Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

An Investment Newsletter, A New Poker Website And The Human Brain

Yes, they do have something in common! Let me explain... At the weekend I was reading the excellent investment e-mail newsletter of one John Maudlin - called 'Thoughts From The Front Line'. I do not always agree with John, however his letters are always thought-provoking and insightful - so I look forward to reading them each week.

This week some interesting statistics on how we look for evidence to support existing viewpoints was introduced. The phenomenon is well documented, we give greater creedence to studies / information supporting our existing views than to equally 'sound' evidence contrasting with them. What was thought provoking was the extent of this trait. In a study involving assessing the validity of scientific evidence concerning the death penalty they found thay 84% of the results could predicted from prior beliefs, with just 2% to 3% directly attributable to the studies! (as an aside, it is easy to understand how this works in others... yet not realize how it affects your own judgements. This was brought home to me last weekend in a discussion on high-impact vs low-impact aerobic excercise... where I found myself 'blocking' arguments which contrasted with my ingrained 'high-impact rules' bias!!)

At the moment I am finalizing the content for a new mini-site looking at the fairness of poker sites, in terms of the deal, payment systems, customer service and security. This is precisely the type of area where existing beliefs will be hardened - readers who believe that online poker is rigged (for example) will not want to hear about the billions of recorded poker hands available to analyse or external companies auditing RNGS. Those who perceive poker as completely fair are likewise unlikely to give much creedence to tales of those aces being cracked a little too regularly or 'cash out curses'.

It is a fun challenge trying to get the balance without my own view (I'm on the fair side of the fence!) taking over the discussion... but that is exactly the kind of challenge I enjoy.

Here are a few areas where poker players might easily be giving too much weight to evidence which supports their viewpoint and dismissing evidence against:

1 - Poker site X is better than poker site Y and Z

2 - Cash Games (or tournaments) are far better than Tournaments (or cash games!)

3 - Sit N Go Poker is an all-in donk fest - vs - Sit N Go Poker is a mathematically solveable puzzle (I''m sure you can add a few more of your own here!)

Anyway, next time you find yourself rejecting an argument which many others believe, stop and think for a second. It may be that you are downplaying certain ideas because they do not fit with your pre-existing belief systems. This could be poker, or just about any subject. Becoming aware of areas where you are stuck can easily bring new perspectives... and might even improve your poker game. Anyway, a little deep, but hey, I'll get back to lighter subjects tomorrow!

GL at the tables, Mark

PS: This article shows you how to use the latest Party Poker Bonus Code - Check it out!

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