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Advice I recently noticed a very comparable position between one of my 15 year old sons experience with simultaneous equations and many new poker players learning poker from the net and TV. My son was being "taught" mathematics by one of the many so called teachers that, for example, get a degree in Elephant anal wart removal (if there is such a qualification, probably is nowadays) and then do a simple 1 year conversion course to become a "teacher" and are let loose on our children with a great ability to tell the children how to do it but very little ability to actually teach them to understand what it is they are actually doing.

My son was able to answer the simultaneous equation question but had no actual understanding of how he was doing it so future problems away from the narrow knowledge he had of that specific example he had been "taught" left him effectively moving all-in blind under the gun.

In my endeavours to actually teach my son an understanding of what and why the various calculations are done he still insisted on missing out the "easy lines" of the calculation to get to the answer as quickly as possible and a similar problem often occurs with less able and eventually much poorer players making moves and actions without actually understanding the thought process behind what they think they saw or read someone else do. Worse still is that many of such individuals actually are well capable of gaining that understanding but cannot be bothered.

One good example of this is the "squeeze play" which I have mentioned in a previous article. A squeeze play is not simply a re-raise after one player has raised and at least one other has called. Yes that is the situation that exists when a "squeeze" is made but that does not mean that every time that situation arises a "squeeze" exists and all to often this play is made without any consideration of the actual hand ranges or playing styles of the other players involved.

Obviously in poker it is entirely possible to do the wrong thing for completely the wrong reason and look like a champion getting the great result you deserved (or vice-versa and everything in between) but, surely you will get the right result more often if you make a thoughtful reasoned action rather than what is effectively a random guess.

Talking of teaching a went into the pool at one of my youngest sons swimming lessons and there was a slow flume (water slide) and a fast flume. The fast flume was very quick and over very quickly as well (I am sure there is a James Akenhead joke in there somewhere). I can offer some good intentioned advice here without any ulterior motive.

DO NOT go down a fast flume (as I did) with your legs apart or when you hit the water you will get an experience probably akin to a night out with Tiffany Michelle, judging by her table manor 3 tables out in last years WSOP Main Event.

Advice offered can take many forms and come with many different obvious and less obvious motives.

Youthful exuberance can often be accompanied by fearlessness borne out of ignorance. That is not an insult; the ignorance is one of consequence which is the same for all of us. It is hard to appreciate a consequence when you have never seen nor experienced it.

It is also true, to a certain extent, that older people/players may have a negative view of that fearlessness as it reminds them that they were once young but now have to settle for just being immature, as the closest alternative.

Having five children I have much experience of trying to impart my experience to younger people as they tend to want to get from A to B in the quickest least inconvenient way and are very much not inclined to listen to anything that will require more effort, more thought, or more time spent doing something they can get by with already in a well rehearsed and practiced shortest possible time frame.

Another form of "advice" can often be gained when putting a bad beat on an opponent, particularly online and even more so when it was preceded by an apparently poorly conceived action, at least in the mind of the "victim".

In such circumstances the prudent and disciplined professional when suffering an horrendous beat by an ignorant tree dwelling buffoon will not rant and abuse the opponent but, will congratulate them in the hope that they will continue then and in future to play in the same "creative" style that gave rise to the great financial success that they have just enjoyed. The alternative option is to abuse them which may well give rise to one or both of the following events. The chimp will leave the table and you will not get an adequate chance to recoup the losses or they may take your "advice" as accurate and go away and learn to play the game properly, bit of a lose lose situation there I think.

The above disciplined response is, of course, much easier said than done and I have to admit to being guilty of this and was recently on a cash table when the administrator posted in the chat box a request that all players maintain a dignified and respectful chat style with all other players. I asked what at the time I felt was a very reasonable and relevant question which was "does that mean if we get bummed by a monkey we have to say well played?" and for some reason my chat privileges were revoked, no sense of humour these suited up office types.

Wed, 13th October 2010

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