02-10-06 [poker]The human perception of frequency is very fucked up. It feels like any time you fold some junk, it seems to always hit the board. Everyone you meet named "Barry" seems to act just like your friend Barry you had when you were a kid. It seems like astrologers have some knack of saying things that perfectly fit your life. This is a well known fallacy - of course these things really don't happen very often, but you don't notice it when they don't happen, you only remember the positive events and thus incorrectly think they happen far more often than they do. This is the human flaw which makes us think "coincidences" are some magic thing that can't just be random events, because we latch onto the coincidences, and ignore the millions and millions of events which fail to be coincidences.
This comes up all the time in bad player's poker play. It seems like some donk is always hitting his draws on you. No, of course he's not, he's just folding when he misses so you only see it and remember it when he does spike it. It seems like this aggressive guy keeps taking pots from you. Maybe so, but not as often as you think, because you're not remembering all the hands he just checked down. If you're the fishy donk at the table, it feels like the pros are always picking on you. No, not really, you just didn't notice the vast majority of hands where they just folded preflop or folded on the flop, you're only remembering the few where they raised you big. Because of that you think they're raising all the time with junk, which of course they're not.