Thursday, June 26, 2008

Confirmation Bias #3 - Finding Our Own Leaks

Well, a couple of psychological posts below on 'Confirmation Bias and the 'It's Rigged' Generation' outlined by ideas about the difficulty in finding our own leaks and bad habits on the virtual poker tables - since we tend to look for evidence that 'we were right but unlucky' rather than evidence that we were 'wrong'.

All very nice in theory - but how can we use this information to break down our own games with a view to improving? After all we are far more likely to look through a hand-history street-by-street for a hand that we lost than for one that we won!

There are no clear answers, more a list of suggestions... Would be great to see a few ideas from readers fleshing these out, adding to the list or just plain disagreeing (always did enjoy a heathy debate!)

- Training Sites... meh, not my favorite - have been a member of PxF for a long while and enjoy the videos but has this really improved my game as much as say, reading strategy books or online articles. On the fence really, like it enough to keep up my membership!

- Books... sure thing - great and cost effective way to challenge your ideas, wonder though how much of the time something comes up that is different to your own style - you try it and it does not work... thought process then becomes that the book does not relate to the reality of the lower limit tables rather than refining your games. Oh and do not even consider paying $70+ for a 'secrets' ebook, however convincing the banners / website - I have seen many of these through the business side and they are universally sh*te... really, just by a Sklansky book instead!

- Forums... well, there are comparitively few places you can post a hand and get a sensible reply these days. Forget P5's - home of the sh*tiest kids on the poker block (a genuine shame that they lost control, as this used to be a decent forum) - 2+2 is fine if you are willing to accept that there is a 'correct way' of playing each hand over there and try not to deviate from it... you need to be committed enough to do this and have the right people come back with thought provoking advice.

- Software... I have covered SNG wiz before (review on SNG Planet) as a great way of analysing your hand histories. Poker Tracker / Poker Office have the database functions which allow you to see which hands you are losing money with too. $100 may seem like a lot to many lower level players, but this could be the single best poker investment you ever make... lets face it when we are talking about 50 British Pounds, 70 Euros or 100 USD it is hardly a large sum in the context of real-life.

- Peer-Review... tried this a couple of times when I was new to SNGs with some 2+2 posters, we sent each other hand histories and reviewed - one of the 2 was successful for a couple of weeks and did show up some dubiuos plays. Useful if you can find someone in the right place at the right time.

- Manual Hand History Review... should really be part of every serious poker players game. Either you capture interesting hands as you go or save them all and run through (hand replayers can help here). This feature is available at PxF and was very useful the few times I actually used it (realised I was folding too much!)

- Single Table / Articulate Decisions - Here is something I have tried too... cut down to one table and articulate (speak) your decision making process aloud. 'I am raising because...' , 'this opponents play suggests he has either X or maybe Y therefore I... Z'. OK it sounds stupid at the time but this is a way of spotting leaks... every time you are unclear as to why you are doing something then admit it, and take the hand-history for later... it might just make you a lot of money!

- Exercises At The Tables... getting to the end of the list now, excercises such as 'never calling' can give you new perspectives on the tables, how about playing without looking at your cards? or making 'non-opimal' plays to see how your opponents react? Plently of possibilities here, just need to switch it up long enough to clarify your thinking processes.

Well, there may well be some more, but this post has got long enough already... over to you - what do you think is the best way to spot those elusive leaks??

On a more personal note I'm off down south for a weekend party named Kis-Kun-"Dallas"... well its on a farm (ranch!) and in KisKunHalas... which sort of rhymes with Dallas in Hungarian....hmmm

Gl at the tables, Mark

1 comment:

sprstoner said...

pxf def helped me a lot, plus i like seeing what my competition is doing...

pxf does suck lately though.