Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Self Deception

There's a thread on rgp that started out with questioning something some poker player claimed in an interview.

In a recent Cardplayer magazine interview, Paul Wasicka claimed that
when he started playing, he was making between $1000-3000 a day
playing $10-20 Hold 'Em.

I don't think he's making that up, but I do think he's being somewhat self-deluded when he makes a claim like that.

Someone accused him of lying and I responded with this.

It's not really lying so much as it is a form of self-deception.

You see the same thing with waitresses, strippers, used car salesmen, and other
residents of trailer parks. When you ask them how much they make on an average
day they'll tend to answer with an approximation of an average good day, not an
average day. It's just the way they think.

Fuzzy brained people just don't have many rational thoughts. They don't really
make stuff up as much as it is they just don't understand the question.

I think that was probably his typical win range on a good day. That's not an average though, and like most people I think he just doesn't think about the difference all that clearly. There's really no reason why he should.

Then somebody took that as an opportunity to try to insult me in a way that I think is pretty funny. He said.

Gary is right. For example, look at the way he deceives himself about
his non-existent academic credentials and his non-existent poker
ability, even when the rest of the world can see what a useless, self-
important idiot he is.

What's funny about it is that it's completely contrary to pretty much anything I've ever claimed about myself. It's an example of how little people do pay attention to things and how little they tend to understand what they see or hear.

I have a couple of master's degrees. That means I've been an academic failure. I've attempted 3 different PhD programs, at 3 different schools, in 3 different fields. That's given me a pretty broad and pretty solid education, but it's not what I'd call academic credentials. I've often called myself a failed academic and I think my academic record supports that assessment pretty solidly.

As far as poker ability, I've never in my life claimed anything other than I can't play for shit.

So, while it might well be true that I'm a useless idiot, I think it's a stretch to call a clear and admitted failure delusionally self-important.

Anyway, I just thought it was funny.

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Blogger Drizztdj said...

With multi-tabling, rakeback, bonuses, and whatever frequent player's points add ons are offered, I think decent player could hit that range of profit over time.

Even with those items considered, that win rate seem just a tad high ;)

1:12 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Two things about his range scream nonsense. One is that it's a fairly wide range. The other is that it's a range of only positive numbers.

It has all the characteristics of a range intended to describe a typical winning day. And that's not the same thing at all as an average day and there's no reason to think that most days are consistently "typical".

I used to have a g/f who was a stripper so I knew a lot of strippers. All of them, every single one, would characterize their incomes in terms of a typical range for a typical "good day". If you used that to try to estimate their average earn you'd overestimate by about a factor of 3.

I'm guessing that's the case with this guy also. Maybe just a factor of 2, but I think a factor of 3.

I made a post today at about gambling being about the outliers, not the averages. It's the roulette post.

3:55 PM  

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