Nothing Monday and again nothing even close to a play today.

Poker Comments:

I have been in Las Vegas about 8 years now and one thing I have noticed is a pattern with players as they go through the “trial by fire” in the poker world.

They usually start out very optimistic…with big egos..playing fast… and are very confident about their ability to make easy money. Very few have realistic expectations from the start.

Most positive ev players can continue on with this for a year or two before something happens. Their first major drawdown. It usually comes unexpectedly without warning and can last for months. How the player reacts to this can often dictate their fate here in Las Vegas. The smart ones take a break reevaluate and learn from the experience and take it up again with more realistic expectations. In addition they improve their play and game selection abilities. Many do not survive this first major drawdown and they disappear from the poker world in Vegas.

Then a few more years go by and what happens another major drawdown occurs. Of course after the first one you would expect the player to have been prepared….but most are not and they again are tormented through the entire process. This weeds out many more players who made it through the first drawdown.

Its only then after the 2nd that a light goes off…and a player realizes this is all a normal part of variance. And then learns how to adjust to this and reduce variance to not expose himself to the more extremes of the concept.

I bring this up because as it happens there is a person I play with who is experiencing his first major drawdown since he has been out in Vegas. One of the differences is this person is not a positive ev player by a longshot and further lacks the sophistication to ever become one. So I would expect the only advantage this person will have from this is he will not be around to experience the 2nd!

Its interesting to observe from a psychological standpoint all of the turmoil that person goes through daily. His routine is to take 200 dollar gains and then play for hours while losing hoping to get some miracle of a streak to get even and leave. Many times this person goes off for 3 to 5 thousand. This has become more frequent lately.

The turmoil and erratic behavior of the person is increasing geometrically daily and he has now taken to playing the mixed game…which includes baducy and badacy. So now on his major downswing he has jumped to a game where the variance is 4x the omaha 8 game. Its just a matter of time before he goes off for 10,000 in one sitting. Which may well be the end.

This should give everyone that reads this blog a flavor of how difficult it is here in the poker world even when you are sophisticated and knowledgeable about probabilities and variance. But when your unsophisticated you do not have the ability to intellectualize the process and have almost no chance to pull out of the dive.

Good Luck Today

Twitter: rickjsportplays

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  • Anonymous

    This is so true! Whenever I watch poker on TV and there is some new young hotshot that's been running good for 4-5 months and the announcers decry him the next superstar, I think to myself "I wonder how many months til he's gone completely broke".

    Chino Rheem anyone?

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