''TheWakko says'' - Edition 6

Reading time 2-3 minutes
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Believe it or not that’s actually a utilized method for problem solving (5 whys, iterative interrogative technique).

I’m not going to take much credit for this article, as I come from a practice perspective and I had to add the theoretical part, but the highlight of it is that it actually made me see how important it is to understand/appreciate theory, not only practice.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a lot of interesting talks with our CEO, he gave me a completely different view of the academic world. 

Pay attention to this sequence of reasoning as it will help you see things clearer, consequently, you’ll be better equipped to progress in your poker career. First pillar of stoicism is perspective, how you view things will determine your action (second pillar).

So, here’s the core of it: if you think (perspective) that theory is boring, there’s a high chance you’ll ignore/neglect it (action). Very simple, right? If you have a negative feeling towards something, you will naturally not be very interested in it. Please keep this in mind as I proceed with my reasoning.

Now, I’ll quote our CEO: 

“Unfortunately, I don’t know who, someone once said that theory is different from practice. I say that this is unfortunate because it resulted in people actually seeing theory and practice as two things that have little connection. It resulted in a lot of people choosing one of the two as if you wouldn’t benefit from paying attention to the side that you have less of”.

Then he goes on to clarify that:

- Theory is abstract practice. And;
- Practice is applied theory.

And what does that mean? It means that:

- Theory is practice (yes!). However, explained in a general context, removing components of a real situation. And;
- Practice is theory (yes!). However, with situational context, with components that you would not find in every situation.

So, where’s the problem? Let’s continue the reasoning:

- The problem with the person that prioritizes practice and ignores theory is that they have no fundamental understanding of what they do, therefore, given different components or a different situation, they lack the knowledge to go back to, possibly creating flaws in their reasoning. And;
- On the other hand, a person that specializes in theory and ignores practice, could end up becoming detached from the real world, missing the understanding of situational components, not producing the desired outcome.

So, where’s the magic? What’s the scenario that produces the best outcomes? It’s appreciating both theory and practice. It’s understanding/obtaining the knowledge and shaping it to the context that you find yourself in.

Now, let me bring this conversation back to simple terms, in my world: theory is why, practice is what.

As you play a lot of games, you’ll gain a lot of “what”. However, do you know the “why” behind it all? Given different components, do you know how to adapt?

This is also applicable to your personal life. The gap between where you are and where you want to be is a problem, a problem needs to be solved, my search for “why” in things has helped me improve in a lot of ways. It has helped me navigate in situations that were completely new, as I had the fundamentals/principles to support me along the way.

Do you want to improve in poker? Look for the why! Change your perspective on theory, try to understand the mechanics behind the game. Just imagine me dropping the mic here.

 Rene Kuhlman - TheWakko
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