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balloo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:16 pm
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I realise that this is a sweeping generalisation.....

Although it is clear more men play poker than women I think that fundamentally men are stronger in the types of character traits required to become good at poker.

I am speaking about characteristics like aggression, fearlessness and the desire to really destroy their opposition.

I have played with a few great women poker players, both online and live and I am in no way questioning their ability, but I think that the genetic make up of the male gives us an edge.

Flame Away Laughing
Alex B
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:23 pm
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balloo wrote:
I am speaking about characteristics like aggression, fearlessness and the desire to really destroy their opposition.


True, but I don't think they're the most important.

At least not in that exagerated form, if you just say "competitiveness" I think it makes more sense.

And men are traditionally stronger with maths and logic, whereas women do better with languages.

As a sidenote, I think it is very misleading when poker players talk about aggression and fearlessness, and its normally not the best players who say it.

The fact is, fear doesn't enter into a poker game if you back your logic and are properly bankrolled; everything is just pot %s and the most +EV decision. And the word "aggression" is deceptive, because this isn't boxing or similar, its just a mental manipulation of the numbers we use in the betting system.

Sometimes genuinly fearless and aggressive people stumble over the best betting strategy, because there is a correlation, but its no subsitute for straight-forward IQ.
Scunner_D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:42 pm
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You may be surprised, but I agree with you ......... as a sweeping generalisation of course.

The main reasons imo are testosterone and aggression. You have to be aggressive to be a good poker player and that does not come as easily to women. Because of testosterone men can also get hyped up in a live situation which can not only lead to the aforementioned aggression but can also intimidate opponents. Its not often that a woman can have the physical presence to intimidate an opponent and has to rely on more sophisticated means.

Men (in general) can be better at logical analysis which can assist in calculating odds etc (the same reasons that more men are drawn to science and engineering).

However I must add that as a woman I think I do have an edge in certain areas (in my experience):

- I think I'm able to control my emotions better by not tilting as easily as some of my male opponents - I can put bad beats behind me and move on without taking everything personally.(I have noticed that many men take a bad call / beat as if it is a personal insult).

- in live situations I can win many pots by being given credit for being tighter than I actually am. Men tend to think that I generally only play with the goods and am less likely to bluff. (Of course once I'm caught out with my hand in the cookie jar I have to behave myself until the tables break up and I can smile sweetly and start bluffing again).

- I also think that women have a better "feel" for the game in terms of intuition. This is hard to quantify but manifests itself in being able to get away from a hand, being able to draw out value bets and getting reads off opponents.

I think the main reason men continue to dominate the poker scene however is opportunity, numbers of them playing and aggression. However with more and more younger women playing poker and feeling less intimidated by the traditional casino atmosphere and the traditional macho image of poker and of course finding their inner aggression - things are changing quickly.
Alex B
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:46 pm
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Scunner_D wrote:

However I must add that as a woman I... ...(in my experience):...

- I think I'm able to control my emotions better


Laughing

If you do have better than average control of your emotions, I would suggest that it could be more correct to say "despite being a woman."
Scunner_D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:48 pm
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Alex B wrote:
Scunner_D wrote:

However I must add that as a woman I... ...(in my experience):...

- I think I'm able to control my emotions better


Laughing

If you do have better than average control of your emotions, I would suggest that it could be more correct to say "despite being a woman."


ahem ..... at the table, I should add!! Surprised
balloo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:54 pm
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Alex B wrote:
balloo wrote:
I am speaking about characteristics like aggression, fearlessness and the desire to really destroy their opposition.


True, but I don't think they're the most important.

At least not in that exagerated form, if you just say "competitiveness" I think it makes more sense.

And men are traditionally stronger with maths and logic, whereas women do better with languages.

As a sidenote, I think it is very misleading when poker players talk about aggression and fearlessness, and its normally not the best players who say it.

The fact is, fear doesn't enter into a poker game if you back your logic and are properly bankrolled; everything is just pot %s and the most +EV decision. And the word "aggression" is deceptive, because this isn't boxing or similar, its just a mental manipulation of the numbers we use in the betting system.

Sometimes genuinly fearless and aggressive people stumble over the best betting strategy, because there is a correlation, but its no subsitute for straight-forward IQ.




What seperates guys like Antonious and Ivey with guys like Bill Chen and Jesus Ferguson?

Do you think that Patrik A and Ivey have a better understanding of game theory and optimizing expectation than Chen and Jesus? Of course they dont. But what they do possess is something in their make up that allows them to make optimal plays in situations where Jesus and Chen cant.

This is the character traits that I am talking about.
balloo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:54 pm
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Scunner_D wrote:
Alex B wrote:
Scunner_D wrote:

However I must add that as a woman I... ...(in my experience):...

- I think I'm able to control my emotions better


Laughing

If you do have better than average control of your emotions, I would suggest that it could be more correct to say "despite being a woman."


ahem ..... at the table, I should add!! Surprised


No offence Scunner but I didnt realise you were a lady.

Who named you scunnner? Its sort of kinky in a self depreciating sort of way
Alex B
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:02 pm
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balloo wrote:
What seperates guys like Antonious and Ivey with guys like Bill Chen and Jesus Ferguson?

Do you think that Patrik A and Ivey have a better understanding of game theory and optimizing expectation than Chen and Jesus? Of course they dont. But what they do possess is something in their make up that allows them to make optimal plays in situations where Jesus and Chen cant.

This is the character traits that I am talking about.


I think this is probably a false distinction. PA and PI probably have very similar skill sets to CF and BC, but are arguably slightly better in some areas. Perhaps reading people, perhaps hand reading, logic, psychology.

But there's no was Jesus is equal to Ivey in these respects and is held back because he daren't make the plays (or otherwise doesn't want to?!), thats just not how professional poker works. It sounds like the false image of poker strategy that helped Ulliot wing it through the 90s.

Its about the skillset, and perhaps a motivation to learn and improve the skillset, but its not an inherent personality trait.

If courage is a part a persons poker game, they need to study more or move down a level.
balloo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:13 pm
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Alex B wrote:
balloo wrote:
What seperates guys like Antonious and Ivey with guys like Bill Chen and Jesus Ferguson?

Do you think that Patrik A and Ivey have a better understanding of game theory and optimizing expectation than Chen and Jesus? Of course they dont. But what they do possess is something in their make up that allows them to make optimal plays in situations where Jesus and Chen cant.

This is the character traits that I am talking about.


I think this is probably a false distinction. PA and PI probably have very similar skill sets to CF and BC, but are arguably slightly better in some areas. Perhaps reading people, perhaps hand reading, logic, psychology.





Who do you think has studied the game more than Bill Chen or Jesus? Very, very few. So why is it that they cant make the neccessary adjustments to playing and beating the highest stakes games?

Your initial point was that poker in its naked form is just about logic and making +EV decisions. I agree it is but what seperates guys that make logical optimal EV decisions?

In my opinion the reason that Ivey is better than Ferguson is that Ferguson is more risk averse than ivey. This is part of Iveys make up as a man. He is a fearless gambler. You cant possibly explain this human skill set in mathematic/logic/poker terms, you are either born with it or you are not.
RobGibraltar
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:14 pm
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Why are men better? I don't really think that they are. If an equal number of female players were involved I think there would be more female players than males at the very top.

It doesn't take a lot for a female to learn the maths and logic side, so whilst they may be slower to ramp up, they are naturally more intuitive and used to reading situations. Many women are also used (pretty much from birth) to manipulating men - it even has roots in genes.

I could say more, but I don't want to as it's information that has saved me money on more than one occasion Very Happy
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Scunner_D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:18 pm
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balloo wrote:
Its sort of kinky in a self depreciating sort of way


That's me Smile

Actually I don't like to often reveal that I am a girl and it says a lot about this Forum that I feel comfortable to let that be known. I never have names on online sites or Forums that reveal me as female. I think there is such a lack of respect for female players (for their play, their opinions, their achievements........ their appearance etc) and no matter how many times I tell myself that this is very much +ev and ultimately that it doesn't matter - it can be difficult to handle (hence why I am such a staunch defender of Vicky C who I think provides a very positive role model).

Edit: 9.15 pm 24/07/07: Time I estimate at which this thread descends into a discussion of the best looking / sexiest woman poker player regardless of ability.


Last edited by Scunner_D on Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
Alex B
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:21 pm
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Ferguson could easily identify if he was being too conservative in spots he should gamble, and we wouldn't give a second thought to making the change.

He would find it much more difficult to identify and improve on a weakness in reading people and psychology. E.g. putting people on an accurate range just by looking at them, or KNOWING they will fold if you raise.

The latter is what some people erronously chalk up to fearlessness and aggression, but if thats all it is you're just left with a reckless broke gambler. The tough part is in making the right read, not making the move; if Jesus had Ivey's insight into every hand, I would guarantee he would never shy away from making the same plays.

Or... So what separates Ivey and Farha?


Last edited by Alex B on Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
Sciolist
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:23 pm
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The form of agression that you need to become successful poker is not something that anyone has naturally. Aggressive people are aggressive in a very broad and generally undisciplined way. That's no use in poker. You have to learn how to be selectively aggressive, and I don't think it makes much difference if you're a man or a woman.

The important factor is the number of people who play. Why do men pick the game up over women? I imagine it's largely social, but what's more interesting to me is that men are more likely to become obsessed with ideas, and women are more likely to become obsessed with people.

I think it was Nick Hornby who talks about it in Fever Pitch. Whilst there're always exceptions, it's just that men gravitate towards ideas or systems, and women don't. It's not to say that men who don't or women who do are weird, it's just a spectrum or possibilities.

Therefore, if you had 1000 men and 1000 women start learning poker on the same day, I would bet a lot of money that in one year more of the men would still be playing. I would also bet that the average skill of the remainder would be identical, but that the deviation in skill would be a lot higher for the men as there're more of them.

I think that that's all that does it. I don't think that the successful women players have anything particularly strange and unusual about them, just a propensity to be drawn towards ideas, or perhaps just THIS idea.

I don't think we can change this, and I don't think there's much reason to change this. It doesn't make poker a fundamentally unhealthy thing to spend your time on just because it's a predominantly male occupation.
micky D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:49 pm
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i believe women make excellent players , i have been knocked out of 2 recent competitions not by there female charms but just bloody good poker
i think it is men sometimes that just think they are better and underestimate ( me included ) female players .

scunner i think people will respect you even more for putting up with this male dominated forum and good luck to you , excuse the phrase but you need balls to put up this lot
TCPPS
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:55 pm
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balloo wrote:
I realise that this is a sweeping generalisation.....

Although it is clear more men play poker than women I think that fundamentally men are stronger in the types of character traits required to become good at poker.

I am speaking about characteristics like aggression, fearlessness and the desire to really destroy their opposition.

I have played with a few great women poker players, both online and live and I am in no way questioning their ability, but I think that the genetic make up of the male gives us an edge.

Flame Away Laughing



I think you are being very generous in how you try to contextualize your beliefs: my opinion is far more conspicuous and straight forward, I feel even if there was an equal numer of men and women players the men would still be far better due to reasons which you have forementioned. No need to sugar coat it, Now this is my OpinioN if you dont like it ignore or if it makes you feel better, use the metaphorical flame thrower,either is fine Very Happy
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