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Who is responsible for your poker results?

January 22, 2020

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Who is responsible for your outcome as a poker player? Before you read this article, you might want to pause for a moment and say out loud what you think the answer is.

Then, you could consult one or more of these helpful resources:

  • Any poker player you respect the opinion of.
  • Your significant other.
  • Google.
  • Somebody with tarot cards and/or tea leaves.

If you’re still not sure, read on.

There are numerous random incidentals and accidents which could contribute to your bottom line in the short term, but in the long term, the common denominator is in the seat, handling the hole cards, and betting the chips.

Despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the one person with absolute power over your poker destiny is you!

You decide which games you play in. If the game is bad, then choosing to play in a bad game is a bad decision by you.

You decide how much you bring to the table. If the minimum is too large a percentage of your bankroll, or you cannot afford to lose all or part of the amount you sit with, then you made the mistake of risky bankroll management.

You decide your approach to the game. If you try to bluff calling stations, if you call down tight players with speculative holdings, or if you have another beer every time you lose a pot, you only have yourself to blame. 

You and you alone decide which hands you will play or fold, which flushes and straights you will chase, and how much you bet to charge your opponents when they are drawing to theirs.

You get to decide when to walk away and when to run upon a win, and you decide to stay and chase your losses when you lose.

Every decision you make in a poker game is a choice. Learning good habits will guide you in making the right choice most of the time. Patience and discipline will increase your chances of getting it right. But all these abilities have to be learned and respected each and every time you play, because nobody else is going to do it for you.