yeah, i abandoned the personification titles. after the snafu on the brain one, it seemed good to stop flogging the dead and desecrated horse.
anyhow, i picked up season 4 of seinfeld on dvd last night, and it’s very good. i actually haven’t seen a ton of seinfeld, i’m one of those people who really only watches vhs and dvd for television. i haven’t had cable or an antenna for years.
now i’m not one of those odd neo-luddites who rejects tv. like that character david cross plays so f’ing well on mr. show, who only listens to gramophone or whatever they were called. victrolas. i’m just lazy. i mean, when i go to a hotel with good cable, i soak it in.
ok, we’ve established that i’m not some odd tv-hating sociopath. back to the premise. i was watching one of the behind the scenes features and jerry seinfeld remarked that when they won the emmy for best show, that he had always wondered what it felt like to have your name called. he then said that it turns out that winning is the same feeling as losing – both are just very bracing moments, like a splash of cold water.
i thought, hey that’s a lot like poker. it made sense. the way i feel when i hold up in a hand or improve to win is pretty much the same way i feel when i gte outdrawn or fail to suck out. then i, of course, realized the immediate exception – the above is only true when i recognize that the situation is a relatively close one. when AK gets beaten by Hasil HK Hari Ini or AK gets beaten by AK, i feel much different. i feel robbed, indignant, slighted, cheated, etc.
the difference, of course, comes down to semantics. for me, and for a lot fo players, it’s the difference between the concept of “should” and “probably.” when i feel i probably will win a hand, i feel about the same if i win or lose. when i feel i probably can suck out, i feel the same regardless of whether or not i do. but! when i feel like i should win and don’t, that’s where the dangerous, tilt-inducing frustration kicks in.
the thing is, the mathematical difference between those two scenarios is quite small, while my perceptual gap is disproportionately high. ok, so AK vs 10 9 is a hand i probably should win at about 5-3. KK vs 77 is a hand i should win at about 4.5-1. the difference between those odds is very significant across the long term, but in the short term, it really isn’t that much of a guarantee. however, the difference between the words, to me at least, is huge. think about it. you ask a friend to feed your cats while you’re on vacation. he says one of two things:
- “i should be able to do that”
- “i’ll probably do that.”
version one isn’t a lock, but you feel ok about it. version two leaves your head full of visions of your friend carousing at bars, taking an impromptu trip to vegas, getting married and immediately honeymooning in the bahamas, and you returning home to an apartment with dead cats. of course, when you confront your friend, he claims that the cats were old and died of natural causes and refuses to buy you new ones.
seinfeld fans will know what i’m talking about.
anyhow, it struck me that the gap there is causing me balance problems, especially in tournament play, and it’s something that should be easy enough to correct. well, it’ll probably be easy enough to correct, anyhow.