- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Poker and Philosophy: Pocket Rockets and Philosopher Kings (Popular Culture and Philosophy) Paperback – 18 May 2006
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Customers also shopped for
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
You got to know when to hold them, know when to develop their coherent system of hermeneutics and determine their phenomenology. According to this collection of 19 poker-faced but nevertheless witty essays, a firm grounding philosophy can be handier than an ace up your sleeve in the poker game that is life. General notions on the table include poke
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It's fun to read about the tug of instinct and reason, the play between probability and luck, or the confrontation of what is known and what is assumed.
Bronson forces us to pay attention to the national phenomena of poker night. The essays let us know how our adolescent sons and daughters prove their connection with the group yet exert their independence; how coeds swig the beer and demonstrate mental acuity simultaneously; or how backroom experts play with skill and win by instinct.
With lots of anecdotal references, these essays are as entertaining as they are insightful. Bronson's compilation of essays gives clues, theory, and the itch to play. What fun.
The most egregious claim in the book is made by multiple authors: they basically claim that they have psychic power to help determine which cards are going to come next. For example, the claim is made in the very first essay, by Michael Ventimiglia:
"I'm convinced that plays I've made based on instinct have proven to be right more often than statistics predict."
He points out that sometimes these judgments based on instinct are a result of getting a read on people,
"But sometimes they're just about which way the wind is blowing, about how the cards are going to fall. I am continually amazed by how often they are right."
Why would someone think something so clearly false? Fortunately, the answer is provided later in the book, in the nice essay by Bassham and Marchese, about how psychological biases can adversely affect one's poker play. As they point out: "research shows that people naturally tend to remember `hits' (occasions when strategies or predictions succeeded) more often than they remember `misses'." Ventimiglia would do well to read their essay.
In addition to major false claims like Ventimiglia's, there are also a number of minor errors that will irritate anyone who understands poker. For example, Kenneth Lucy claims that when you're on a flush draw before the river, there's a 1 in 4 chance of getting a flush, when in fact there's a 1 in 5. Willy Young describes a hand where, after the river, there are four hearts on the board, and you have the 6 of hearts in your hand. He writes "You reach for the pot -- you've got your flush" when in fact it turns out that someone has four of a kind. Well, in addition to worrying about four of a kind, you should be _really_ worried about someone holding a higher heart than your measly 6.
In addition to poker errors, there are philosophy errors too. Don Fallis describes David Lewis's Principal Principle -- that your subjective probabilities should match what you believe the objective probabilities to be -- as "the most famous proposal for exactly how probability should guide one's life". Actually, the Principal Principle has little to do with how probability should guide one's life -- you could have no beliefs about objective probabilities, and hence never utilize the principle, and yet still want to use your subjective probability assignments as a guide to life. This sort of fallacious reasoning leads Fallis to criticize Sklansky in a completely unfair way. I'll leave it to the reader to figure out what's unfair about the criticism -- there's a certain enjoyment that one gets in ferreting out a mistake in someone else's philosophical argument, analogous to the enjoyment one gets in outplaying one's opponent in a game of poker. This is one of the many interesting connections between poker and philosophy that isn't discussed in this book.
I'll close on a positive note. The best essay, in my opinion, is by Brian Huss, about the nature of bluffing. It points out the similarities and differences between bluffing and lying, BS-ing, accepting (in the technical philosophy sense) and fooling yourself. It's a nice piece of conceptual analysis -- probably not worthy of being published in a philosophy journal, but more sophisticated than the other essays in the book.