I have tried to learn from the poker players here, although I don't play myself. When somebody posits "seasonal weakness" (of which there has been precious little this year, except maybe in the last 2 hours), no matter what the supporting data is, my question is, who is the sucker at the table that will continue selling too low every year? A couple of decades ago, it was alleged to be mutual funds that were trying to avoid taxable distributions by dumping shares of companies in which they had losing positions.

anonymous writes: 

I was in Vegas recently, and although I wasn't a sucker, I had the second worst bad beat of my life. I was playing $10-20 NL hold'em at the Bellagio with six rocks (tight players) and a wild Asian woman. I was dealt Jh, Jd. The flop came out Qs, Js, Qd, giving me a nut full house. I raised to $300 and everybody else dropped out except the Asian lady who re-raised $600 which I called.

 The turn card was the Jc giving me quads. Her play all night was such that I made her to definitely have a Queen and either an Ace or a King and that she was betting on a strong set with a big kicker. From her style of play, I also knew she wasn't bluffing and would at least call whatever I bet within reason. I made a hesitant continuation bet of $600 which she promptly answered by going all in. It took me a millisecond to snap call. We turned over our cards showing my Jacks, and her Ad, Qh which gave her a set. I correctly called her hand and noticed that she had only one out that could beat me which was the Qc. Of course the river card was turned over and it was the Qc, and I subsequently lost the pot.

Things like that happen in poker, trading, in life. Since I played the the hand perfectly, there was no self flagellation. One can play a hand of poker perfectly and still lose so no sense getting upset things turn out badly. It's better to dust one's self off and keep playing the game as long as the edge is still there. In the markets, one can make a (perfect) trade with a 98% edge and still have it blow up in your face. In fact, those huge edge blowups seem to be more common than the numbers dictate. For what it's worth, the baddest, bad beat I ever had was getting a nut straight flush where my two cards were the low cards, and my opponent had the top two cards. No way would I ever lay down a straight flush.


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