It is Sunday night and I spent a few hours watching poker after dark on Youtube today. Here is the story of how I ended up watching poker. 

At the start of this year, I had a list of things I want to build mastery on. That feels like a decision from light years ago. I did create a folder in my google drive and list the topics by month. I even wrote a post or two about them.

One of the key things I want to get better at is decision making. It feels like one of the key skills that influences the quality of life a person lives. And I in particular feel like I need to work on decision making.

I have worked on many things in the last few years. I feel like the rate of failure seems profound. I have taken time to do a retrospective to learn from all of them. But at the time of accepting the failure, it was very painful. The theme made me think about the cause. I landed on poor decision making.

In my attempt to get better, I bought the book - Thinking in Bets by a world famous poker player - Anne Duke. It was in my audible collection since Oct 2019 and I finally decided to listen to it this past week. In the first 30 minutes of the book, I was blown away by the number of biases that I was guilty of.

Let me share my favorite bias... Resulting(also called outcome bias). A lot of people associate their quality of decision making with the outcome. This phenomena in poker is called resulting. So if you have a good hand in poker and do what is statistically a higher odds and still lose, you shouldn't blame your decision making... it was just bad luck. But many people (ME) associate the result with the decision. That results in not appreciating a well thought out decision with variables that are either beyond our control or bad luck. 

This concept is completely new to me. I got as excited as I did when I first heard about cognitive dissonance. I seem to be building a list of favorite biases. 

Anne makes interesting points using poker. She explains that good poker players make many decisions within a short game and are constantly thinking in bets. And I want to learn how to do that. So here I am looking at how pros make split second decisions using probability and minimizing bias. Fascinating stuff. 
Reading this made me realize (biased own opinion) that you should not write about 
Robert Greene
but should rather write about 

I know that sounds kind of wacky but this seems like something -- in my biased view -- that would make so much sense looking back in retrospect.
2021-05-17 13:27:52
There's a lot to be learned from poker. Outcome bias is a classic one. 
2021-05-17 16:27:18
Sir Abe - I only read Power by the same author and got turned off completely. I have heard mastery is a much better book but haven't read it. I like the idea of a retrospective for all things - both failures and successes actually. But I have abundant experience in one over the other. 

But the interesting question is why are you biased towards failure Sir Abe?
2021-05-17 22:28:31
Brandon, you were already aware of the outcome bias? I guess I am the one late to the game. 
2021-05-17 22:29:07
Yes, I picked up Annie's book when I heard her on Dr. Peter Attia's podcast. 
2021-05-17 22:29:53
Lol I actually wasn't saying that I was biased towards failure. I was just caveating that my suggestion was biased in case you got mad at me for suggesting something that you didn't like.
2021-05-17 23:04:32