I’ve been conducting scientific experiments since I was a kid.
How long does a pop bottle have to sit on a fire before it will explode when I throw cold water on it?
How much air do I need to leave in a water balloon so I can throw it at Jennifer without having it blow up in my hand?
This is how I have always tested the world, to see what works, and what blows up. Last week I found a rusted harmonica in an old box. I put my mouth on it and produced dusty, woeful sounds. My next move was obvious. I had to rip it open and see what was inside!
I’ve been ripping poker apart my whole life. Experimenting, branching out, recombining. Looking for the changes that might make me more money. Keeping up on trends, because sometimes the lowest hanging fruit is picked by bucking them.
In the spirit of science, here are three poker experiments you can try. One of them is about funding. One is about fatigue. And the last one is about folding the blinds. To achieve scientific rigor, you will need to collect a large amount of data. Each experiment requires multiple trials before you can draw statistically viable conclusions about whether the change would result in better poker for you.
Don’t play in a live cash game unless you have at least 5 buy-ins in your pocket, even if you know you’ll never use more than four of them in one session.
Why to do it: Because more is more and more is better. Padding is security. Padding is confidence. Sit like you belong, always. Never with your last money on the table. Short bankroll is short-sighted and promotes losing.
Expected result: A badass is born.
Worst possible outcome: You lose more than usual.
If you yawn three times, quit.
Why to do it: Obviously you need some rest. Is this the best time to be betting on your own performance?
Expected result: More napping.
Worst possible outcome: Less poker.
Play tighter from the blinds. Before the flop, fold the marginals − the situations you currently play that feel naughty. After the flop, give up sooner and more often.
Why to do it: The turn and river will suck if you don’t.
Expected result: A life of joy and bliss.
Worst possible outcome: Your opponents grow jealous of your incessant stacking and hate you.
Science can be fun and easy (blowing stuff up). Or it can be challenging and hard (folding the blinds). Fun or not, the long path from conjecture to theory to practical application always passes through the land of many experiments. When you walk into a poker room, imagine you’re wearing a white lab coat, and you’re in the experimentation chamber. You can try any crazy thing you like. To test a hypothesis. Or maybe just to see what happens.
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