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  #1  
Old 10-31-2005, 04:45 AM
Mason Malmuth Mason Malmuth is offline
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Default Caro Article

Hi everyone:

I was at the Wynn poker room earlier today and picked up a Bluff magazine. I couldn't notice that it had a Caro article that began as follows:

[ QUOTE ]
In poker math is meaningless and psychology is paramount. There, I finally said it... and I'm glad. Each time I got close to uttering those words, I lost courage and choked back the sounds. Out came silence, only silence. What made me afraid to speak the truth? Oh, I guess it was mainly a couple poker people to whom mathematics is sacred. If you dare define the real power of psychology in poker or point out the limited role of mathematics in the heat of poker combat, they lash out publicly, insanely, desperately. The hate to hear it.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm curious, does anyone know who he might be talking about? Obviously it can't be David or myself since Two Plus Two has published two poker psychology books with another one -- Poker Psychology Essays by Alan Schoonmaker -- on the way.

Best wishes,
Mason
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2005, 06:09 AM
etizzle etizzle is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

mason, do you get the feeling he is joking? I dont see how he could be serious, but maybe I am giving him to much credit.
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2005, 07:07 AM
kagame kagame is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

well he IS a MAD GENIUS
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2005, 08:42 AM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

Hi Mason,

As someone who has read virtually everything written by both Caro and 2+2 authors over the years, I really don't see how Caro can be referring to anyone other than you and David. When you reference Dr. Al's excellent book though, I believe that you are talking about psychology in a different manner than Caro. Dr. Al's book talks about differing psychological types of poker players and the mistakes that they make and how a TAG can exploit them if they are in fact making mistakes. However Caro is talking about psychologically manipulating opponents both in the game as a whole and during a particular hand. In fact in one of his essays he called psychology the field where money grows wild.

My own view is that full-handed limit poker is more about math, but that short-handed limit and big bet poker when confronting good players is mostly about psychology. Of course I mainly only play online now, but Caro has also talked a lot about how what you say on a live table can add to your earnings if done correctly in eliciting desired folds or calls.

So overall I would say his statement was too broad in not delineating which types of games and structures can be best exploited via mathematically correct moves or psychological ones.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:08 PM
PJS PJS is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

Hi Mason.

Sorry to go off the point here, but was just wondering when Dr Al's new book is coming out.

PJS
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:20 PM
fnord_too fnord_too is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

The problem I have with statements like the one quoted is that psychology has a large dependance on math. The actual science is a science in that it depends on statistical analysis (as it employs the scientific method). What most poker players think of when they talk about psychology involves a lot of conditional probabilty behind the scenes. Sure you can steal a pot from someone who is weak tight, but the way you know they are weak tight is from the way they have played. Tells, also, depend on statistics. If you see someone scratch his nose 10 times before he raises and you think that means he's bluffing, it makes a big difference if he showed down a bluff 2 times or 8 times.

Basically, I think when people go on about math not being important, what they are really saying is "I am not aware of the math, but I do fine anyway." But not being aware of it only increases the probability of error. People are bad enough at figuring probability and making decisions in general (read anything by Khaneman and Tversky or their contemporaries to see strong support of this notion). I could ramble on about this topic for a long time, but I guess I should be glad most people don't think rationally.

Also, I don't think Caro is really ignorant of the mathematics of psychology. There is this idea that "mathematical players" only know things like pot odds and risk of ruin. If one stars with with such a pedestrian definition of math, a lot of what they say on the subject is just going to be wrong. Caro, I think, is just aiming at the lowest common denominator who has no real clue about math beyond adding, subtracting, multiplying, and possibly dividing.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:28 PM
Big Bend Big Bend is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

They seemed so nice to each during that made for TV poker author tournament awhile back. Was funny cause any time a math percentage problem came up they always deferred to David for the exact value.

The part where they talked about 23 year old chicks was edited out of the broadcast sad to say.

L8r... BB
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:36 PM
SNOWBALL138 SNOWBALL138 is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

I lost respect for Caro long before this, and this magazine article doesn't surprise me that much. Caro has an overly sensationalist style of writing, and his marketting is nakedly similar to get-rich-quick-scheme sloganeering. Maybe he learned this stuff back when he used to be a sports writer. In any event, we know for a fact that he doesn't even believe his own words here.
Examples:

1. the 50 pages of poker stats in the back of supersystem

or

2. His many many comments on how you need a much stronger hand to overcall than you do to call and then the probabilistic argument he gives to support it, i.e. if you are 10 percent to have the first bettor beat, then you are 1 percent to have them both beat, etc.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:52 PM
pipes pipes is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

[ QUOTE ]
They seemed so nice to each during that made for TV poker author tournament awhile back. Was funny cause any time a math percentage problem came up they always deferred to David for the exact value.


[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, they always deferred to DS for the exact value. But I was also very shocked that DS was way off on some of these.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:54 PM
Ed Miller Ed Miller is offline
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Default Re: Caro Article

[ QUOTE ]
I lost respect for Caro long before this, and this magazine article doesn't surprise me that much. Caro has an overly sensationalist style of writing, and his marketting is naked rich quick scheme sloganeering.

[/ QUOTE ]

*sigh* I used to take stuff like this [rantings of other authors] semi-personally or let it get me frustrated. Now I ignore it (well, as of the end of this post, I ignore it).

Not to toot my own horn, but over the last few months, I can't count the number of people who have told me a story like:

"Before I read SSH, I was a struggling $2-$4 player. Then the books and forums turned my light bulb on, and I started tearing up. Now I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars and play in the biggest games on the internet."

This is player after player. Probably twenty or more that I've met recently share this story... all struggling two years ago, now devoted 2+2ers and enormous winners.

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. No one can convince me that what I do is wrong when so many who have been so successful have told me, one after another, how right it has been for them.
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