The professional Magic: The Gathering player Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, published an excellent article called 8 unfounded aspects that make you worse in Magic, applauded by the community and in which he emphasizes that it is very difficult to escape from your own prejudices.
The piece served to create a beautiful debate in the Magic: The Gathering community, with professionals and amateurs, honestly analyzing certain areas of their games, focusing mainly on their cognitive prejudices.
The main idea is that these (cognitive prejudices) lead you to a wrong judgment and to make wrong decisions.
M: TG (Magic: The Gathering) and poker are not the same game at all, but nevertheless keep some similarities. Both are card games, and both affect the strategy and the luck.
We recommend trying to adopt and adapt the eight concepts of da Rosa to the poker world; who knows, you probably even learn a lot from them, and try them when you play poker online, like in Mr Green casino.
1. Rule of first impression (feelings)
Apparently, people do not perceive the total experience, the sum of everything lived, but the average of how it was at its peak (ex. pleasant or suffered) and how it all ended.
This point has a direct correlation with poker. Imagine that you are very lucky in the last main hands of a cash game, you leave the table thinking that you have been playing really well.
If you have been losing for most of the cash game and in the end, you are lucky to defeat your opponent with AJ > QQ, this does not indicate that your game is solid.
Interpreting this rule from the point of view of a tournament, we could take as an example that you make a hero call, that offers you a good pot, but little by little you lose all your chips by Being unable to defend your blinds, besides committing some fundamental error.
Making big winning moves in poker is very fun and makes you feel good, but you can't judge your session based on one hand.
Be honest when you analyze your session, even when you earn money you should be able to see the mistakes made and the inconsistencies in your game, quickly.
2. The fallacy of the player
Tending to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in the reality, they do not change, they remain the same.
This may be the most relevant point for poker players as it is completely related to the aspect of the game.
Most players are probably familiar with the concept of the player's fallacy, mainly because they had a bad experience with a decision or style of play in the past, if this happens, it does not mean you should stop taking the same decision or play the same way.
For example, we can think of a couple of ten, this is a good hand, but it can be beaten. If on two consecutive occasions your tens are defeated by JT, this does not mean that you should stop playing these.
You need to critically analyze and evaluate each play, regardless of the final result. If the decision is correct, you must continue to act the same, even though it has not gone well on a couple of occasions.
3. The Illusion of control
Sometimes, we overestimate the influence of our decisions, on other external factors. This happens a lot in poker.
We tend to think that we have absolute control of the development of the game when we play poker, forgetting that (in the short term) luck is a really important element.
On many occasions you can lose, without being your fault at all.
Sometimes, we even try to justify our losses in one session by highlighting a diffuse abstract game, so we can sleep well at night. The reality is that there are times that we have simply had bad luck. It is necessary to move on and avoid worrying about something normal.
Problems can come when trying to correct problems that do not really exist.
Even the best players in the world have had times when they lost money, even the biggest have periods of loss, including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and the rest of top players.
Chance also makes us win on some occasions, not because we have everything "under control" and because all our decisions have been correct, but because we have been lucky.
If you want to succeed in poker, you must accept that you do not have control of all the results, that in a tournament or in a session, the importance of luck is very great.
4. Focus on the result
The tendency to judge a decision by its result, rather than by the quality of the movement at the time it was taken.
This point is very related to poker and is similar in some way to the previous one: the illusion of control.
In 2006, Jamie Gold took the victory at the WSOP main event (and $ 12 million) using an unusual strategy in which he often told his rivals what cards he had (although he lied on some occasions).
Most professional players do not find this decision as a successful strategy.
Since then, Gold has had very little success in the poker world, except for having played some free tournaments. Even he has admitted that he is not one of the best poker players in the world, despite having achieved a record victory.
Nor were professional players seen completely changing their playing style to try to emulate Gold. This is the reason why it is important to avoid focusing on poker results.
The first thing you should look for is the process and the results (always to medium-long term) will come alone.
There are countless bad players who have won big tournaments over the years.
You could even win a poker tournament by going all-in in each hand, but that's not the best strategy at all.
5. Insensitivity to data size
Tending to underestimate the variation in small periods (short term).
There is great importance of variance in poker, but good players will end up reaching the top.
What many people fail to understand is, what is the necessary size (number of hands / tournaments) to have a good database to analyze, without having "luck" a great importance.
There are many players who only play a couple of hundred hands each month. This is not an amount high enough to judge correctly, if your level of play is good or bad.
Keep this in mind: When backers look for new players, the history of hands they ask for goes from 20,000 to 50,000 (hands) to have an approximate estimate, although 100,000 would be even better. For us mortals, 10,000 hands would be a good start.
Whatever the case is, don't you think about leaving a salaried job based on a profit analysis of only a couple thousand hands. Everyone can have a good run.
6. Have a selective perception
The tendency for expectations to affect perception. This can also be taken to poker, although less directly than in the rest of the previous concepts.
Basically, the idea behind selective perception is that you can get too attached to some hands or decisions that have worked for you in the past.
For example, a pair of kings as a starting hand is a really strong play, but this does not mean that you have to bet on each of the streets if there is an ace on the flop (or clear color options or stairs).
This is an obvious example, but you may have a hand grip concrete (say couple of nines) because you've taken some big pot with it.
Once you have won an important hand with a pair of nines, you may ignore the signs that show that you overuse this hand, that you risk too much with it, based on a single performance.
You cannot ignore the evidence that shows that a hand or strategy is not working for you, no matter how many experiences with them, in the past, have given you great profits.
7. Base yourself on popular beliefs
A process of self-reinforcement, in which there is a popular belief, that something is the right thing, due to the fact that it is repeated continuously in a public discourse, makes one think that it is the right thing (This error can be countered with the following phrase: "Repeat a lie enough, does not make it come true ").
This point is difficult to relate directly to poker, but there are clear examples that explain it.
The idea behind this concept is that there are Sometimes a strategy that begins to create its "momentum", and is increasingly accepted, even if this is not the best strategy.
Basically, we are talking about group mentality. Strategy "A" is a correct strategy, because everyone says so. This fact causes a positive reaction to this strategy.
Another way to approach this point is to see that there are players like Vanessa Selbst, Tom Dwan or Viktor Blom, who play in an unusual way that creates conflicts with the traditional (and socially accepted) strategy.
The problem of paying attention to popular beliefs (besides taking into account that they are not always right) is that if you play 100% following a strategy or books, your game becomes too predictable and therefore vulnerable.
The answer to this point would be to critically evaluate all the information and not follow any strategy because it is fashionable, or people say it works.
8. Follow the innovations
There is a natural tendency in the society to have excessive optimism about an invention or innovation, often failing to identify its limitations and weaknesses.
This may be the only concept in da Rosa's article that does not have a direct relationship with poker.
Magic: The Gathering is a constantly evolving game in which new cards are introduced. Sometimes, new sets receive undeserved praise just for being the novelty.
Poker is a much more static game, so there are not too many innovations, nor do we tend to look for quirky novelties. The winning strategies (and usual at the tables) have varied little in the last ten years.
Perhaps the only way to relate this point to poker is when in the second part of the first decade of this century and the arrival of the online poker boom, it served for many players to follow a strategy of continuous aggression, to play as Dario Minieri or Tom Dwan.
This style of play had a lot of followers to see the people that Dwan managed to defeat the old-school players in the high stakes with marginal hands. No one had seen such a strategy before and everyone wanted to "durrrr" (Dwan's nickname) to their opponents.
The action has slowed considerably since most people have realized that they are not Tom Dwan, and that as much he had many followers at the time, this is not the right online poker strategy for the vast majority of players.