Monday, April 17, 2006


Reality check: poker is a brutal game.

As players, we face countless donks in the form of suckouts and drawouts. The summation of good play and bad, good cards and bad, and good luck and bad is variance. Given that there is no team behind you in poker, you have to deal with your own variance. Sure you may gripe to friends about this bad beat or that, but at the end of the day the variance of your bankroll is yours and yours alone. Plain and simply, it is every player for himself.

Clearly, winning at poker is good but it isn't everything in the short run. What really matters is making good decisions and, if you can do that, ultimately everything will work out in your favor.

Each and every hand we play has decision points and the player who make the best decisions about folding, calling, raising, and/or checking is the one who will win in the long run.

As I said in my first post, I often believe that I am the unluckiest player alive. I have learned to make good decisions and by in large get my money into pots with the best hand. But given that few hands are really that much far ahead of others, getting donked will forever be part of my poker experience. I have learned to get over it in the short run and I have learned to be largely unemotional about it all.

I think this quote by Thomas Carlyle is fitting in many areas of life, poker included.

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."

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