Quick Update, Fake Math, and My Philosophy On Being a Logical Poker Player

Hey Guys,

I haven’t posted in a little while because I didn’t have much to say.  I don’t want this blog to be a  “Hey guys, I lost 2 buyins today and now I’m going to eat an avocado sandwich,” kind of blog (especially because I don’t like avocado).

I feel bad though, because after my last blog I got so much support, and didn’t update you guys until now.  I really appreciate everyone reaching out and offering advice, or kind words.  It seems I made some people worry about me, or think it was worse than it was.  I definitely was feeling not great, but I was totally fine… it’s part of life, and I’m a pretty stable dude.  My Dad called me the next day to see how I was, and my Mom the day after (guess I know who loves me more).  I didn’t know they were reading actually (Hi Mom, Hi Dad).  Turns out there were a lot of people from outside of poker that have been reading my blog, which was something I knew was a possibility, but didn’t think would happen on as big a scale.

Anyways, whatever.  It is what it is.

After my last post, I played a couple more days.  Lost both, in annoying fashion.  So from there I decided to take some time off.

My decision to continue playing (at lower stakes) rather than immediately take a break is one that most wouldn’t agree with (though most still would do, of course).  I actually fully agree with my decision. It was really just a combination of an EV + hEV (happiness EV) calculation.

Some Fake Math

I was positive I was in a mindset to play well, and games were soft, so I knew I was +EV to play.

If I played and won, even a $50k win at 25/50 over two days, I’d be much happier.  Part of the pain of an extended downswing has to do with the feeling of hopelessness it creates.  You guys know what I mean.  I lost 10/10 days, some big, some small.  Just reminding yourself that you can win does wonders for your confidence and happiness.

If I played two days and lost, I’d be unhappy.  During those days, more unhappy than I would have been had I started my break right away, and after the two days, it would feel the same as if I’d just quit (since the amount was small in comparison to prior losses).

So, to simplify, let’s say I lose 50% of the time, win 50%, which is pretty conservative of course.

The other half of the time, I am much happier for two days (and on average much happier over the following week… I could breakeven or win more and be happy, or lose again and go back to where I was).  I’d call this +30 happiness points.  I win an amount, call it $80k, but then I also don’t take a break.  So I have an extra, let’s say week, of playing.  We can call that $40k in EV.Half the time, I am a sadder for two days (we can say -10 happiness points if we want to put numbers to it).  I lose an amount, let’s call it $80k.  Then I take a break for an extended time.

So, half the time I lose 10 hp and $80k.  Half the time I make 30 hp and $120k.

EV = +10hp and +$20k

This was also assuming that I am 50% to win, which was a low estimate.

Anyways, the point of this hack calculation that any mathematician would laugh at, is something I finally figured out a few years ago about poker.  Those of us who learned from books and from forums… we were taught to think purely logically.  There are a lot of emotions that can influence the way we play, and we’re supposed to suppress them or push them aside.  We’re supposed to learn to become robots.  We make our decisions based on math and logic alone.  It makes sense, since any good technical book should have theories that are fundamentally sound.  If you can’t more or less prove things with math and logic, it’s hard to recommend them in your book.

My Philosophy

After some time, I came to the realization that this was the wrong approach.  We are human, and as much as we desensitize ourselves to the swings of poker, as much as we tell ourselves that we’re indifferent to whether he was bluffing this hand or not because we made the right decision against his range, we can’t completely do away with how those things make us feel.  I am better at separating logic and emotion than almost all of the people I know, and I can’t be a full robot, so I assume that most of you can’t either.

Our emotions exist.  We can still be logical, and make calculated decisions, but we need to factor our emotions into our decisions rather than fighting a losing battle trying to eliminate them.  This, of course, requires a good amount of self-awareness – one of the top 5 areas of skill that makes a great poker player, in my opinion.

Let me try to illustrate my point:

Example One

Say that you play $2/4 PLO across four different sites.  Games are plentiful.  On one site, let’s say PartyPoker, you are down $30,000 over a whole lot of hands.  On all other sites, you’re winning.  The games aren’t any tougher on Party, so there’s no reasons to suspect you can’t beat those games just like you beat the games everywhere else.  Obviously, variance is the culprit.  You change nothing.

I think this is a mistake for most people.  I would agree that variance is almost purely to blame, and you likely had a good expected winrate over your hands played on Party.  However, whether or not you will admit it to yourself, you’re going to be affected by the way you’ve run there.

You can’t break the associations in your mind between losing and the look and feel of the game on PartyPoker.  It’s your own body protecting you.  (Last time I bit into a rock, it hurt a lot.  I’m scared to do it again)

You’ll feel as though you are more likely to make the wrong decision, which will scare you away from big plays.  You’ll fear the suckout, so you’ll jam to protect your hand, rather than slowplay in a spot where slowplaying is the better EV play.  You’ll feel like you’re going to lose your flips, which just brings a general negativity to your mood, perhaps making you tilt more readily.

So you’ll play worse on PartyPoker than the other sites, and possibly even worse on all sites while you’re playing there.  Given that your options for games are plentiful, there’s no reason to put yourself in a situation where your play is likely to be compromised.

Before another example, some of you at this point may be thinking, “I don’t get affected by any of that.  I can be purely logical.  This is a total joke, bordering on superstition.”

Look, unless you’re in the rare < .1% of the population who is a pure robot (if there even are any people that can be purely logical), you are affected by things.  You will play differently.  If you’re either too prideful or not self-aware enough to see that, I honestly believe you’ll have no shot at being a great poker player.

Example Two

Let’s say, totally hypothetically, that you’re a high stakes online player – we’ll call you Phil Galfond.  Let’s say, hypothetically, there’s a great player you play against sometimes – we’ll call him Phil Ivey.

You’ve played a fair amount with him.  Over the years, playing HU NL and PLO against him, you’ve lost more than twice as much as you have to anyone else, and in not all that many hands, hypothetically.  It seems as if anytime you have a decent hand, you’re up against a better one, anytime you bluff, he knows.  It seems like he just has a hold over you.  Even in 6max games, when you’re involved in a pot with him, you are worried that he’s one step ahead of you, knowing what adjustment you’re going to make next.  Even though you truly feel like you have the skills to compete with him, time and time again you’re reinforced to feel otherwise.  Hypothetically.

What can you do about it?  Well, maybe first you stop playing against him HU.  Great.  But he still is in your 6max games often.  You can just decide to get owned, or realize that variance may have played a large part, and just continue doing what you’re doing (not admitting to yourself that you are affected).  Obviously, I don’t like those ideas.

The first step is to admit to yourself how you feel.  You feel as though when you have a very strong hand, it’s likely to run into an even stronger one, perhaps causing you to play less aggressively and value bet and raise less thinly.  You feel like he’s likely to know what you have or what you’re thinking, and it’s causing you to hesitate making moves or adjustments in anticipation of him countering it immediately.  This will cause you to hesitate making bluffs.  Now that you’re not playing thinly for value, you bluff even less (otherwise you know you’ll be unbalanced).  Then you assume he realizes you’ve stopped bluffing, and you play even less thinly for value, because you know you won’t get paid off.  Look what happened.  You’ve resorted to playing a very straightforward, tight-passive game against him.  Of course he’s going to absolutely destroy you.

The way I see it, there are two things you can do to to combat this problem, and you can do both in combination with each other

First, you can play fewer hands against him in your 6max games.  If you don’t want to admit to yourself that you play worse against him than against other players, you’d just continue playing your ‘standard’ preflop style.  If you realize that you’re going to play worse than usual against him, then you can see that some slightly profitable hands become unprofitable.  So you fold a bit more preflop when it’s likely to be a HU pot with him.

Next, you need to constantly remind yourself how you feel.  You’re in a hand on the turn, and your immediate instinct is to check-fold.  This is an instinct you can’t trust, as it’s based in irrational fear.  Yes, Phil Ivey is a phenomenal player, but you are good at disguising your hands.  He doesn’t actually know what you have every hand (I hope), and he’s definitely no more likely to hit a good hand than anyone else at the table.  You need to stop your knee-jerk movement towards the fold button and say to yourself, “He’s got a very weak range here, and it’s difficult for me to be bluffing.  A check-raise has to show a profit.  Wait, but I feel like he’s going to know that I wouldn’t usually have played a boat this way on the flop very often. PHIL. STOP.  He can’t know that.  He can’t know your game in and out. Make the right play.”

Wrap It Up Already, Phil

When you admit that your instincts during a hand are affected by emotion, you can then take a step back and find the best logical play.  However, if you pretend you don’t have emotions, or that they don’t affect you, you will let them influence your thinking.  You’ll convince yourself that you were just making the play you logically thought was best.  You’ll be wrong.

The great thing about becoming fully aware of the way things affect you, and the impact those effects have on your game, is that you begin to better understand your opponents.  I have had many times where I knew my opponent felt exactly the way I… I mean you, were feeling in the hand above.  But my opponent usually won’t admit it to himself and make the proper adjustments.  I get to completely run him over.

There are many more examples (quitting decisions, stake selection, any kind of tilt, etc.), but the message is the same:

You are a person.  You feel things.  Rather than pretend those feelings don’t exist, you can use those feelings as factors, adding them, alongside your probabilities and logical deductions, and whatever else, into your decision making equation.  I’d argue that this makes you much more logical than the wannabe robots who’d laugh at you for doing this.

Anyways, I left Vancouver a few days ago.  I’ll be in the US for a little while, doing some pretty cool stuff.  I’ll update you on that later though.  That’s a whole new post.

Hope you’re doing well, guys.  Thanks again for all of the feedback on my last post, and all other posts.

Take care.  (Love you, Mom and Dad)



60 Replies to “Quick Update, Fake Math, and My Philosophy On Being a Logical Poker Player”

  1. cheers Phil, another excellent insight. I have always taught poker has a lot to do with confidents when your winning its seems a simplier game but when you’re down, you never think you’ll be up again.
    i hope can use some of your understanding (and lets face it you got alot) to channel my emotions to beat my Ivey

    cheers again.

  2. awesome, definately agree phil ivey has that fear factor over other pros and that is a significant part of his edge,

    thanks for the insight

  3. Hi Phil,
    This is Phil Ivey, I’m visiting my good friend James.
    Thought I’d comment on your blog.
    I Do Know what you have,
    and I Do Know what you’re thinking, all the time….
    ( just say’in )

    Great Blog post otherwise.

  4. I read a lot of strat threads on the forums and I have been thinking very mathematical lately. What you have just written here is just what I needed to read. I am always aware of tilt and the obvious ways it can destroy my game but for the most part have I been able to control it(at least the crazy monkey tilt). But the subtle ways I change my play based on opponents who seemingly constantly have me dominated, outflop me, outdraw me or and when I am just running bad or totally whiffing flop after flop after flop have been going pretty much unnoticed. In my mind at the time I am just playing “smart” and “careful” because in my current mindset I’m thinking so negatively and deep down I am expecting to lose in these situations. But you are SO right, we, or at least I, can turn in to passive abc players who are basically exploitable scared money.

    Fantastic post Phil. Thank you very much! I am bookmarking this and will read it again from time to time.

  5. this blog is so epic , your such a boss phil pokerwise and lifewise , i really enjoy reading it n it also seems to come straight from your hart , i respect that a lot , it’s not just a random blog like most players have !!!

    keep up the great work , love it , hope we can meet one day and have a chat , respect once again , and gl pokerwise , but most important gl in life , your one of the good guys!!!

  6. such great advice here, i stopped playing on pstars(pre black fri) for this exact reason, i just didn’t run good there and everytime i loaded up a game there i could not shake the feeling of “oh great something shitty is going to happen.”

    Unfortunately that’s the same reason i kept way too much money online, i loved the comfort of seeing that number after i had a bad day, even if the number would have been the exact same but 2/3rds was in a bank acct and only 1/3 was online, it would be diff, there was something psychological about seeing that big (relatively) number on the site that made me play better.

    It’s the reason coming back from being way stuck to a small loss or small win feels a million times better than just grinding out a small loss or small win, even though logically there’s no diff.

    Could honestly listen to you talk about the psychology of the poker life all day long, you really have a gift for it and often put into words things i have thought for a long time. keep it up, thanks.

  7. Hello, Phill i think this blog is great and it will help all players and people in general to have more confidence. Thanks, end keep up the good work.

  8. You, like most people, are totally unaware (really you aren’t even close to on the right track to finding it) of what your biggest leak is. It is disliking avocados. A good guac recipe and a good night’s sleep and you’ll be back to crushing no doubt.

  9. Nice piece of thinkin’ there, Phil. This echoes major portions of D. Kahneman’s latest book in re: prospect theory and its development over the years. Countless studies have shown that emotions are involved in every choice. I would think, obviously, that the way to begin to counter that would be to first admit that it happens.

  10. Totally agree. The first thing about tilt/emotions in poker or life is to recognize it.

    Then figure out how is it affecting you, and find a way to fix it(usually with logic or meditation??).

    Gluck at the tables Phil.

  11. Thank you for writing this, I was about to quit any link to poker, but your words made me remember all this poker knowledge that can be applied in real life. You have become a kind of Bayesian Probability ambassador, and people outside poker should also find your articles, blogs and posts inspiring and helpful. Thanks for writting Mr. Galfond.

  12. This blog has to be the best poker related blog out there. I follow a lot of blogs, but none of them come close to this one. Once again, a great post to which I can relate to perfectly! I actually have noticed this myself, and a few times I’m thinking of check-folding to some dude who is holding over me, but just force myself to bet because I figure it to be the right thing. At the time it actually seems like it’s borderline between “frustration-tilt-bet” and “this is the right play”. I’d like to think it’s more of the latter, but I cant be 100%. Anyhow, I agree with everything you wrote about. Being able to recognize whether or not you play differently against players who are beating you is really vital, if the plan is to not let them crush you forever.

    Once again, thanks for awesome insight! I look forward to your new posts, and every time I see there is a new one I get a little excited 🙁

    Also, give avocados a chance dude. Avocados rock!

  13. Great post as always. It seems you’re regaining your balance which is obv so important to you and something on which you place great emphasis and rightly so IMO. It’s clear your views, thinking and life are balanced now so only thing next is to do well at the tables.
    I have a few question… Would you not think of signing a deal with pstars or another site or do you think this would affect your life negatively in the way it restrits you from pursuing other interests?. Obv I’m no expert but I’m sure spomsorship £££ would help ease the mental burden and swings??
    Have you ever thought of moving to London post BF? Tax wise, you’d be better off and it is such a greAt place to live.
    Idea for your site…maybe offer other top players the opportunity to blog/vblog?

    Great site, keep up he good work. V best wishes

  14. I give this post a triple A rating 🙂

    very good to hear your thought process on these matters,

    by the by, how did you end up running on the lower stakes?

  15. Had a great year last year and this year has been nothing but losses. lose lose lose and I am like “WTF is going on ?” Thinking about just quitting for a few months before I blow off more cash and maybe come back world series time frame. Could it be because you left BFP ?

  16. Hi Phil:

    As a microstakes player, I have to agree that we cannot discount the emotion that is burning inside our souls. As much as I would like to say that I just focus on logic/math to make decision – emotion is there… and I should be aware of this.

    It’s hard to self-aware my emotional awareness of myself… it’s kinda like meta meta meta oneself. However, if we’re able to do this – then maybe – we’ll make better logical decisions.

  17. This is great Phil, i would imagine that other world class poker players have the same poker ethios as yourself but maybe do not articulate there thoughts about the details of they game as eloquently as yourself (language barriers and perhaps they “just don’t what too” im sure are factors), finally i believe that the abilibity to multitable (which i do) has a positive influence on emotional stability of lets say a few “bad beats” as you basically do not have time to let your negative emotions get the better of you as you are playing so many hands……maybe that is why they say nanonoko is a robot……be a nice feeling to know you have read this…ha..all the best

  18. this all falls under the same issue. for example they say u should not quit a game if the game is good, but most of us do not play as well when losing contrary to what most say. its almost impossible to play as well when losing as when u are winning. i seem to have the problem vs aggressive players. constantly folding, building frustration then losing control and pushing when the guy actually has a hand. (somehow he alwasy has a hand at the most opportune moment). but it is almost impossible for people to find their own leaks unless they are expert players. so most players dont know if variance got them or if their leaks got them. i heard a quote once from gus hansen (not sure if he made it up or not) “you are probably not as good as u think u are when u are winning, and probably not as bad as u think u are when u are losing”. its a confidence game,and obv much easier to play wehn things are going well. gl all

  19. All the times that i fall down in this blog, i feel that i’m talking to myself. It’s kinda weird thing because i talk2myself not so often and all the times i finish all my tp, thinking that in some ways, talking also about this things, will help me in the future. I will be a better man ’cause i’m spending 3-4-5 minutes all days, thinking that my feelings combined with my poker road, will help me. And as Steve Jobs says, i’m just feel a little bit sick, ’cause “you can not connect the dots looking forwards. you can only connect, looking backwards”.

    Thank you phil..

  20. The influence of ones mental condition on the most games is very big. No doubt all top 5 players in tennis have similar technical skill lvl. Lets say the influence of your self confidence is about 1% (infact its way bigger) then ull win 100% of all games when ur a winning player because tennis is like poker a winner takes it all game.
    You are so right about the fact that the best poker players calculate with the emotion value. This doesnt mean they are not logical thinking players. How can you kow how you will handle a mega downswing??? This is the problem, we havent got the information on the psychic condition of the opponents. Some will break some will get harder. So you at least have to know yourself. You phil said first that the downswing is nothing special at all and that you as pro are used to such. In the next post you complain about life in canada doesnt provides you enough non-poker environment-connections. And now you say its all np its the variance and emotions but you will stop poker.
    I mean honstly, you have to know what you want. Your happines points and ev calculation sounds pretty ridiculous. Why would you have to justify your play to your fans, opponents? Its just shows your weakness. Sharks will attack when when youre wounded, piranhas attack only stressed animals (humans).
    Humans reduce their brain activity when they are stressed or in fear so only small brain area is active cause lot of blood is pumped to the muscles, adrenaline floods your body and your brain goes with the program ATTACK or ESCAPE. This two pure strategys often fail when it isnt about running on a tree (btw thats the reason we get wet hands when we stressed)or throw a javelin at an attacking bear.
    So now u decided to run. Maybe the best decision maybe not. I mean you are one of the best poker players and very talented. If i were you and i wanted to play on poker i would ask myself some questions:
    -why cant i win on pokerstars?
    -should i make another account?
    -should i take a little break mb playing very small evolvesome new strategies.
    -then taking shot on higher and then having someone with me who i trust and knows me (must not be a poker pro)
    then by doing so u will get into situations where u feel stressed or anxious. Best is if u write it down in some sort of journal and analyse it right after the session. Focus on situation related to your confidence and integrity as mentioned the fight or flee reactions, that only a super mutant wont have (mb doesnt exist because these reaction made us survive the evolutionary process)
    Anyway human behavior is very conditioned. As you said u will always feel some fear while playing against PI. And now in your downswing you developpe a conditioned loser mentality.

    Fact is your selfconfidence in general is ruined and you ask yourself what you want to do now. I think for a guy like you it must be hard to stop becasue of a lose. So hard you cant even enjoy your freetime. Second problem is if you stop poker you have no goal no aim in life, what a competetive person like you needs. You mentioned you have nonpoker-friendsbut you saw them sometimes in the week in a time u spend most time of day playin poker.
    So now you could build up a little enterprise but u wont have the knowledge for that and better dont invest on a friends enterprise these stories end badly. You could go to school/Univ but u think your too old for that stuff.
    BTW do you have a girlfriend maybe you should get one and build up a nice little family.
    Or mb you just want to enjoy youre time and make a little trip around the world? Mb watch the world from a different angle?? get new impressions, change values, raise new ideas.

    i wish you good luck


    Benjamin Jung

  21. Great post Phil! I read a lot of my own thoughts I had a couple of years ago while going through my biggest downswing ever(although I was playing MSPLO) while reading your blog. My guess is you”ll be back crushing HSPLO fairly soon. Your thoughts in this blog sort of validate my belief that you were/are a top 3 PLO player.
    Gl man! (Although a person who thinks like you prolly doesn’t need it.)

  22. Hi Phil,

    Smart people often think that they can ‘out-think” their emotions. They can acknowledge them, work around them,neutralize them, whatever.

    The unfortunate fact is that the emotions always win because they control parts of the body outside the realm of the intellect.

    Thus unhappy people are often sick people.

    Unhappy poker players are often losing poker players as the emotions affect the cognitive abilities.

    If you intellectually “know” that your present living and life situations are unsatisfactory and possibly even a bit destructive, then don’t be surprised when you start losing. It is your soul trying to preserve itself.

    Beware poker goals that are inconsistent with more important life goals.

    Best Wishes,


  23. Great blog Phil! I have a question for you: when you played on FTP did you do sidebets or did you sell your action when you played 300/600 PLO?

  24. man phil, how can u be so smart, its scary 🙂
    thanks alot for this post i’m currently rebuilding my roll from the money ftp stoll me and been through some ugly downswings, your post helped my alot to be more self aware.

  25. you’re a talented writer amongst being a wise individual and poker player. thanks for sharing with us. your lessons have fully changed the way i think about the game.

  26. Great set up uve got here…..im addicted to this site, im dying for an update tho….lol to impatient i kno…..anyway looking forward to future posts…..:)

  27. I really appreciate your text and I think you are particularly right on this aspect : finding in you the way emotions turned your lines of play, what you thought were purely logical or instinctive (informed by logics), will give you an edge to have better reads on your opponents. On the long run it will I’m sure… And it’s not the main actual line, so don’t give up !

  28. Phil, This is a very insightful post. If nothing else it really brings home the fact that you high stakes guys have just as many demons, in your own head, as the rest of us. I would like to see you divulge more of the emotional swings you have and how you cope with them. Are you still working with Tommy Angelo? I come from a family that has always tried “alternative” methods of coping with emotions etc… The simple fact is that it doesn’t take a lot to push an online guy on a downswing into the realms of depression. I am not saying you are depressed by the way! But it would be easy/ understandable to see how someone in your position (at any stakes) could slip into that mindset. Perhaps the only thing stopping good players go down that road is the self awareness you develop through playing the game.

    You are in a unique position Phil. Thousands of people look up to, from in and outside the game (including myself). I would really like to hear how “sort your head out” during these losing times. So many young guys get trapped in the online bubble that they miss out on a whole heap of their 20’s. The fact that you promote a healthy mind is great but perhaps you could shout a bit louder! I think people like you are really important for the game. For attracting new people and inspiring the ones already here! I find it fascinating reading your blog…ps. get a girl friend to sooth you during the bad times 🙂

  29. hi phil im going through a horrible downswing too and this post really inspired me i have always been in a fight with myself to become the robot poker pro player with no feelings at all but thats a losing battle you have opened my mind with your post for now on i will take into account my feelings more and as you said it will make me more logical and even make me a better poker player thank you very much from peru


  30. You get pwned cause you don’t like avocado. Avocado is the greatest food ever. I lost a lot of respect for you. Go vegan and learn to love avocado. It will improve your results, karma, and life.

  31. Phil,

    I’ve had a couple of really bad runs within the last few months. I definitely don’t play at your stakes or on your level. But, on one of the really bad days, it was like there was nothing I could do to win even with my “A game.”

    In one 6-hour session, every time I shoved with the best hand, I got sucked out on. It was so discouraging that the last 4 hands I shoved (with what I knew was the best hand), there was no doubt in my mind that my hand was going to get absurdly sucked out on. And, each of those last 4 hands, I got sucked out on.

    Emotionally, I felt like a pot of boiling water ready to burst. I don’t think I’d ever been so incensed before for loosing at a game. But, I’d remembered a simple technique I’ve been learning that is designed to clear up emotional upsets. The techinique is called “letting go of resisting.”

    It’s similar to the EST technique. I used this simple technique in my loosing sessions and suckouts by letting all of the “emotional sensations/upset” circulate through me without resisting them and without wanting them to go away.

    So, when I got the “pot of boiling water” feeling inside me, I just let it be and started concentrating on the “experiencing those unwanted sensations” to their core. I just let all of the outrage run through me within. In fact, I got to the point to where I was asking my emotions for more outrage. That’s because the more I practiced the technique, the less intense the outrage seemed to bother me or even matter. Plus, I knew the outrage would go away sooner or later.

    I haven’t got to the point to where I’m a robot, but the bad beats don’t bother me no where near as bad as they used to. I started noticing a huge difference in just a few days after constantly practicing this technique with all of my bad beats. And, the difference it made over the period of a week was UNBELIEVABLE!

    Now, the bad bets just might sting for a few seconds (or not at all), and I just say, “Oh, shoot! Here we go again. Nevermind, whatever…” I simply accept the bad beat, shrug my shoulders, and I welcome any outrage to circulate. The sting of a bad beat isn’t really that bad anymore whereas it used to be horrific and long lasting.

    Whenever I take a bad beat, it also gives me the chance to remember all of the suckouts I pulled off against other players. So, I just accept bad beats as an inevitable part of the game even if it happens at an absurd rate. Sure, I’m disappointed about the absurd beats I take, but I don’t feel nearly as outraged about them anymore. Now, I just laugh and think, “Good for them! It sucks for me but it’s to be expected. I don’t have to win every single pot in order to be a winning player. And, this beat won’t stop me from playing my A-Game.”

    It’s sort of like how durrrr always calmly says, “Nice hand…” when he looses a big pot on television. When he says it, it sounds like he’s resigned to the fact that big loses are to be expected.

    Now, I’ve become more of a fearless player by anticipating losses and preparing for them in advanced. And, so I’m definitely not nearly as bothered/tilted by them as I used to be.

    Thanks for giving so much back to the poker world!

    Brandon D.

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