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The font of all wisdom. The gambling man. He’s seen it all. The good, bad and ugly. It sounds like something from an old western. I can’t say I’ve ever played poker. I know what a full house looks like and I’ve heard of Dave Ulliot ‘’Devil Fish’’. I guess that’s because I am from the UK and watched a random episode on TV back in the late 90s called: Late Night Poker. It was a time when poker when mainstream and every Tom, Dick and Harry thought they could win the World Series of Poker if they learned the basics. I watched but didn’t really learn. Perhaps that was a good thing. I’ve never been lucky at cards and three card brag has been a thorn in my side. Every Boxing Day we’d venture round out cousins and the amount of times I cam back potless wasn’t good. As with all losses, you learn something along the way. But if poker could teach you 5 lessons in life what would they be?
You know there’s a reason why the army teaches you to think and act in a certain way. I’m surprised they don’t teach new recruits how to play poker. So what does poker teach us? You can’t win every hand! It’s a basic but a certainty which helps us understand something quite profound. At any time things change. You could have the best hand only to be bluffed out of your winnings. But the best players use discipline to keep on the straight and narrow. Without that, you are like a leaf blowing in the wind.
2) Bankroll Management
Without good bankroll management you will undermine your play. It often happens to new players who have some success and push too hard against more seasoned players. They soon find their lack of skills point them out as a weak link and loser. You shouldn’t play with money you can’t afford to lose or over bet the money you take to the table. If you don’t have some understanding of bankroll you are likely to be out of sync to the game and it will only lead to you going home early.
3) Risk Reward
Another concept which most non gamblers fail to understand and ultimately based on skill. You know, the best players don’t simply wait for the best hands to make their money. That’s why a skilled player using a bluff when least expected. It often happens in tournaments when a players stack is limited. They know it’s their only chance to keep in the game. Sometimes it works.
My mother says: ‘Patience is a virtue possess it if you can, always in a woman but never in a man!’ Perhaps poker players of both sexes have it in abundance or at least they’re learning to gain this trait. I’m not a poker player but talked to a few players and it isn’t a short and sharp game. In fact, some of these games can last for hours and it’s a grind. You need a little bit of patience if not a bucket load. It takes a lot of patience and good decision making to win cash. Similar to life, short term gains may disappear long term. Patience give you an opportunity to make the most of your chance when it arrives. Basically, you need the odds stacked in your favour.
5) Decision Making
As we detailed above. Without good decision making you are doomed playing poker or in life. You cannot change the cards you are given but how you play them is your choice. To maximise your chance of winning you need to make the most of every hand. As with life, make the best of uncertainty with good decisions to maximise gains.
A couple of extra just to add to your knowledge.
6) Game Selection
As a decent poker player, you’re wish would be to sit at a table of recreational players. While a table full of pros and sharks would be a different story unless you know better. Like life, you have the option of picking your path and the games you play. These factors are important to having a decent career, business and happy life.
7) Dealing With Bad Luck
A good player can’t be afraid of a bad loss. They are dealing with odds to chance and they can change at any time. However, strength of mind keeps players focused and determined that long term their skill will show a profit. Life can be difficult but do you give up or carry on? If you are scared of losing you will never win. Bet to win rather than bet not to lose. What matters is how you deal with losses, get past them, and move forward.