Do You Learn When You Lose?

I am reading Mike Cappelletti’s How to Win at Omaha High-Low Poker at the suggestion of a good friend here at RP. Cappelleti includes a list of “Poker Words to Live By” at the end of the book. Here’s one, and I want to know if this phrase rings true for you:

"You learn a lot more from losing than from winning."
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Absolutely true Jan !

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Yes so true!! But that is natural,like life it self,if someone bites you you learn not to be near that person :slight_smile:

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I don’t think that winning or losing are particularly special teaching moments unless you know why that result occurred. The more precisely you can define the reason for the result, the greater the impact of the lesson.

Winning, because of the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives us, simply teaches us to repeat our actions in the same circumstances. Positive reinforcement training :slight_smile:

A thinking person who loses will try to identify what actions were the cause of that result and try to identify alternative actions that would give a better result under those circumstances in the future.

A simple poker example is of a player who jams AA preflop (NLHE). They will win, on average, something like 80% of the time, which nearly always feels like 100%, and thus learn that jamming with AA is a winning strategy. I’m not saying that conclusion is wrong, it obviously isn’t, but there is no imperative to consider alternate strategies which may give even better results.

When a player jams AA and loses to Q5o, they suddenly realise that AA is not a guaranteed win. A thinking player will ask “why?” and go on to discover that their perceived 100% win rate is only ~80%. In the course of discovering this, they will be exposed to other probabilities that affect their game and, with sufficient curiosity, will ask “is there a better way to play?”.

We learn more from losing than from winning only when we ask “Why did I lose?”.

If we don’t have the intellect to ask that question and the determination to find an answer, we’ll be much happier if we continue jamming AA and claiming the game is rigged on those occasions that we lose.

Regards,
TA

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Nicely written, I agree with you !! AA i hates aces hahaa but i have learn the hard way its not the best! Good thoughts and written!! thank you!! learning evryday!!

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We learn from our mistakes! Or at least some of us do :wink:

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So articulate. Thank you, theanalyst01!

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Everything about this comment is on spot!

This is the best answer to this thread, and a great advice to give to the new players that aspire to understand the game at a higher level.

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i learn every time i lose but putting it into my game is hard because i have 2 faults to my game which i find hard to control

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Looking now for the follow-up post from you, uliarsbluff: What are those two faults you referred to? Or would that be revealing your Achilles heel? Also, welcome to the Replay Poker Forum. Hope you visit often and have fun while you’re here, reading and posting.

Dident learn today lose a million all my chips,start ower again ! i can take that,not that they was not kind! Think i am to kind,is i am wrong for this game,must you be evil or bad as,i am starting to wonder!

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Kondrad, it’s really tough when you lose a big amount of chips - it has happened to me as well!

As I said above, you can turn this into a learning experience by asking yourself why it happened and, if you are not sure of your answer, asking for advice. It is really important that you have thought about it before seeking help though.

I treat requests for advice in a similar way to how my maths teachers treated tests: the answer is far less important than showing your thought processes, the “working out” as we called it.

I will get deeply involved with someone who shows me that they are trying to identify their problems and I am far less inclined to get involved with someone who just posts “Why did I lose all my chips?” and sits back waiting for me to do the thinking work for them!

There really is a very simple reason behind your loss. I already know exactly why it happened. You are welcome to think about it and tell us your thoughts about why it happened. We can then congratulate you on reaching the correct answer or show you why your thoughts are not exactly correct.

Hope this helps

Regards,
TA

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Do I learn from losses? Mostly yes, but a little bit of no. Clearly I must have learned something, because my profit margin has gone from -9% to +20% over the last few months. I definitely know which cards to hold and which to fold. On the other hand, I have a tendency to have a boat and lose (and lose big) to a higher boat. This is partly rotten luck, of course, but it’s also due to excessive, reckless aggression on my part.

I definitely don’t become super excited when I get ace/ace. To me, it’s just like any other pair. If I flop my set, great. If not, be prepared to toss it. I’ve drawn the conclusion that all-in might be the best way to play ace/ace, which I’m not happy about because I hate pre-flop all-in.

On a somewhat silly note, I’ve started to believe in lucky numbers. Pairs 4/4 and 8/8 seem particularly favorable.

Finally, understand probability. If I pocket a pair, e.g., 3/3, the likelihood of flopping another 3 is, in fact, remote. If I flop suited Ax, the likelihood of getting three more cards from that suit is remote. That’s why flush is a high hand. Pre-flop optimism is crushed by the flop probably 9 times out of 10.

So, in general:

  • I maintain a cautious, conservative style - highly selective about which cards to play, fold 20 hands in a row without hesitation or embarrassment.

  • Excessive aggression shall be punished - pick your battles very carefully.

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My first thought of my loss is that I was dragged along by the other players and played with emotions and did not think carefully. I have to learn to master the emotions! Thank you for your advice and writing!

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One thing I learnt, by losing all my chips a couple of times now: you can only lose all your chips if you play for all your chips. New rule I set for myself: never play for more than a quarter of all your chips. And that quarter is getting smaller when I loose a lot…

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Wisely stated, gjsint. Welcome to the Replay Poker Forum. Come back and “play” here often!

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Yes, very well said indeed gjsint!

I certainly hope that @Kondrad will read your comment and take note :slight_smile:

You can take it a little bit further and look up something called “Bankroll Management”.

Regards,
TA

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The one thing I can say for certain is I hate losing more than I like winning.

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Me toooooo!

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Best thread I’ve ever seen, on several levels. (Not all of them poker.)

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