Your downfall: Overconfidence

August 25, 2008

So, you have been reading all the forums, watching all the videos, playing tons of hands, and have this game all figured out.  So why the f@$k aren’t you soul crushing like Raptor or Durrr?  Well, it could rest on the fact that you may be overconfident.

Often, because you have studied the game to the point where you can easily identify a weaker player, or an exploitable playing style, you feel you are ‘the man.’  Since you are ‘the man’ you are ‘supposed’ to win.  There is no way this monkey can or ‘should’ beat you.  I mean…c’mon, you’ve played 30,000 hands this month, and can 18 table, and have 100x the tournament cashes, blah blah blah.  You get the idea.

Being confident is a good skill to have.  It can serves you well in life, and in poker.  The trouble comes when you allow your confidence to create a sense of complacency.  Sure you may be better than this random spew monkey, but he may still win this hand.  And the next one.  It’s important to always have some degree of respect at the table (and in life) for other people.

Sometimes, we can get what I like to call ‘fancy pants’ syndrom – where we are trying too hard to outplay everyone, in every single spot we see that is exploitable.  This leads us to playing like a meglomaniac.  Playing too many hands, playing too aggressively against opponents who aren’t thinking beyond level 1, forcing the action, creating big pots because ‘you can outplay them on later streets’.

Everyone in the poker world is overconfident to some degree.  We all think we have an edge in the games we play.  That’s why we are playing.  We are playing to win money.  Without this confidence factor we’d be relying mainly on luck – and since we know poker is a skill game – we must have an edge.

Short term, edges in 6max, full ring, mtt, sng’s (less so in HU cash) are not always that big.  Ivey has a 5% chance of winning the WSOP ME, whereas my chance is somewhere between .01-2%.  That is not a huge edge for any given tournament.

Also, when we see people making dumb plays, like limp calling big raises oop with marginal hands, we want to pounce.  So sometimes, we can get over excited and make costly mistakes, and ignore the signals the monkey is sending (like ‘I’m never folding’ type signals).

Try and keep your confidence in check, and next time you might just play better against that clown sitting next to you.



Biggest Winners and Losers for May

May 16, 2008

Half way through, here’s what it looks like according to

Top winners and losers
 (All sites, All Gametypes, 2008-05-01 to 2008-05-15)
  Winners Results Sessions Hands Hours
  CHUFTY $881.069,75 164 15101 229,67  
  Markus Golser $626.538,00 102 10054 128,37  
  durrrr $592.840,50 70 7708 111,73  
  Ziigmund $522.461,00 75 6498 63,23  
  David Benyamine $509.046,00 116 13670 160,64  
  Cogaz $417.826,50 29 4471 56,19  
  La Key U $404.105,00 46 2519 40,19  
  -NoName- $379.429,46 26 5475 31,02  
  Cole South $195.843,00 10 563 8,48  
  SteveSung $179.548,00 48 3626 51,80  
  Losers Results Sessions Hands Hours
  lady marmelade $-561.653,95 46 7669 113,13  
  EURO32PLYR $-523.874,50 21 1747 28,14  
  Ugadabugada $-485.462,00 37 2321 29,24  
  Urindanger $-460.407,60 98 8015 79,54  
  trex313 $-448.073,00 108 12099 159,76  
  MSampoerna $-314.816,25 21 3784 28,57  
  Luck123 $-287.920,00 33 1449 18,70  
  Eric Liu $-244.385,60 50 5486 59,52  
  guaranteed376 $-218.706,00 13 711 10,82  
  ICallSoWhat $-173.944,00 97 7993 107,74