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WATCH: Liv Boeree Advises Poker Logic Over Intuition

  • Katie CallahanKatie Callahan
Liv Boeree
  • Liv Boeree says you shouldn't always go with your gut instinct. It's lazy.

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree calls out the cop-out in poker players and others posting "Trust your gut" on the internet with a new video on BigThink.com advising to refer to logic instead.

"I think that's often the lazy way out when we're faced with a really tough decision in life," Boeree explained. "Our brains love to simplify... to do things in black and white, but we live in a really complex world and that's not always the best route to take."

Instead, Boeree calls on poker players to construct a mathematically optimal strategy for each situation, trusting the logical, "slow brain" — a.k.a. our "System 2" as that approach has been described by Noble-Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. The only time she returns to her gut instinct is when her logical processes don't lead her to a conclusive answer.

Boeree says the best thing to do is to work with your "slow brain" and your gut together as opposed to favouring one over the other.

"The real art part of poker is where you have these flashes of inspiration where you need to deviate from the math and the science...[and] knowing how often you should, whether that deviation is the right thing to do at that time," Boeree said.

Ultimately, as the video calls out in the title, "Your gut is not as reliable as you think." Boeree recommends not unthinkingly going with your gut instinct, but rather to take note of that instinct and then work through the math of the situation, reviewing a player's history and previous play and seeing if it matches up.

Watch the whole video below:

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