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The Hard Truth Of Poker — And Life: You’re Never ‘Due’ For Good Cards

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https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-hard-truth-of-poker-and-life-youre-never-due-for-good-cards/

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The Hard Truth Of Poker — And Life: You’re Never ‘Due’ For Good Cards
An excerpt from poker pro Maria Konnikova's new book.

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Gambler’s Fallacy

Gambler’s Fallacy

The odds are always fifty-fifty. But most of us anticipate better odds, or better luck, after a bad streak, as if now we are due for good luck.

This ‘Gambler’s Fallacy’...

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The Biggest Bluff

Maria Konnikova, in her soon to be published book The Biggest Bluff, tells us that Poker is a real game, closer to life as opposed to the modern games which try to ‘game’ our brains’ and e...

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Incomplete information and over-estimation

Incomplete information and over-estimation
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Thinking probabilistically to avoid overestimating our abilities

To avoid the trap of overestimating our own skill, we need to start thinking probabilistically. That means estimating the odds and adapting your decision-making accordingly.

Even if the decision had a good outcome, we still need to objectively analyse the quality of the decision-making underneath.

Learn to deal with tilting

Tilting means realizing that your emotions are not separate from the logic of your decision making - for example, the despair that comes from bad luck, or the overconfidence that comes from a win.

You can learn to cope better by regularly checking in with yourself to see what you are feeling and how you react. Once you have identified those feelings, then try to analyse how they're influencing your judgment.

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Separate decision quality from results

People have a natural tendency to conflate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. They're not the same thing. 

You can make a smart, rational choice but still ...

Luck and Incomplete Information

Why don't smart decisions always lead to good results? Because we don't have complete control over our lives — and we don't have all of the information. 

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Thinking in Bets

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The Neuroscientist Karl Friston

The Neuroscientist Karl Friston
  • Karl Friston, a neuroscientist, published a radical theory called the ‘Free Energy Principle’ that has the neuroscience field in a tizzy. His papers, published in various journals, are heavil...

The Free Energy Principle

It states that the world is uncertain and full of surprises. Our brain, through perception, beliefs and action are trying to remain stable by minimizing the spikes, triggers and surprises.

We live inside our brains, and each of us has a unique perception of the outside world. Anything we say or document is just our way to explain the world we have lived. It has nothing to do with reality.

The Beautiful Mind

  • Our mind is programmed to sample the world so that the immediate future can be predictable, as a way to survive it with minimum surprises and disruptions, and as a way to conserve energy.
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  • Our mind, when seen neurologically, is infinitely vast, much like the universe, which it even resembles visually.

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