Sunday, June 6, 2010
An Open Letter to Drew Chapman
Drew, first and foremost, a disclaimer: I am not writing this to single you out or criticize you. I am writing this publicly because it it something that has been troubling both myself and Travis for some time now and we believe that you and others will be helped greatly by reading this.
Though I sympathize greatly with your most recent downswing, I am concerned that you are dealing with it in the wrong light. What I am referring to is your decision to upload your hands to Poker Luck Meter and posting the results of it.
Yesterday I decided to finally do away with my own EV calculator permanently. The reason? I can not think of a single time that it has either helped or reassure me during a session or afterwards. Though I believe that there is both a time and a place for such tools (which will be addressed in a future post), they are far more likely to be a destructive force in your career than a helping hand. You already know that you are a winning player and with your very honest reflective skills, you know full well the quality of your play in any given day. Having an imperfect tool spit back that information without consideration of your opponent or metagame history and based solely on information gleaned in showdown situations is only likely to make you feel victimized.
As any economist can tell you, the pain of a dollar lost is more than the joy felt by a dollar won. What this translates to is that the visualization of a bad run will make you feel much worse than the knowledge of having run well will make you feel good. Perhaps more importantly, it is the denial of reality in that Sklansky bucks can not be withdrawn to pay your rent or put food on the table.
Of even more to concern to me is that posting a bad EV run puts your excellent blog in serious danger of becoming mediocre. Postings of bad runs on blogs are fodder for the common folk. It also tends to draw a powwow of other people who are anxious to spill their guts about bad beats to whom they expect will provide a sympathetic ear. These people usually have nothing to offer and will threaten to take you down with with them. Your self-awareness and the ability to express it is rare and it is what has drawn you your followers and the great respect of your readership. Don't let that go away. Every bad run hides within it a very compelling moral lesson. Find that lesson, and mine it into gold.