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People are stupid (Wizard’s First Rule)

My first “real” post…

They say it’s important to start strong, so I decided to change your life.  This is something that I teach my youth at my job, and quite frankly has influenced the way I look at the people around me.  The following quote is one that  I lifted it from a fantastic series of books written by Terry Goodkind called the “Sword of Truth” (which I highly recommend), and they’ve even made a television show based on it called “Legend of the Seeker” (which I don’t quite recommend). Anyways, it’s a fantasy novel, full of wizards, knights, kings, and what not, but there are a set of rules for wizards, and the first rule (cut & pasted from Wikipedia) is:

People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.

Think of all the times you’ve said or heard something like “There’s just not enough time in the day to go to the gym” – well, that’s bullshit, watch one less hour of reality television.  How about something like those urban legends you hear about?  Or, being on the internet, the ever popular Nigerian prince scam.  People are stupid.  You are stupid – but that’s okay, as long as you know it!

Relating  this to poker, it’s easy to think about people that you’ve come across that have done stupid things, or are just stupid people. Remember that guy that called with 92o and caught two pair on your AA? How stupid was THAT? Well, the stupid person I’m interested in is you. Yes, put aside your ego and realize that you’re stupid – just like me! :)

Now that you`re thoroughly insulted, let’s apply this to poker.  I am an active member on a poker forum based out of Canada (www.pokerforum.ca), and I distinctly remember one thread asking a very simple question.  Why are all the members of forums who read, discuss, and consider all these strategy posts day in and day out not experiencing success on the bigger tournaments?  The answer was simple for me – because of all the people playing poker, 99.99% of the haven’t got the discipline, desire, or willpower that it would take to properly concentrate on the game.  They do not play as they should, they do not study the game as they should, and they do not properly evaluate their own game as they should.  However, one thing I didn’t mention, is that they don’t even realize this, and that my friends, is because they don’t know the Wizard’s first rule.  Look for this to become a fairly common theme throughout my entries – starting with the next one, entitled “Why Julian Rotter can fix your game”

Mark

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