7 thoughts on ““23 Cognitive Mistakes that make People Play Bad Poker””

  1. Overconfidence bias is probably just the flip side of pessimism bias.

    When a series of bad things happen to people, they get depressed and begin to evaluate current actions and future results negatively. When a series of good things happen to people, they do the opposite. This is most likely the same cognitive mechanism in operation at different extremes. (It’s probably the biochemical basis of bipolar disorder.)

    Modern culture has jettisoned a lot of classical concepts and one of the most telling is the loss of hubris. Hubris originally meant pride borne of success. No doubt the classical greeks after centuries of close observation learned that people suddenly elevated in status owing to merit became destructively arrogant.

    We still this a lot in the modern world. Entrepreneurs who suddenly make millions go off the rails on new projects with a seeming inability to conceive of failure. Politicians who win in landslides become arrogantly dismissive of the political opposition to the point of creating paralysis.

  2. I think overconfidence is almost universal in humans. Most people, including pessimistic people, are overconfident to some degree about the extent of their knowledge. In some occupations (combat pilot, salesman, surgeon) a high degree of overconfidence may be helpful; in others (financial trader, engineer, perhaps internist) it may be a handicap. One problem with being very overconfident is that if you are pessimistic you may talk yourself out of taking actions that have higher odds of success than you recognize. Or maybe I should say that while the hazards of overconfidently taking action are obvious, the odds of overconfidently ruling out action are not always so.

  3. The purpose poker s to convince the other players that you have the winning hand. This most easily done after all the bets are in by all the active players revealing their hands to each other. The rules of poker are used to identify the winning hand.

    Betting is a form of communication which, when used with legal body language, can be used to tell other players how good your hand is. Other players use bets and body language to tell you how good their hand is.

    A good player reads these bets and body language and decides when to hold them and when to fold them. It is all very simple. Play the people not the cards.

  4. A major problem in poker comes from winning. If you are a consistent winner andd you only play with friends and family, then you must reconcile yourself to the fact that you are taking monet from your friends and family.

    If you play only with strangers then you must develop a method to leave safely with more money than you brought. It beomes more difficult the more you win.

    If you play in casinos there are always the tax problem that arise when you cash in your chips, Further it is dangerous to leave a casino alone at night with a bag of money or even a check. Rooms are usually available at a high price. And extra services at a higher price.

    It is better to be a well known loser.

  5. The biases are not symmetric.

    ‘As defense analyst Colin Gray Writes in a recent book about the near-term possibilities of major conflict, “Another Bloody Century,”* when considering optimism and pessimism, “optimism is apt to kill with greater certainty.”‘

    — “Fear of China” by Robert D. Kaplan in The Wall Street Journal, on page A14, on April 21, 2006.

    * ISBN 0297846272

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