Daily Archives: November 3, 2014

Fantasy Calm

I sometimes used poker as an exercise in keeping myself calm. I’d make my decision and then whatever happened happened. I could only control what I did, and I focused on that. I couldn’t control the cards, though, so I tried to be the same whether they were good or bad. A bad play with a good outcome was nothing to cheer about.

I do something similar with fantasy football. It’s insanely stressful to watch scores live and worry about how much you’re losing by or worry about how your lead could evaporate. So instead, I try to use it as an exercise to not worry about what I can’t control. I’m not perfect. But it helps a lot.

Fantasy football is one step closer to real life than poker. Poker has uncertainty but there are lots of times when math will give you the right move. Low-stakes poker is all math. Psychology matters more in no-limit, but less than you’d think. You can know the odds and expected payout. In fantasy football, you can have a sense that some things are more likely than others, but the actual statistics are more fuzzy. There’s more uncertainty. And in real life, there’s even less information and just as much randomness.

Even so, the exercise works well in poker, fantasy football, and real life.