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Poker And The Luck Factor, Part Two

A while back I wrote about a short article dubbed The Luck Factor, by Richard Wiseman.  In my post I noted I would try and delve deeper into the article at some point.  I somehow managed to motivate and write Poker and The Luck Factor, Part One last month.  Normally I would flake out and not finish what I started, but I need some motivation to write here, so let's trudge forward, shall we?
As you may recall from my previous post, I'm breaking up the four quotes into four posts as I don't have a very long attention span.  With that, I'll go ahead and post the whole quote, but let's focus on the second principle underlined and in bold below:
"...lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles.  They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good."

Lucky people make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition.

When I first started my current job over 10 years ago and began studying for the Series 7, I recall several Financial Advisors advising I should eliminate the obvious incorrect answers, then quickly answer from the remaining options.  Most importantly though, they said I needed to go with my initial gut feeling.  In other words, use the knowledge and insight I've gained over the years - and during my studies - to go with the answer that felt right.  It's not rocket surgery here, but when you second guess yourself over and over, you are not using intuition to your advantage.  This thinking reminded me of the SAT in high school.  For all the timed tests I have taken for my job so far (Series 7, 63, 65, 9, 10 and Insurance), whenever I didn't know the answer for sure, I quickly eliminated the tard answers, then went with my intuition.  Ultimately this worked well as I passed every test above.
Intuition obviously goes way beyond test taking.  It is an innate ability to use pure knowledge from within to come to a realization and act accordingly.  This holds true at the poker table when a person goes beyond the mathematics of the game and makes a decision that feels right based on insight and keen perception, not just numbers.  There is a video I'm sure most of my readers have seen before, but I think it bears showing again as a reminder of amazing intuition on the felt.  It should be no surprise that Phil Ivey is involved.  Update:  Had to move video to bottom of post.

When you can notice chance opportunities on the felt and subsequently act on those opportunities with immediate cognition, you are putting intuition to work (and alos using the first two quotes from the article so far!).  You can read every poker book on the planet, but if you don't have at least some insight beyond pure numbers, you will probably not succeed in poker.  I believe this is what makes poker an amazing game; it marries mathematics with cognitive thinking and splashes in some luck (or lack there of) to make a truly fascinating game.

Next up I will discuss the power of positive expectations in poker.  And I'll do my best to not make it take a month to write Part Three.  What can I say, I'm a busy guy these days.
To be continued...

Posted via email from TripJax

posted by TripJax @ 10:21 AM,


At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Jordan said...

Dude, it's Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink! Basically, on a subconscious level, your mind is processing a bunch of things. That's where the hunch comes from. If you follow the hunch, you often make the right decision based on things you didn't even know you processed.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Paul P said...

What about taking into account that you could have the right answer but for the wrong reasons? For instance during poker you could come to the same conclusion using differing logic or use the same logic to come to differing conclusions. For example, a guy could raise not because he has a good hand but because he's bluffing and wants to scare me out of the pot. Or he could pretend to have nothing so I will call/raise. Then you have the dynamics of poker affecting the situation after the flop, turn and river.

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