Your Perception of Poker and Life Should Be the Same
Barry Greenstein said that the way you handle everyday life situations is a determinant of how effective of a poker player you are. For instance, what do you do when someone cuts you off? Some of you may fly into an angry rage and yell obscenities to the top of your lungs. For many of these people, the anger will lead to them driving more aggressively. Some might speed up to catch the driver and cut him off, and some will find themselves in a nasty car accident due to their aggression. Others will be put off by the driver’s sheer stupidity for the moment, but will maneuver out of the situation and drive to the destination without giving it a second thought. The saying to football quarterbacks when no receivers are open is to throw it away and live another down. The guys who can overcome adversity the most will be the most successful in poker.
In paraphrasing Barry Greenstein, I think the people who are best able to let things roll off their shoulders are the best poker players and enjoy the most satisfaction with life. The people who react negatively to someone cutting them off, or their spouse eating the last Ho-Ho are the average poker players who play badly after a bad beat. These guys are dead money in many instances. The ones who choose maneuver out of the situation are the ones who are the most resilient after taking a bad beat and will not become dead money.
In my eyes, poker and life are the same and exist as one. That’s my subjective opinion, but poker does hold parallels to life within itself. For instance, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that you gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. The parallel to life, and in your game selection is that you gotta know when to stick with a good situation and when to bail out of a bad one, just as you must know when a game is a good one, and when you’re at a disadvantage and need to leave the table.
Some may call it common sense, I think it has more to do with perception. Your perception of a bad beat can be that you’re the unluckiest guy in the world, or that you’re getting action on a move that nets you a winning pot 90% of the time and that the game is good, the player is bad and that dead money still exists in a world of poker books and hard economic times. That may not turn around your current poker session, but its food for thought that you can take into your next session and your next decision when playing a hand. No need to remember that you got your aces full set cracked with a royal flush when you realize that your opponent was chasing 1 out holding AK suited. You need to remember that you’re getting your money in good and that you’re going to win more times than not. In life, if you fail at something look at it as “at least I know what doesn’t work.”
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