the reader, I can feel his or her doubt about something because I have been there myself and others can also relate because early in careers before logging time to get experience people are faced with this situation repeatedly. So, the question concerning doubt, is this personís ability related to how the brain recalls information for them as this relates to their experience throughout their career?
The brain only recalls information based on the personís abilities because the information stored can only be used successfully, repeatedly, to the point of unconscious competence only if they mastered what in poker they are learning. Otherwise, doubt is in play about what decision to make with no clear way to understand which decision is right? Different from knowing what to do from having certain aspects of poker mastered in situations where doubt does not play into decision making skills.
For example, if the brain is put into avoidance, avoidance conflict; this means the person has two choices and each choice will have a negative outcome. A real life example, a person facing prison time or paying a fine they cannot afford. In real life a third choice could be run from the situation avoid both. In poker a person who faces a fold then will lose a pot or call and pay off the best hand. This situation happens when the bettor knows the person will only make these two decisions and not shove or re-raise in put the bettor in an uncomfortable situation where doubt can be used against them.
Example 2, approach avoidance conflict, if the brain is put into this situation, when a person has two choices and the result of one choice will have a positive outcome, and the other choice will have a negative outcome. For example, if a person was thinking of starting a business they would be faced with positive and negative aspects. Before actually starting the business, the person would be excited about the prospects of success for the new business and they would encounter (approach) the positive aspects first: the person would attract investors, create interest in their upcoming ideas and it would be a new challenge. However, as the person drew closer to actually launching the business, the negative aspects would become more apparent; the person would acknowledge that it would require much effort, time, and energy from other aspects of the personís life.
In poker a person is faced with a situation in which they have experience but are unsure of the outcome they might be confident in betting, taking down the pot, and there have been positive results in some situations to consider this action. But as they decide to bet doubt now creeps in because they know from past negative experiences, the person may call, raise, shove, and may not fold and their hand. Their hand now may not be the best based on experience in these situations. These 50/50 situations, situations where the player may face being outplayed by the other player, and the pot may get taken away from them when they are not certain they have the best hand or have been in situations after the hand is played they feel they folded the best hand instead.
These examples are the result of something deeper that goes back to the beginning, doubt? Doubt in the game is there for all to use against our opponents, this is what separates, defines, a players abilities. The brain only remembers poker situations from recent experiences, the results positive and negative because a person, our culture, we view good, bad results of a situation as the trump card. An esthetic result, pleasing to the eyes because a positive result is what was expected; bad results the brain remembers and is reinforced by what is seen to back up the bad results.
In situations of doubt, a 50/50 situation the brain only remembers what was done from the result of what has been seen recently. If a person loses a pot by folding because they were unsure of the proper decision, the brain will inform the person of their past experiences in these situations to fold not play back and look for a better spot or whatever the reason that is specific to the person of question, the result is folding and the other person wins a pot without showdown or wins at showdown as a couple of examples
. This will repeat, mistakes will repeat, situations in poker repeat themselves that have an approach avoidance conflicts. The brain uses seeds of doubt that are recalled in situations that prey on the weak at the table the other predators at the table take advantage of this weakness. Doubt, is put there because of lack of ability, the brain will use us in situations where ability is measured by the understanding of random situations in poker.
Doubt can be erased in the brain by additional learning, understanding, recognizing that will allow the brain to function in spots properly when a person faces two choices, when either choice will have a positive result; this is approach approach conflict, this happens when the brain has information stored that has multiple options from unconscious competence that has had many positive results in stressful situations. Look to put others in spots where one choice might be positive or the other may be negative or both choices will have negative results because of what the person is reading about their opponents at the table from the flow of the game.
When faced with approach avoidance conflict or avoidance avoidance conflict the brain shuts down and it is hard to use conscious thought, or inject logic into a situation because the brain does not have enough positive results either recently or the person does not have the ability because there is no information that is stored in the brain that has been learned to the point of unconscious competence to recall in these spots that would eliminate stress or pressure on the brain to make the proper decision. This happens when the person can only recall doubt, or bad results in these situations. Look to put people in these uncomfortable spots, the spots that the person was in with AJo pre-flop with 20bb will not happen as often or with better abilities may be not at all as their journey progresses; this is solely based on each individual not a guarantee of anything because of the variance differences of each personís ability.