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GTO Poker Theory: The Four Types of Happiness

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August 22, 2019 6:07 pm

GTO Poker Theory: The Four Types of Happiness

You can’t control the cards, but there are ways you can at least position yourself to find the happiness that comes in different ways.

Those who are interested in poker will inevitably gain insights into other fields of knowledge and topics such as economics, AI, psychology and game theory. So there’s a new series of articles covering some of the most important topics that apply to the game we all know and love.

At the heart of poker has always been that while it is a form of gambling, you can beat your opponents with the right skills over the long term. A fish in poker, on the other hand, is a player who does not have this skill and can therefore only win with luck. But is it possible to influence luck? The short and simple answer is, of course, no.

You don’t have any influence on the random outcome when you reveal a card. However, it is possible to put yourself in a position to have any chance of finding luck.

The neurologist Dr. James Austin has identified four different types of happiness in his work. Understanding them can provide the insight needed to make it more likely that you will be there when happiness strikes again.

But before we go any further, it should be clear that we’re not talking about degenerative gambling, which is a common occurrence in the poker scene. The following thought processes are based on the premise that it is still clear that we still want to play poker in a strategically justifiable way without calling all-ins with trash or playing stakes that actually go beyond our bankroll.

Blind luck is bad, but persistence is good

The first kind of luck is the so-called blind luck, which Dr. Austin wants to have identified. This refers to a kind of happiness in which the beneficiary did not play any role in the process. Finding $20 on the street by chance is the best illustration of this kind of luck.

The second type of happiness is characterized by persistence, for example, when you take part in free sweepstakes. If you only do it once and still win, you have probably still had blind luck. But if you take part in 100 such lotteries and win one, then you are still lucky, but the perseverance played a role in winning.

In comparison with someone who did not take part in any lotteries, you have put yourself in a position where you can at least be lucky.

The third kind of luck is described as perceived luck, where someone better than a layman can recognize a situation in which one could profit from luck. Early adopters of Bitcoin’s potential might argue that they had this kind of luck. Of course, they had no influence whatsoever on the actual price trend, but they saw something in the applicability of the Internet currency that remained hidden from others. For outsiders, however, this kind of happiness also seems like blind luck.

The last kind of happiness is the well-meaning fate, which finds you due to unique abilities, talents or personal circumstances. People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have more opportunities than the common man to find even more happiness in life.

Happiness and the Game selection

One or the other will probably already suspect how to put the whole thing about poker. As mentioned at the beginning, you should never seek blind luck and keep it completely out of your game. But the luck of persistence is something you can challenge as a poker player.

A good example of this would be participating in promotions offered by your own poker room, for example in the form of missions. As long as the rake doesn’t make the games unprofitable, a Bad Beat Jackpot can be a good example.

You could even say that playing lottery SNGs instead of HU SNGs is a good example of the luck you can find with persistence. All these examples include a way to make a normal profit in poker, but it also offers a small chance of big luck and an extra win.

An example of perceived luck in poker would be your own game selection. If one imposes oneself as a guideline to play only tournaments with high Guarantees, then from time to time. Also, the chance offers itself on full price money, without one having to do better than 90% of all participants if a tidy Overlay comes off with such a tournament.

The Matthew Effect

The luck that you find includes the benefits of establishing yourself as a good or at least marketable player. Until recently, winning a WSOP event brought that luck when many bracelet winners were waiting for sponsor deals and invitations to big games. As a good player, you’re lucky to be able to get stuck in big tournaments that are outside your bankroll.

At the moment, hard work at Twitch and YouTube can also ensure that you benefit from the associated advantages such as advertising contracts. Many of the players who won a $25,000 Platinum Pass last year benefited from the luck that brought them a previously established position.

These three forms of luck are also consistent with the Matthew Effect, which says that success requires more and more success. When you start doing the right things, doors can open in other areas that you didn’t have on your screen. Of course, you can also argue that successful people tend to work harder than the rest and therefore have more luck than others.

Anyone who thinks they can control which card is revealed on the river is an idiot. But you can put yourself in a position where you are more often exactly where luck is looking for a beneficiary. As ice hockey icon Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the goal shots you don’t take.

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