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Asking The Wrong Questions

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  • Asking The Wrong Questions

    Please do not take this as a slam against anyone. My purpose here is to help you think differently sometimes.

    I see a lot of analysis requests where people are asking the wrong questions. Fortunately they get the right answers most of the time because the hand analyzers here do a good job. My issue has more to do with the perspective of those make these posts.

    I see way too many closed questions. If you ask something like: "Did I play this right?"; "Was this the best line?"; and ""Should I have folded to the 3 bet?" If I were answering the questions, being the smartass that I am, you would get what you asked for. That being a yes or no. Well, sometimes I might slip a maybe in during a moment of weakness.

    Poker is not game of yes or no, true or false nor black and white. And closed questions overlook the fact that there is a lot of gray in poker. The most common answer to a question about the play of a hand is "It depends."

    Analyzing a poker hand, like solving a lot of problems, is usually accomplished by peeling the layers off as if it were an onion and I have looked at some of mine which made my eyes burn. The answer to one question leads to another, that to another and so forth. Too many closed questions delay arriving at the answer.

    Also by asking a yes/no question you appear to be wanting a quick and dirty answer. Proper hand analysis frequently takes time. Hastening the process can lead to missing a valuable insight.

    Closed questions do have a place in the analysis when used properly. Something directed to the player like "Did you consider a 1/2 pot bet instead of a pot bet?" Serve to make you think of looking at things differently. They can also be presented as "What would happen if you would have done .....?"

    So think about the questions you ask when posting for analysis. They way you ask the question could make a difference.

    As always,

    Good decisions.

  • #2
    +1umbup:

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    • #3
      what he saidumbup: cheers
      Poker Rule #1....Never listen to me...hiccup

      7 Time Bracelet Winner


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      • #4
        I 100% agree but also remember what it was like to post a question up as a new forum member. A big part o the problem is that new players do not know what questions to ask.

        So a big thank you to the hand analysis team for asking those questions for us.

        Grade b
        I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

        13 Time Bracelet Winner


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        • #5
          I've only recently joined the team of hand analyzers, but I know exactly what TrumpinJoe is talking about.

          But it must be quite scary for someone to post a hand, when any mistakes they make are likely to be criticised, and often I think they just want some confirmation that they're not a terrible player. Where possible, I try to give that confirmation.
          Another thing is that for many PSO members, English is not their first language, so subtleties are often lost when they have questions to ask, but can't find quite the right words.

          We try and give constructive criticism and answer specific questions, but also try to give ideas on the thinking processes the poster should be using at the table. In effect, we're trying to help ALL readers of the post, not just the thread starter, who might just want a two-word answer like "well played".

          There are various stickies in the hand analysis forums that supply posters with advice on how to get the most of the services here. Starting with a good thread title like "2NL: AK in blinds vs nit UTG, line check required" certainly helps, along with any reads/notes you have on the opponents involved. The more information you provide, the more detailed the answer(s) you should receive.

          Nevertheless, I'll do my best to help anyone, provided they follow the rules of the forum and remain civil.

          Good luck to everyone and keep those interesting hands coming!

          Cheers, Arty
          Bracelet Winner

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          • #6
            Hello, On the same topic I'd like to link those members who haven't seen it yet to a thread that Joe posted back in 2011 with some useful tips about posting in the Hand Analysis section. Raiser umbup:

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            • #7
              Good stuff! How we think about the game is huge. Using how we formulate hand analysis questions really exemplified this issue perfectly TrumpinJoe!

              Originally posted by Grade b View Post
              I 100% agree but also remember what it was like to post a question up as a new forum member. A big part o the problem is that new players do not know what questions to ask.

              Grade b
              I agree Grade b; however, this is not just an issue for "new" players.

              I still post hands, for example, where I am interested in the action on the turn, only to receive a reply from Dave with two paragraphs looking at the preflop action pointing out something that I wasn't even aware of!

              For me that is the beauty of getting a hand analyzed. It opens my eyes to new lines of thought, new ways of approaching a situation and new ways of improving my game.

              We are all here to improve (most of us at any rate), no matter what our current level.

              Btw, my favorite analyses are those in which many people post their thoughts and real discussions are created. As TrumpinJoe pointed out, there are a lot of shades of gray. My point being, don't be afraid to post your reasoning in a hand. You don't have to have a "Hand Analyzer" title to contribute something meaningful. I encourage you to give it a try. You might learn something new yourself from how others respond, and your thoughts might help others learn.

              Roland GTX

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roland GTX View Post
                ... My point being, don't be afraid to post your reasoning in a hand. You don't have to have a "Hand Analyzer" title to contribute something meaningful. I encourage you to give it a try. You might learn something new yourself from how others respond, and your thoughts might help others learn.

                Roland GTX
                Agree, it is a good thing for everybody to try and get involved in. I try to analyze a lot of the cash game hands every week. While I am definitely hoping to help other peoples game, my primary motivation is actually to improve my own game. There is a lot to be learned, even if it isn't your hand being analyzed and you're not an official hand analyzer.
                Last edited by RockerguyAA; Fri Mar 08, 2013, 07:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RockerguyAA View Post
                  Agree, it is a good thing for everybody to try and get involved in. I try to analyze a lot of the cash game hands every week. While I am definitely hoping to help other peoples game, my primary motivation is actually to improve my own game. There is a lot to be learned, even if it isn't your hand being analyzed and you're not an official hand analyzer.
                  +1umbup: John (JWK24)
                  Super-Moderator



                  6 Time Bracelet Winner


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                  • #10
                    Learning is a matter of attitude. The more you want to learn something the more receptive you are to new ideas and perspectives on that subject. How one frames questions gives some insight into their intents and attitudes with their posts. This enables responders to fully address those concerns.

                    Closed questions, especially unspecific ones, rarely convey as much information and leave those looking at the post to decide what to comment on.

                    Taking time to frame a good question often causes one to look at the problem differently. I favor the Socratic method of learning (I don't say teaching because teaching there is no teaching, only learning) hence my focus on questions. Thoughtfully worded questions usually receive more in depth answers has been my experience. I will answer the question "What are your thoughts on three betting the turn given ....." more in depth than "Should I have three bet the turn?" In such exchanges both sides tend to gain new perspectives.

                    The above is just a rambling wha to say you get out of something depends on what you put in to it.

                    Good decisions!

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