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I'm reading a book called Blink because, well, my boss mentioned it and I thought it would be good to follow up and see what it was all about. Yeah, I'm a bit of a suck-up, but I like reading and the book is both interesting and different from my usual commuter book. The basic concept of Blink is that we call subconciously make decisions or formulate ideas in a blink of an eye. Those decisions or ideas are sometimes wrong, but are often surprisingly right, even when we don't know why we decided or thought something.

In that vein, last night I went online to play a quick SNG while wifey Kim chatted on the phone and subjected me to American Idol. I chose my games with a sorta Blink strategy, going with what felt right. I ended up at a 6-person (turbo, I think) $12 SNG at PokerStars, and I placed in 2nd. I would've placed 1st, but when we got heads up it was back and forth, with me finally having to bite the bullet on a weak hand when my opponent got lucky and caught a card on the turn. Up until that point, I was ahead and knew I was ahead. But that's how it goes. In the very next hand, my flush draw didn't come through and I was out, from chip leader to 2nd place in no time. But my table selection was right for my mood, mind, and bankroll, and the decision was made in the blink of an eye. Up $13 or so, I wasn't feeling like squeezing anything else in before Lost, so I shut down the comp.

A half-hour later, wifey Kim insisted on watching some of Skating with the Stars (never again. NEVER AGAIN!!) I hopped online again to play a little more. Having no time for an SNG (my recent game of choice), I decided to play what felt right in a blink. Although I hadn't played limit in some time, and I hadn't played limit on PokerStars ever, this was where I ended up. The results were fantastic. In no time, I was up over $20. All in all, I couldn't have played for more than 15 minutes at 1/2. I was hitting cards AND I was playing well, maximizing profits on hands like A2 when the flop comes down A25. Of course, the preflop raiser in late position will bet on the flop, so I check to him. He bets. I hesitate and call. The other player folds. The turn doesn't really matter, because I have this guy pegged on AT, AJ, AQ, or AK, or a mid to high pocket pair. I check the turn, and he bets. I wait a moment and re-raise. He calls. The river, well, who cares? I bet the river, he calls, and I take my money. Good timing, active listening (i.e., paying attention to my players), all of these things came together. I even got PokerAceHud to work, but I still haven't worked out the nuances of what anything means.

A winning night, and all because of instinct to choose the right games. I'm already anticipating tonight.

This post was brought to you by the letter T and the number 6, and the hand Royal Flush.

posted by Jordan @ 8:28 AM,


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that they are totally the same concept, but if you liked Blink, you should look at Freakonomics. It's about how the common mentality isn't always right. Pretty good, and pretty short read.

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've not read The Diceman I'd recommend it.
Just don't blame me if you end up busting at a $20-$40 table....

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read "Blink" about a year ago and immediately proclaimed myself an "instinct" or "feel" player. I haven't run into many situations since where the book or my adaptive subconscious have been proven wrong.

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try not to get into books like this, but its interesting overall. I, too, am a feel player. I combine that with basic odds and whatnot, but when I'm playing good I can just feel the timing of what to do and when to do it.

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jordan, I enjoyed reading Blink last year and posted a comment after the read. It still amazes me the first thing that comes to your mind when "something" new is introduced. It can be a great tell. I try to practice this in other situations besides poker. )) btw, two books refereced in "Blink" are also worth the time, "Telling Lies" and "Strangers to Ourselves".

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey jordy,

are you feeling somehow subconciously compelled to play in the blogger FT HORSE tourney ??

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. I'd love to play in the HORSE tourney! It's killing me that I probably can't. I'm going to do what I can, though. HORSE! I gotta get me some of that!

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jordan. Come on, you gotta play HORSE tonight! I'm already registered, it won't be the same without you.

I too recently read "blink" and really enjoyed the new perspective. I tend to apply it at the poker table more to my reads on other players' likely holdings than to my actual game selection. I used its theory frequently earlier this week when I made my first ever final table in a big tourney! It was the $10 tourney on pokerstars, and I ended in 6th place for my largest individual payout ever in online poker. Since I only ended up seeing 11% of flops in the tournament (more details in my blog), I wasn't playing great cards to get as far as I got, so I can't tell you how many times I had to rely on my first instinct to bluff other players with weak hands out of pots they had already bet into.
Anyways, good post, and maybe we'll see you tonight on full tilt?


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