Wednesday, March 23, 2005


How can you tell when that gut feeling is something worth following?

You sit down at a limit table, put out a bet and are immediately raised. You think the raiser may be bluffing, but what action do you take?

The first rule of intuition: To follow a gut feeling you must know it's source. If you have never played with the raiser before, are new to this poker room, and don't know any other players, that gut feeling is probably the pizza you just ate.

If you know this poker room is full of aggressive players, you know a couple of the rounders at the table, and you've played in hundreds of hands with the raiser before, maybe you should honor the gut feeling and re-raise.

Track your gut feelings, your responses, and the results in your journal. You may find you win a big pot a third of the time you follow that hunch, and lose a few bets the other two thirds. Your hunches may be winners; against people you know, in surroundings that are familiar.

There are hundreds of things surrounding you right now, but you only notice a few of them at a time. Your sub-conscious notes everything, but only calls attention to those things that you have decided are important. Gut feelings can be a summation of many sub-conscious data points that trigger an alarm loud enough for your conscious mind to pick up the sound.

Maybe someday we will talk about training your sub-conscious, telling it what to bring to your attention. For now realize if you can decipher the source of your gut feeling, it may be worth acting on. Track it to check your results.

This is true at the poker table, and also in the investment markets.

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