Friday, December 26, 2008


Danny is just being delusional when he says

In a nutshell- I'm cutting back... big time. Cutting back on all of the extra "stuff" that I do and also going to lighten my load in terms of travel. PokerVT is something I'll continue to put my efforts into and teach those that sign up, but aside from that I'll be doing a lot less teaching. People are already getting better and just giving away my secrets is starting to feel like a bad idea.

"Giving away his secrets"? That's just nonsense, he doesn't have any secrets.

I looked for an old rgp thead where he described his approach to analysis of poker but I couldn't find it. But it explains why he actually thinks he has secrets.

What he had said was that when he was moving up in limits in Las Vegas he made friends with the best players at his new table and learned tips on how to play that level from them.

It's not that doesn't work. It does. But it's not about secrets. There is nothing that any competent observer can't figure out about the game by actual observation and analysis. t's not a secret that a "6" in your hand in triple draw severely handicaps your hand. You can figure that out from first principles. It's an astute observation and a good thing to know, but it's not a secret.

Danny's a good poker player. He's just not very bright.

From the comments
Blogger Greylocks said...

The big rush he had that one year he cashed in all those tournaments is long over, he's good but he's nowhere near good enough to win at the stakes he plays, and he needs to blame something.

hmmm, maybe.

I looked again for that old post where he described his choice of how to analyze a poker situation. I still can't find it, I did narrow it down somewhat -- I think somewhere in the first half of 1999.

Basically he recommended finding someone who's "play tou respect" and then jusy asking them.

That's his idea of what analysis is. Don't actually think about it. Just ask someone smarter than you are (which in Danny's case is just about everybody).

He really does think that learning poker is about "knowing the secrets".

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Probably the most interesting thing about this post is that's actually an academic journal called Journal of Happiness Studies. There's nho subject so trivial that an academic can't devote a career to it.

"Achieving sustainable gains in happiness: Change your actions, not your circumstances" is a research article in that journal which actually has implications for poker players.

The idea of the research is that having good things happen to you makes you happy, but it's only temporary. For permanent happiness you need to actually achieve something. To translate that into poker speak -- getting lucky won't make you happy but playing better will.

h/t Tasty Research

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Thursday, December 04, 2008


Embedded in this little story about the poker playing television celebrity, Elix Powers is an example of a mistake that's very common among dealers (and even floormen in some places).

In the story he doesn't say what the blinds are but I'm guessing 2/5. So the relevant bets are Player B (Big blind) puts up a $5 blind, Player O (Opener) makes it $20, Player R (Raiser) makes it $50 and player A (All-in) makes it $90, and is all in.

The really bad ruling is that Player R is not then allowed to re-raise. I guess because the all-in bet wasn't "twice the bet".

The actual rule is that a raise must be at least the size of the last raise, not the size of the current total bet. The $50 bet represented a $30 raise, so Player A could have made it $80 and that would qualify as a raise.

This is misunderstood by so many dealers that I don't even bother to correct them anymore. I've just given up on the whole concept of expecting competent dealers.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Chill out

Tilt isn't really about a natural reaction to stress or even an over-reaction to stress. It's about a failure to calm down after a naturally stressful event. This short video doesn't offer an answer, but it does illustrate the problem.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pajama gamblers

A press release from the U. of Chicago
Pajama Gamblers Could Lose Their Shirts: Online Gambling Can Be Dangerously Comfortable

People who gamble from the comfort of their home tend to think they’re more in control of their gambling than people who gamble in casinos, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Authors June Cotte (University of Western Ontario) and Kathryn A. Latour (University of Nevada-Las Vegas) found surprisingly little previous research on their subject: the habits and motivations of online gamblers, who contribute to a $10 billion a year industry.

Their study found that, unlike casino gamblers, who seek thrills and social experiences, online gamblers seek the anonymity their home computers provide. “For casino gamblers, gambling provides a perceived social connection with unknown others in a sense of shared fates and temporary community. Online gamblers, on the contrary, perceive a lack of social connections in the online realm.”

The researchers conducted a study of 30 Las Vegas gamblers. Ten were online gamblers and 20 were casino gamblers, and all considered themselves to be regular gamblers. The study involved in-depth interviews using visual images and collages created by the participants.

In the course of the study, the authors found significant differences in perceptions and attitudes between people who gamble in casinos and people who gamble on their home computers. Because sensations are not as intense in online gambling, online gamblers tend to play for longer amounts of time, and they think they’re more in control of their gambling, the authors found.

The authors believe that regulating online gambling may remove the excitement of doing something illicit.

“When gambling consumption moves into the home, gambling behavior becomes a part of everyday living. When not seen as reserved solely as behavior for an outing, gambling is more likely to become an insidiously integrated component of a consumer’s life,” the authors conclude.

June Cotte and Kathryn A. Latour. “Blackjack in the Kitchen: Understanding Online Versus Casino Gambling” Journal of Consumer Research: February 2009.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Controlling the Internet

Now Italy has joined the ranks of the US and the Netherlands in trying to control the internet. It isn't likely to work for them either.