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PSO an "Illusion"??

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  • PSO an "Illusion"??

    In the thread above, concerning the new PSO Schedule, a Member states that teaching and learning are NOT the purpose of PSO, and that being taught and learning here is only an "illusion". With his Boston Marathon/Dunkin Donuts analogy, I get the impression that he feels like the lessons, games, and PSO overall are a waste of time for someone who wants to improve their game and possibly move up to the "real world" of high stakes poker, which is exactly MY goal! Now, if other Members feel this way, please elaborate on exactly what you mean! Personally, I feel as if I have learned a LOT since joining PSO, but my question is this; Besides the fact that we are not playing with real money, what is different about REAL "big bet" poker, and what we are playing here, and what, if anything, can I do to learn from any of this to prepare myself for playing in the real world? This post is NOT meant to start arguments, sound "smart alecky", etc. I am just very serious about trying to learn this game inside and out, and would like opinions from other Members. Thank you.

  • #2
    the difference is most player in the USA will never play "real" big bet poker.
    they will go to the local card room and play in a limit ring game or a small buy in limit tourny.

    most people in the school want to play NLHE while never playing NLHE in real life.

    in the UK it is slightly different as PLHE is the standard game which is alot more like NLHE than limit hold em is.

    the school has to give the members what they want and as most people want NLHE that is what they are giving them


    • #3
      Like most human undertakings, that of learning something has as many routes as there are learners. Some of the best players eschew books altogether, others devour them.

      However, there is one universal thread and agreed-upon part of the process: practice. Every good player I've ever seen is as compulsive a player as are the bad players. The most hopelessly addicted loser/fish/producer/attraction spends all his money and effort looking to find the "rush". The most skillful/successful player spends all her time thinking/talking/playing endlessly to exploit every statistical and psychological edge while playing right on through the inevitable downers.

      You won't find much here beyond the readily available conventional wisdom echoed from all the literature about poker and an incredible array of practice facilities + of course this forum, the chat during hands, and pointers to other fora.

      By far the most important thing to do to learn to play well is to play A LOT. The measurement tools (leagues/cumulative%/PSO_detail) enable you to track your progress or lack thereof. A year here, like in most internet information systems will shortcut the process that would have taken 3 - 5 years in the "real world" for a fraction of the cost.


      • #4

        I think you are right to ask if there's a distinction between what happens at PSO and what happens in the "real world" of high stakes poker.

        There are fundamental differences that one needs to take into account between poker played on-line (at any site) and the local house/ring game, casino ring game or tournament.

        Playing at home in front of a PC is a very sanitised way to play the game. With the exception of possible interuptions from family, 'phones etc., one is likely to play in an atmosphere of calm and quiet. There are no distractions from players talking, questioning, arguing, smoking, shouting, swearing or deliberately taking a long time to make a decision. Waitresses aren't going to interrupt your train of thought by asking if you'd like, coffee or a snack. You're not going to be intimidated by another player across the table who has now taken a dislike to you, because earlier you drew to a flush or a straight to beat him/her. In those environments and under those circumstances, it's much easier to become distracted and less focused.

        You also mention that you believe that PSO will help you improve your game and possibly move up to "high stakes" poker. Well, I guess it depends on your definition of "high stakes" because (imho) one can't graduate directly from PSO into big money games without going through the intermediate stages of becoming extremely competent at winning in (the various) low stakes games.

        There are very few "experts" (in any given field) that haven't paid their dues at the bottom end of their chosen area of expertise before graduating to the top end. Even the "overnight successes" who achieved their place in the top echelons, generally will have merely started at an earlier age and accordingly will have still put in their time.

        Where PSO definitely scores is that it will enable one to develop some of the techniques required to try and survive at any level. Hand analysis and recognition, style, tells, odds against improving, betting techniques etc. etc. without losing any "real" money. The multi-table tournaments instill the need to be disciplined and patient, and informed debate in the forum can and does provide the answers to many player's questions.

        But believe me when I say that "gambling" in the PSO tournaments bears absolutely no relationship to its "real life" counterpart mainly because win or lose it's not going to affect one's pocket! Sure, it can affect one's ranking; sure, it can mean an early exit; sure, it can be a matter of momentary displeasure. But getting beat on a hand is not going to affect you in any material way. Therefore, it's easy to ignore can ignore the outcome, because there's no residual effect.

        Nevertheless, on-line poker does will continue in the future, to stake its place. The opportunity for players to indulge themselves is impossible to ignore and as I said in an earlier post, at some time or another I think it's likely that there will be an opportunity to play for a $1 million dollar on-line prize. But, I predict that it will probably go to a player who's had their grounding and is highly skilled in "live/real " poker and who then takes those acquired skills into on-line play.

        Among those PSO players who could give a far more cultured view of "real life" poker would be Freddieboy, jcastle, sgt. cyber, pspitalnic, movingabout and the mad professor (to name but a few). It should also prove "intriguing" to take into account the views of Pokergoddess, who works and plays on a more or less daily basis in the environment.

        Whatever anyone says, it takes a certain amount of courage to look at an opponent across a table, deliberately take money (that you know they can probably ill afford to lose), knowing that they operate on a short fuse and are likely to "blow up" when you beat them. It takes no courage at all to do the same thing on-line.

        In summary then, with the diversity of games, the available hand analysis and on-line poker experts available to answer our questions, PSO is a great tool for learning the mechanics of the game (in that respect, I think it's probably unparalleled) and that's the only claim that Mark and Tina make. What on-line poker can't do is reproduce the "feel", the sheer excitement and unfortunately for some of us, the heart-wrenching loneliness when one suddenly realises that it's all gone horribly wrong. In that respect, the sheer dynamism of that sort of poker game is definitely lacking.

        But I really enjoy PSO and the feeling of fellowship and community. I don't take too much of it too seriously (my choice), but that doesn't mean I don't use it to try and improve my game.

        After all, when I finally beat Clay Knight (and it will happen, one day.....probably) he can throw the table in the air, post a bad-beat story, shout, swear or even spontaneously combust! Will I care? Will I f...k! 'Cos you know what? He ain't closer to me than the on/off switch...try that when you're 12 feet away from

        Shoeless Joe

        "Now And Then There's A Fool Such As I"

        ps: Indy, aren't you going to Tunica? Now that will be something you'll enjoy!


        • #5
          WOW!! Thanks for the responses so far, and I'm looking forward to possibly more. Yes, I am going to Tunica, am planning on entering the 500$ NLHE event, and am very excited about it. And, yes, it is 500$ that I can afford to lose! lol Before posting this thread, I was aware of some of the obvious differences in playing here and playing live. Physical "tells" would be the most obvious to me, along with the outside interuptions that are mentioned above. Since joining PSO, I have read, re-read, and am reading many books on the subject, along with the subject material offered here, and am playing as much as possible. Any other advice on what may help, once I dive headfirst into the waters of Tunica, will be greatly appreciated!


          • #6
            Good posts geezer and joe.

            As with anything, the "value" of PSO is something that each person must evaluate on their own. I can see how some would get alot out of it and others would find its value diminishing. Ive argued before that every means of measurement that people have come up with here (Cum. BR, Stalinski Rating, PSO Detail) all have value, if properly evaluated. If you have a large BR but every other stat tells you that you are mediocre, it becomes important how you value those statistics. If you simply say, "well, all that other stuff is useless, money is all that matters, therefore I am great", then you are deluding yourself. Same too for the value of PSO. PSO is a tool, an expansive tool with many different sides. If your intention is to learn to be a winning limit ring game player, then PSO has very limited value. If your goal is to be a tournament player PSO is a great practice arena, but its lessons focus on limit play (and basically rehash what is already available in many books). If the only thing you did to try and learn the game of poker was use PSO, then your education would be severly lacking.

            Another important point is that it is necessary to understand the differences between online play and live, ring and tournament. Years of practice at tournaments will not make you a winning ring game player. It can help your ring game play, if you recognize the differences. Hence stevetels analogy.

            The problem is most poker players are really good at self-delusion. They delude themselves into thinking they are winning players either by not keeping records at all or not keeping accurate ones. They delude themselves as to how much they lose. Rare is a fish who knows he/she is one. "I do ok." is something you often hear.



            • #7
              When I first came to PSO it was for one reason only. To practice, practice, practice. My goal in practicing was to take the situations that I had experienced hundreds of times for a mere $15 a month and put them into play at live tourneys. And while I've had plenty of practice, the main reason I continue to play here is the people that play here. Plain and simple, it is the PSO community that keeps this avid poker player here (well that and the sponsorship money).

              I think the value of PSO lies in the following:

              You are sitting at the final table of a 50 person no limit tourney (most casinos have these weekly) and have a middle sized stack. You are dealt QQ in MP. An EP player limped. You raise it pot. The BB pushes all in. The EP player reraises himself all in. Have you seen this situation before? Have you called before? Have you won before? Lost? Having played at PSO has given you the opportunity to take this situation, one that might be very uncommon, and give you a little bit of an analytical edge over your opponents.


              P.S. I would fold in the above scenario now. Four months ago, I wouldn't have.


              • #8
                Hazy is right on here!! We, who play here incessantly, see thousands of hands in a short period of time, at virtually no cost. We have run across almost every possible scenerio, not once or twice, but probably hundreds of times in the last year. Some we've learned from, some we've missed, some we've ignored, but we've had the opportunity countless times to "change" a decision or "second guess" ourselves without waiting months or maybe years for the same situation to present itself. That's got to go a longgg way toward making a better, clearer, and smarter decision when you face it across the real felt.



                • #9
                  Geezer said:

                  A year here, like in most internet information systems will shortcut the process that would have taken 3 - 5 years in the "real world" for a fraction of the cost.
                  Hazy wrote

                  Have you seen this situation before? Have you called before? Have you won before? Lost? Having played at PSO has given you the opportunity to take this situation, one that might be very uncommon, and give you a little bit of an analytical edge over your opponents.

                  The above two are the biggest benefits PSO can offer you.

                  The next best thing is the forum.

                  After that the lessons.



                  • #10
                    Shoeless Joe wrote:

                    But believe me when I say that "gambling" in the PSO tournaments bears absolutely no relationship to its "real life" counterpart mainly because win or lose it's not going to affect one's pocket!
                    I would say this is true for a ring game. For low to low-mid ($50-$200) level tournaments, it has been my experience that players in real life play very similar to PSO tourneys.

                    I haven't played in a big time tourney, so can't say about those.

                    You are right that you could never jump from PSO to a $1000 buy in event. You have to work your way up the ladder.




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