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Introduction


Thoughts on the Effects of the Poker Literature

Intellectual poker play players sometimes express grief on the publication of poker texts and articles. Writing that gives sound advice, they reason, cannot be good for the games. Certainly good written information will add to the skills of at least some players but is that all there is to it? Are there are other factors to consider? I think the question of how the about poker literature affects the games is more sophisticated than the simple reasoning offered by players who would prefer that high quality poker information be kept indiscreet.

What is the basis of the idea that the about poker literature makes the games difficult? This notion is just a common sense conclusion based on an apparent correlation. Players who were playing before and after the publication of most of the text (especially the Two Plus Two texts) noticed that many games slowly becomes difficult.

This may be the example of the mistake, well known in science, of equating correlation with awareness. A player sees that as "A" occurred (good books increases rapidly in number), "B" occurred (games got tougher). He thinks A caused B but he fails to consider either that A and B seems together only accidentally, or that a third factor, "C," may have been responsible for both A and B.

A Third Factor

Do you think that the third factor would be responsible for both the publication of books and the toughening of games? The publication of many of many poker texts has been compatible with the growth in legalized gambling which started around the late 80's and continues till today. This growth may have been the "third factor."

It is nearly caused the publication of books, in the sense that it provided a larger market for them, but how could it have made the games tougher? The answer to it is that it brought high social acceptance of public poker which led to many more players entering the game from backgrounds unusual for serious poker players. Compared to 20 years earlier, a greater percentage of players are highly educated, mostly from scientific or other analytical fields. I would like to say that has been gambling guide growth's bringing in there new kind of players, more than books and articles, which has toughened up the games.

It is correct, however, that these are also the kind of players likely to study books in an effort to learn seven card the game. So I suggest that it is really the combination of these rationally oriented players and the availability of the books and articles which has affected the games. Yet even without items to study, these are the kind of players who would come to the game with more training in analytical thinking, and who can make more systematic effort to "solve the puzzle that is poker." Hence, I would suggest that their presence alone would have made the games difficult.

I would also add that there is another phenomenon, especially to Las Vegas , which has included the belief that the games have become tougher. This is again the consequence of gambling growth. The players playing in Vegas noticed the toughening of games may be seeing the difference between yesterday's "tourist" and today's Today's often come from other areas where they play their own legal public card rooms.

This is because these people are experienced players, much less "clueless" than the traditional tourist who came to Vegas from somewhere with no legal gambling and sat down to donate for sometimes in a casino's poker room. It's having more "locals" come into the game rather than only enthusiastic tourists.

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