Me and John Nash have been implicitly colluding for quite some time now, and I would like to extend our strategy to you. I realize that we are not used to helping each other and we usually react to change with avarice and fear. I do not believe I am being egotistical, nor am I particularly concerned with that, I enjoy the game and the wealth it brings us and I see an incredibly +ev opportunity with in our reach. The problem (to be solved) is that we have to work together cooperatively to achieve it.
For the last couple years I have been engaged in dialog with many members about the Nash Equilibrium and its true implications and ramifications. http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/13…games-1337149/ I have put out the argument (to great ridicule) that the true beauty and discovery of the NE was the peace it should bring about from cooperative efforts and strategies. We, especially as poker players, tend to think of NE in respect to war and war type games. But the man who created it, John Nash did not intend it for that, and it’s easier for me to publically declare that, with the advent of Ideal money: http://sites.stat.psu.edu/~babu/nash/money.pdf Bitcoin: https://bitcoin.org/ and looking through various works of his on cooperative games, and notes on changing from non-cooperative to cooperative games.
We should be able to see a story here, a very well defined story, as well as we should be re writing our current story we have on both this man and the subjects which he has touched so far (he’s redefined them all). But I want to discuss something a lot more tangible, and something that is a lot harder to argue with. Now to be clear, I am not proposing something, nor am I trying to sway anyone’s mind. I simply want to point out what has already happened, and clarify it so that the players all know what has happened and what is going to happen with this game.
I should address one issue first, since it has already come up anyways and something I hadn’t realized in the past. 2 + 2 (why don’t we just make it 4?) generates ad revenue from the major sites. Although we can work within the rules of this forum, I would still like to suggest this is not ideal for both the players and the owners of this forum. I shouldn’t have to spend any time explaining that this gives stars a vote in the player’s public community forum, and it effects the way the forum is mod’d. We simply should all agree there is a non 0% of bias or privateness to this forum in this regard. And it’s probably not insignificant. So the topic I want to address must not depreciate the value of this site in that regard. I understand that, and I agree to it, therefore I wish to start out with the assumption, that we all value this site as both a studying and networking tool, and the monies used as a utility for the owners and benefiters to keep it running should remain. I morally agree with it, therefore the change I wish to discuss should affect the revenues in an equal or more +ev way.
I wish to pose a question to the community, and it’s going to seem strange at first but we should know that times have changed since Nash introduced bitcoin (I don’t care who believes me its obvious). This change is here, and I’m going to outline it, we simply must reinvent our paradigms on the game and on money and what that word means. We have already exposed a giant leak in every online poker company’s business plan. This leak is not pluggable, and it’s accessible to every single player. Also, I have been argued by almost every player here, that markets self-adjust and act naturally (with a force) to the conditions posed to them. This is an axiom we all agree with, we cannot then use it to suggest that the change bitcoin has brought to the game will not naturally affect the cost of exchanging money for chips.
Poker is no longer profitable for big industry. The reason is they charge too much for rake, while the rest of their business plan tries to create a breakeven environment for the players. It’s these two factors combined that have increased the cost to play poker dramatically over time. If we only look at rake % we might feel that things have remained equal, but like learning to read a hand range instead of a hand, we need to learn how to value our money in exchange for chips. Understanding this, ever player should know and feel that they got screwed on black Friday by both the government AND the sites. As the field gets harder, players should expect that rake goes down. Otherwise the sites profit more per rec dollar spent over time. Furthermore since a business becomes more efficient over time, we expect the cost of running such a business to go down. So what is the excuse then for the players allowing for rake to rise dramatically (we are talking about a true rake, one that measures both the skill of the field and rake %)? We must admit to our own ignorance on the subject, and know that the markets will adjust their equilibrium in proportion to the amount of players that admit their faults to this.
It was Nash that made me realize and understand this as he points out if our governments can target inflation then they must have a system to target it with. The same can be said about poker, which is always the first target of his examples. The sites have a way of calculating how much rake they should charge. And this is how we know that they have been price gouging us (unless you can claim the game hasn’t gotten harder). We know it’s because of misconceived notions of what a Nash Equilibrium can and should be used for. We have been taught to fight amongst ourselves while we increasingly give up a higher % of rake as time goes by (the game isn’t getting easier in the future either). And we can understand that all sites have an increasing drive to make poker a breakeven/high raked environment.
But these days are over and rake is now on the asymptotic decrease. I want us to be aware of it and start to get the idea in our head. If you have studied this game for quite some time you must have realized by now it is not the game that you thought it was when you first started. Poker is very special like that and I know myself I have be redefining what poker is almost on a daily basis by now. I encourage any willing learners of the game to do the same and I would like you all to consider changing the way you view this game one more time. I know your first thought is a competitive one, but you might not know that nash has outlined (in ideal money), that when you change a game from competitive to cooperative then everyone stands to gain (+ev for all). This is a type of ev most of us have never considered and many have never heard of.
I want to put a few questions to the community, they are very big questions, but that should not in itself make it laughable. I should remind us at this point, we HAVE bitcoin NOW and the world has changed and it’s not going back I want to highlight what this change means with these questions as silly as the might seem.
How much would/should the player community pay for the poker stars software, knowing that as the markets slide to equilibrium, that the software as a business model is now essentially worthless?
Knowing that the players got screwed in terms of cost of exchange of money for chips since black Friday, and knowing that stars model is not fixable by a private standpoint, what do we feel is an acceptable rake to be charging these day?
If we understand these questions we should be able to understand one that is slightly more slippery. How does the value of the software change in relation to player’s opinion on buying it? We expect a certain direct ratio in this respect, for example if a large majority of players decide the poker stars model is worthless to poker stars and they should buy it, then how much can poker stars convince the players to pay for it knowing its worthless to stars?
This leads to another question about the feasibility of the players creating their own ‘rakeless’ bitpoker site. A site running on bitcoin we must understand is not regulatable. In fact the more regulations against bitcoin governments impose, the more likely players are to use bitcoin and not convert their coin back to government issued tender. I hope you understand this, we have this now, it’s here we are just discussing the inevitable.
And then I guess (or maybe first) we should look at the amount of monies the players would keep in the game and the effects that might have on both the morality and integrity of the game. I don’t know if you understand me, Stars is dead, Nash killed it but the game of poker is very very thriving and we should expect poker to get easier as time goes by even though players are getting better and better. As we keep more and more money in the game, we all win more.
As for today, we should study our shove carts and card runners spots a little less, and spending some time looking for ev in terms of a reduced rake, as its far more +EV then plugging any leak you have. Because of this you should understand if you don’t reinvent your view on the game, you don’t like money, and the future players are going to crush you, trust me, I would know. I know I’m going to catch a lot of flak for this. But understand I am not claiming I did anything intelligent here, I am simply conveying a message from the master of games himself let’s not be too hard on the messenger. And let us appreciate this man for the wealth he’s brought into our lives again (and again).