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Thursday Notes – A GREAT Interview

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments (3)

Continuing yesterday’s theme of “Must-See TV”, here’s a link to THE BEST “trader” interview I’ve ever heard … in the context of a professional poker player interview with Annie Duke. Simply replace all of the “poker” terms with “trading” terms.

A heads up (pun intended) that Annie is pretty blunt with her words beginning around the nine minute mark, so please view at your own risk.  I’m posting the link because the benefits of viewing this from a trader perspective clearly outweigh the “R” rating.

The first half is the most relevant part.  Outstanding topics include:

- NOT focusing on the current hand or decision, but rather whether that decision will win over the majority of the … here comes that word againtime.

- Having the “heart” to not only understand the correct play, but to follow through and actually do it.  This point is critically important from a trading perspective as you need to be doing the immediate opposite of those around you.  You MUST be strong EXACTLY when it’s easiest to be afraid.  It’s also PRECISELY why most trading “analysts” and ”auction callers” typically are poor traders.

- Acknowledging that you’ll NEVER master the game because it’s not mathematically solvable.  One gets better, but never solves it.

- Acknowledging that there are many, many people much more “talented” in the industry than you.  The difference is that they’re broke and you’re not.

- Accepting losses as part of the “variance” of the business.

- Not focusing on the bad “variance” out of your control.  Focus on what you can control.

- Realizing it takes at least 4-5 years to really “get it”.  And like any skill profession, I’ll add “several more years” if your goal is approaching your full potential or championship caliber trading.

- Being thankful for all those who are focused on criticizing you because it makes your job at the “table” all that much easier since they’re not focused on the important aspects and will thus trade emotionally, allowing you to be on the unemotional profitable side.  As a public trader, I love this one because it’s sooooo true.  As Annie says, “their behavior only makes it easier to take their money”.

- The complete lack of productivity from moaning.

- Not using trading to meet social goals.  One of the downsides of group trading environments!

Annie would make an outstanding trader.

No doubt about it.

Thanks very much to onlooker Steve for passing this on.

Categories : Motivational, Poker
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Some quick notes from my journey to Connecticut this weekend.

I had the chance to meet and chat with Barry Greenstein (see pic) at this year’s World Poker Finals currently taking place at Foxwoods.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, Barry is one of the best and classiest high stakes poker players in the world, and gives most of his tournament winnings to charity.

As always, he was extremely generous and courteous with his time during our chat, and I’ve tried to model much of my involvement with the trading industry after his efforts.

I also was fortunate to be able to spend time watching Howard Lederer, Gavin Smith, and Eric Seidel close up as they battled amidst the final 69 as of Saturday morning.

In terms of my play over two days at the cash tables, I mixed initially playing poorly with some just terrible luck … a bad combination in any competitive endeavor.

One example includes losing an all-in Ace-high flush to Quad Jacks on a river suck-out.  On that hand, I played it properly yet was up against the always-dangerous tourist who shouldn’t have called me, but had his poor play reinforced by hitting the 5%’er.  I’m sure he’s lost all those chips and more by now.

And then there was the one hand that I just terribly botched when I should have just called the river thinking I had the best hand after hitting runner-runner trips, but instead raised all-in.  That was simply stupid and showed my rust at having been away from the game for a bit as there were SEVERAL hands that could have beat me.

Turned out he also hit runner-runner (we were both thinking we were surprise trapping the other guy for a big pot as the rest of the board was lame), but had a better kicker.

That was simply a hand that should have been called, but NEVER raised.

The good news is after having just simply a terrible two days at the tables, I pretty much kept the net loss to just those two hands (and under four figures) over about ten hours of playing.  I just didn’t have the outlier gains (such as flopping quad sevens into a tiny unraised pot … a reminder to re-read the earlier Weekend post) to offset the poor play … as is a requirement in both poker and trading.

The other good news is that the weekend reinforced key trading concepts, one of which is the concept of never bringing a knife to a gun fight

Or, simply think about that great scene in Indiana Jones where Indy shoots the guy with the whip! 

Such was evident in my late play when I was playing against players with much larger stacks.

And such a concept is soooooo critical to this world of trading where you have to be properly capitalized to avoid trading on eggshells which is the sure ticket to Loserville.

In terms of the Bold Fresh Tour gig on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun, it was pretty decent, although for those who watch Bill O’Reilly’s Factor show on Fox it was somewhat repetitive.

Glen Beck was pretty outrageous though, dressing up as a king to mock the current administration.

One thing is certain, which is I’m looking forward to implementing my reinforced weekend lessons when the market opens on Monday.

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