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Today in the 3-Bet we get caught up in Daniel Negreanu's pre-Vegas origin story, wholewheartedly agree that lessons from poker can help America's schools and jump into the gamblers wayback machine for a golf-hustling classic.
1) DNegs Origins: Dropping Out, Breaking In
Teenage Negreanu flame Evelyn Ng.
We said this in our Sam Trickett piece last week and we think it holds more often than not.
You might think you know a poker pro - even the ones with the most TV exposure and a seemingly bottomless catalog of published interviews - but there's almost always more to know.
Case in point: Perhaps THE most visible poker pro on the planet, Daniel Negreanu.
We know he disdains meat. We know he's gone through some questionable hair styles. We even know he once used to date Evelyn Ng.
But did you know he dropped out of school to hustle pool? His father spoke 13 languages? He once had a lead role in The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking?
The always excellent Remko Rinkema sat down with Negreanu for an in-depth talk recently and the results have begun to appear online, starting today with Part 1 of Negreanu's origin story.
Four parts in all will be posted and, if the first post about his family life and early gambling days is a sign, there are plenty of amazing DNegs nuggets still to be mined. It's defintitely worth your time; check it out here.
2) What School Reformers Can Learn from Poker
In Nate we trust. Always.
Love this post today in the Washington Post re-routed from 34justice.com's Ben Steinberg about school reform and poker.
The gist: "We implement teacher and school accountability metrics that focus heavily on student outcomes without realizing that this approach is invalid ... rewards and consequences based on outcomes don’t work."
As PokerListings fav Nate Silver says in his book The Signal and the Noise:
"When we play poker, we control our decision-making process but not how the cards come down.
"If you correctly detect an opponent’s bluff, but he gets a lucky card and wins the hand anyway, you should be pleased rather than angry, because you played the hand as well as you could.
"The irony is that by being less focused on your results, you may achieve better ones."
In other words decisions/process are far more "important" that results. But make smart decisions repeatedly over time, you come out ahead.
Is there any end to the applications poker skills have in real life?
More from the great Nate Silver and his fascinating data/sports/politics hybrid FiveThirtyEight blog here btw.
3) "It's music to a gambler's ears, the sound of suckers crying"
Every gambler's favorite sound: suckers crying.
Last week's this vintage cut from Sports Illustrated, then.
Written by Edwin Shrake back in 1977 it details the golf hustling/prop-betting exploits of Doyle Brunson, Jack Binion, Amarillo Slim, Bobby Baldwin and the colorful crew of bookies, businessman and hustlers who took part in the third $2m+ Professional Gamblers Invitational.
There are too many amazing lines to excerpt it fairly so you'll just need to read the whole thing. Some gems though:
"Keller is built like a monster squash and carries in his mouth a cigar that looks like an exhaust pipe. He couldn't break 90 if he had the only pencil on the course."
"Action don't mean the same to Doyle as it does to most people."
"I'd like to see Jack Nicklaus, sometime, with a six-foot putt that if he misses he's got to go in the clubhouse and peel off $50,000."
"I told some people one time I was putting on the grease to keep my clubs from rusting. It hadn't rained there in two years."
"It's music to a gambler's ears, the sound of suckers crying. Good thing this ain't 50 years ago. I know what you'd have done to me then."
In short: It's awesome. And they definitely don't make sportswriters like they used to. Read it here.