How has/does poker affect the rest of your life?

NineLions

NineLions

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Like anything that we do often/regularly poker probably has an effect on the other parts of our lives.


A few days ago I was heading to work, getting ready to cross a relatively busy (2 lanes both directions) street. There is a crosswalk, but I know that it takes a long time to start. I was a little ways away yet when the light changed for some other pedestrians who were already at the corner. The traffic coming towards me had stopped for the light, there was one car headed the other direction that had stopped and one more slowing down so I angled my way accross the street, went between the two stopped cars and to the corner.

A somewhat shabbily dressed guy started yelling at me; "Hey, you've got to cross at the crosswalk. Hey, I'm talking to you"

At first I started to try to explain to him, then considered arguing with him, but he went on "If you get hit, it's your own fault. I've seen three accidents just like that ...."

I considered my options; reasoning, arguing, insulting, but decided to "fold my hand", gave him a fake "Okay, thanks" and walked away.


The interesting thing was afterwards how much that interaction felt like a poker hand. Like he minraised preflop into my BB with other callers, I caught a piece of the flop and bet out, but he kept insisting that he had a hand.


Anyone else experience things like that? Where something just feels as if you're playing a poker hand?


Or is this just a sign that I'm playing too much poker?:)
 
pantin007

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i think it is a sign ur playing too much :)
but it happens to me as well, cant recall a specific incident but i always analyse some situations as if it were poker hands, i know how u feel
 
Monoxide

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I would have just looked him in the eye and pointed at him "crosswalks are -EV!!"
 
AlexeiVronsky

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I notice that I analyze things by risk/reward, and tend to think of things in poker terms, I think it's along the lines of if the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. To be a good poker player you have to train your mind to think in different ways than normal situations. When you look at most people they're extremely risk averse, as losing x is more detrimental than gaining x is beneficial. If you were to give people the opportunity to risk their life savings with a 51% advantage paying even money, most people wouldn't take it despite it being positive expectation, but I would wager that a lot of poker players would think "Hmm, I'm the favourite, and I can always get more money if I lose." and be willing to take the bet. And since poker is primarily an analytic and logical game when played properly, the lessons at the table can be used profitably in any situation that calls for good reasoning ability.

HTML:
http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2005/07/risk-aversion-brain-damage-and.html
[media]http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/richard.thaler/research/RiskAversionOr.pdf[/media]
 
ChuckTs

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The interesting thing was afterwards how much that interaction felt like a poker hand. Like he minraised preflop into my BB with other callers, I caught a piece of the flop and bet out, but he kept insisting that he had a hand.

lol you realize how odd this sounds? :)

In the sense that you're talking about, no I don't really have this happen to me often enough to remember any specific time, but there were some instances I can remember. Things like waking up from a dream about poker and still thinking about it when I got up.

Definitely a sign we play too much :p

Poker has influenced my life and changed me in other ways though too. Things like discipline, habit-forming, thinking objectively, tilt control (anger management :p) etc. have definitely transfered from poker to real life for me.
 
zachvac

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Not in interactions like that, but more in actual actions. Whenever someone tries to say "well we've been waiting in line for an hour already, we don't want to have wasted an hour" or the classic "we don't want all the soldiers to have died in vain". I try to explain that the hour and the soldiers are already in the pot, they're not ours anymore. The options are simply spend more time/soldiers for a result or don't spend anything for nothing. Mostly it's just decision-making, and the fact that poker would really help peoples' decision-making skills in life in general.

But the thing that reminds me of it the most is for example there are two ways to leave our neighborhood. One has a light and we turn right at it but there's no right turn lane so if there's a car in front of you you have to wait for it to turn. The other way's just a stop sign but it's a bit longer in terms of distance. So it's rush hour and we left because at least when the light turns we can go, but we find out that it takes multiple light changes to get through. My parents will say something to the effect of "should have taken the other way". I'll be thinking "why? We made the best choice given the information known". Dealing with downswings in poker where there's real money involved has also helped immensely on RL days where nothing seems to go my way. I honestly think poker has helped me a lot in real life. It's helped me to keep a cool head when things just can't seem to go right and it has helped with my decision-making.

This is why I don't understand when so many people are against underage gambling. Obviously if they're too young to understand probability or the value of money it's a bad idea. But assuming they actually work to get better it will help so many other aspects of life as well. Oh yeah almost forgot, it also teaches money management :)
 
KingCurtis

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i actually realized this before and never really said anything......but i think poker has helped me with my patience...there has been plenty of times where i would have never had the patience to deal with something or somebdy but from playing so many hands and tournaments...I have built such personal patience......plus math skills also can be attained from poker....think about it statistics, odds, outs, all that good stuff....poker is just great!!!:)
 
zachvac

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I notice that I analyze things by risk/reward, and tend to think of things in poker terms, I think it's along the lines of if the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. To be a good poker player you have to train your mind to think in different ways than normal situations. When you look at most people they're extremely risk averse, as losing x is more detrimental than gaining x is beneficial. If you were to give people the opportunity to risk their life savings with a 51% advantage paying even money, most people wouldn't take it despite it being positive expectation, but I would wager that a lot of poker players would think "Hmm, I'm the favourite, and I can always get more money if I lose." and be willing to take the bet. And since poker is primarily an analytic and logical game when played properly, the lessons at the table can be used profitably in any situation that calls for good reasoning ability.

HTML:
http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2005/07/risk-aversion-brain-damage-and.html
http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/richard.thaler/research/RiskAversionOr.pdf

I disagree with this. You take the 51% edge if you'll take it again and again and again, which will happen in poker. If it's a one time thing and if you lose your life savings is gone, you shouldn't do it. It would be similar to seeing a table where you knew you were a better player, sitting down at $10/$20 blinds with your $1,000 paycheck that you need to pay your rent. Would any logical poker player do that, even if they thought they truly were the best player at the table?
 
AlexeiVronsky

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No, a wise player wouldn't do that because the loss would be more significantly more damaging than the benefit. ie. sleeping on the street/having $1000 more dollars. I'm going by the assumption that the money isn't immediately necessary, like you've already paid rent for the month and bought groceries that's what I meant by savings.
 
ChuckTs

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I'm going by the assumption that the money isn't immediately necessary, like you've already paid rent for the month and bought groceries that's what I meant by savings.

errr:

IIf you were to give people the opportunity to risk their life savings with a 51% advantage paying even moneyhttp://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/richard.thaler/research/RiskAversionOr.pdf

Anyways it's similar to the 'would you rather take one $5000 shot with AA vs 22, or five thousand $1 shots with the same hands?'. It's a matter of variance - if the money doesn't mean anything to you then the variance isn't really an issue. I assume if it's your life savings that you would respect the money though ;)
 
NineLions

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lol you realize how odd this sounds? :)

Odd to you, but even odder to someone who doesn't play poker I'll bet. :)


The subconscious is capable of making all kinds of connections, identifying similarities, and re-interpreting things. For example a lot of dreams get based on one issue or situation that the dream replays but with substitute actors or locations. I'm not saying that's what happens in your dreams, but just that I think that my subconscious recognised a situation that I've faced before. A situation with interaction, a challenge, probably some low levels of aggression, and so it called up my programming for the situation; evaluate the situation, the risk/reward, the options, and a conscious choose to fold.


It's more common in extreme trauma situations; the rape victim who becomes afraid of any underground parking lot, or the child of an alcoholic abusive parent who becomes afraid of any person who has been drinking.
 
NineLions

NineLions

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Not in interactions like that, but more in actual actions. Whenever someone tries to say "well we've been waiting in line for an hour already, we don't want to have wasted an hour" or the classic "we don't want all the soldiers to have died in vain". I try to explain that the hour and the soldiers are already in the pot, they're not ours anymore. The options are simply spend more time/soldiers for a result or don't spend anything for nothing. Mostly it's just decision-making, and the fact that poker would really help peoples' decision-making skills in life in general.

But the thing that reminds me of it the most is for example there are two ways to leave our neighborhood. One has a light and we turn right at it but there's no right turn lane so if there's a car in front of you you have to wait for it to turn. The other way's just a stop sign but it's a bit longer in terms of distance. So it's rush hour and we left because at least when the light turns we can go, but we find out that it takes multiple light changes to get through. My parents will say something to the effect of "should have taken the other way". I'll be thinking "why? We made the best choice given the information known". Dealing with downswings in poker where there's real money involved has also helped immensely on RL days where nothing seems to go my way. I honestly think poker has helped me a lot in real life. It's helped me to keep a cool head when things just can't seem to go right and it has helped with my decision-making.

Nice thought process. In finance/accounting the first situation is called a "sunk cost"; you can't get it back so it becomes irrelavent to making future decisions, except for the potential recovery cost if you can sell the asset for some salvage value, which doesn't apply in your example.

The second is similar but is the way management decision trees are constructed. It's exactly the same as trying to make a decision in poker where you assign probabilities to various outcomes and then bring the future projected values back to the present and then make your decision based on the best information that you have at the moment that you have to make your decision.


Ever consider a career in finance? :)


btw, I didn't notice you at my $10 table today until I sat out.
 
zachvac

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Actually we had just learned that in econ the other day, thinking on the margin and ignoring sunk costs and such. It seems that poker and econ are extremely similar. Both basically involve money and decision-making.
 
KingNothing4

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i guess it has only really affected my reward vs risk...and in a big way haha i really put thought into each situation now, which is good right, think before you act?
 
AlexeiVronsky

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Well it's obviously better to take a lot of small advantages as the variance will be lower, but that is an increased amount of time, and rational people aren't likely to let you take a lot of small advantages over them in most situations. I'd certainly be willing to risk my life savings on such an event, though my life savings are smaller than my bankroll. :)
 
Stick66

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Ummmm....I'm better at math now. Does that count?
 
aliengenius

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check out the post flop aggression on that chick!
 
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