Online Poker Induced Hallucinations...

Player poker sometimes can feel a little empty and shallow. Even more so when grinding non stop online for a couple of days in row with little sleep. Online poker is fun and all but we do need to get outside and see the sun, workout and try not to dream in poker. It's weird how the mind works sometimes. When I was in high school and discovered Tetris and played the heck out of my friend's gameboy I'd close my eyes and see the images rotating down like rain. When I'd be really tired somehow my thoughts would turn into four box shapes and my brain would only process in Tetris.

Online poker can have the same subconcious mindset, where you close your eyes to go to sleep and you are visualizing uncompleted flushes. Something that is really odd is when I'm really tired and this is hard to explain without sounded like a drug addict (and I don't do drugs) but my mind will visualize speech in the form of cards. Yeah, my wife will speak to me and each new subject or noun will be a type of card. It's like the brain can't stop searching for patterns.

Yeah, impossible to convey that without sounding slightly schizo but my brain is just fixated on processing things in a certain way it starts to interpret other stimuli in the same fashion. Am I alone after a couple of days of little sleep and long sessions? Hope not. What's worse is I played a whole bunch of Omaha Hi-Lo recently and my brain was processing everything in two ways. Very surreal. Omaha poker doesn't just creat Omaholics it can create tweakers too.

As I dodge the point and thrust of this blog post which was to be about a charity poker tournament (but I have a feeling that will have to wait til next time), let me continue on my tangents. Speaking of weird visualizations and the brain processing in two fashions I just read an article in Scientific American (link is web version which isn't complete) about how your brain processes colors and other images you see. Turns out that there are more colors visible to us in the standard spectrum that we should be able to see but we can't. Why not? Because our brain views some things with a duality i.e. an object is either red or it's green but not red-green. Red and Blue is purple. Blue and green is aqua. What's Red and Green? To us, because the way our brain works it's either red or green. We can't observe the blending of them. I believe another either/or pair is blue and yellow.

Course, scientists figured out a way for people to see these colors because scientists are smart. One way is to lock one of your eyes into place on a red box and your other eye into place on a green box... and then the colors suddenly appear together because it kind of unlocks your brain from sorting it into an either/or observation.

Another way is to stare a two boxes kind of like you used to do with those 3-D images in the 90s. The magazine allowed you to do this. And I have to say, it was pretty cool to see a "new" color. How to describe it? It ranged from kind of like a green purple to a green pink. Subsitute green for the blue and the's what you get. Grurple and Grink (or Gurple and Gink depending on your fondness for rs). What's really interesting is this literal brain lock is so strong, sometimes subjects who can see the new colors can't even visualize them a day later or imagine them. The brain shunts it out.

Well it just goes to show that in one way perception is reality but reality isn't necessarily what we all perceive. Just because every once of us observes something one way doesn't necessarily mean it's right. In picking up patterns on people playing poker beware there are gurples and grinks. Random variance can make a nit look loose and a Uberlag look a rock. Even worse what may appear as sheer capriousness at any given moment by an opponent that can illogicaly wreck your day may just be part of a bigger pattern of behavior impossible for you to discern.


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