Lenses, and why Gamblers need to be generalists

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  • Pokersunited

    Nice article Steve. I can very much relate to this topic from my coaching/tutoring experience in the poker community. As you will probably agree poker and sportsbetting are very related in a lot of ways and most agree that for poker you need even more math skills. And although it certainly helps to be good with numbers, you really don’t have to be a math geek to succeed in poker (or sports betting).

    In fact, the most successful guy I coached had no math/numbers skills at all. What he did have, was crazy discipline and a very humble mind. The math guys very often went crazy when other players made terrible mistakes, they just couldn’t handle losing when making good ‘math wise’ plays. While the disciplined guy just loved seeing people doing dumb stuff, he knew that he played for enough hours he would always win against them. Math wise, he could count the outs he needed, but If I asked him for % and he usually didn’t know. He just knew some plays were the right plays without knowing the actual numbers, he learned by playing a ton of hands with good money management and being very disciplined in every possible way (making hours, know when to quit, don’t play tables you don’t have an edge (being humble!) and so on…

    Another thing that helped him in getting a long time winner was thinking on the right level. When you are playing with guys who are thinking on level D (just looking at their own cards), you have to be thinking on level C (what do you think he has), while math guys very often just like to think on the highest level (what does he think, that I think, he represents or whatever form of that…), while that might works against other world class players, it doesn’t help you in winning from the weaker players.

    As from my own experience in poker and sports betting, I would say that ‘soft’ skills, make up for way more then 50% of a skill set needed to be a winning poker/sports bettor.

  • This is what I have found too.
    Give me a guy who has never placed a bet, doesn’t really care about sport and has some basic maths knowledge and I can turn him into a profitable gambler. He is a clean slate and has no biases.

    But when you try and help someone who is either maths based or been gambling (and losing) for a while, you have to first start by getting rid of everything they know. Which is almost impossible to do. These type of guys assume they have got it all figured out and just need that one tip that will turn it all around for them.

    It can be done, but the person has to be very open minded and ready to let go of things he believed to be true. It takes a very humble guy to admit they were wrong.