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/Jun/2013

Survival of the fittest

By: mr mendes 20 @ 14:04 (EDT) / 397 / Comment ( 3 )

Adaptation to a fast changing environment  is not in our evolutionary DNA. It takes millions of years for  animal species to adapt  to their habitat. Only in the last couple of centuries we have been growing faster than ever and gradually taking more and more space, cities grew and joined their urban areas swallowing the nature in between, natural resources which were once available are now being manufactured in conditions which make them unhealthy for us. Animals are treated as products, their lives have been in many ways sacrificed so we can meet our standards of living.

I recently read an interesting article* on a scientific magazine with an alternative study about mental disorders as depression and anxiety related to the human capacity of adaptation.
In evolutionary terms, it's just yesterday we went from a hunting/gathering society to one which substitutes simple purposes like getting food, finding shelter, to very complex situations such as performing well at a presentation to a client at work, multitasking on complicated projects to meet deadlines, juggling between motherhood and career making, competing, finding short cuts to performing the same tasks a little faster every time.

The problem, is, our body- particularly our brains- are not made to adapt so fast in evolution, causing depression and other disorders. The problem can be very complex and the solution specific to each case, but in general terms, 'taking it easy' seems to be the right mental attitude, living 'the moment' as it is presented. Lowering the expectations. It does mean you can have a plan and follow up to it, but live every stage of that plan fully, with your mind neither in the idea of failure nor in the idea of victory, but concentrated in a meditative-like state with every decision. Living in the NOW. It's difficult. I have been trying to apply that to my daily life, which include playing the heavily strategic mental sport we call Poker.

Taking it to the context of a poker tournament, adaptation is crucial and without knowing to adapt to all the variables, there is no chance of ever getting you investment back. Opponents, blind levels, moments in the game you can make a move, use of image, reads... Lost your stack of 50BB and it became 20BB? Well, the stack is now 20BB. There is no such thing as “getting your stack back”, your stack is 20BB now and play accordingly. Getting used to having a big stack and losing a big hand is what usually makes players tilt and play poorly the next couple of hands, leaving the tournament earlier than planned.

My plan of bringing 30 to 30.000 is certainly possible, and I will go on with it, though I need smaller plans in between. A plan to go from 30 to 100, another to go to 120, and so on. And it might take a lot longer than December 2013.  The plan persists, but I am not going to stress about it in any way.

The main objective at the end of the day is to become a very profitable player, a sustainable and gradual process.

Just like our society, poker changes constantly. Concepts get outdated, books and methods as well. It's been very valuable to participate in the PSO as an active member, as the content is the most up-to-date content available anywhere. Having the privilege of live trainings, coaching and sharing play money tables with experts in the game has proven to be a good investment. My sincere thanks to all PSO staff.

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The evolutionary origin of Depression, The economist, 2009 on a study from the University of Michigan.

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