Tuesday’s Den: Words of advice from a great poker player…….

It dawned on me today that I have a lot of books in my house, and I’ve read just about all of them, but most of them I read a long time ago; these days, I’m re-reading bits and pieces of them, and that has worked pretty well.

Today I’m reading “Ace on the River” a book written by the great poker player Barry Greenstein in 2005. If you like to gamble in general, or specifically play poker, there is a lot of wisdom in this book, some of which I’m going to share with you today.

Here are some of the characteristics that Barry Greenstein says “….separate winning poker players from losing players”

— Have a good sense of humor— Winning players have learned to tolerate bad beats that happen. A gallows’ sense of humor may help them endure the bad times.

— The best players must be able to talk their way into good situations and should be gracious to losing players. There are times when they have to be able to speak up for their own best interest. Being able to talk is a plus, and so is knowing when to be quiet.

— Winning players have to formulate strategies and change them when they’re not working. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to one’s environment; an intelligent player knows how to use information to his maximum advantage.

— Most winning poker players are quiet during each hand and maintain the proverbial poker face. Even after losing a hand, they don’t show their disappointment.

— Winning poker players have memorized basic strategy; they remember what worked in the past, and what didn’t. They have a mental catalogue of every opponent’s playing style and idiosyncrasies.

— Winning players aren’t afraid to pull the trigger; they aren’t afraid to make the right play, even if it is risky. They also realize that there is a fine line between being bold and being reckless.

— Even if a good player’s results have been bad, he will continue to make decisions that he believes are the right ones.

— If a game is far more lucrative than usual, a good player will not quit, especially if he is winning. He looks at this as an opportunity to make enough money so he won’t have to work as long on occasions when the game isn’t as juicy.

— Many winning poker players are very scrappy; some were refugees from other countries. They know life isn’t always fair, and they’re used to fighting to survive. They expect obstacles and believe they can overcome them. In the Darwinian sense, winning players are survivors of the poker battle.

— Winning players don’t take anyone’s advice without thinking about it first. Plenty of bad advice is readily available; they don’t submit to peer pressure that will lead them down the bumpy path the majority has followed.

— Winning players are usually big tippers; they don’t place a high value on money because it comes so easily at times that it doesn’t hurt to give some of it away. They are respectful of people who work hard for their money.

— Winning players pay great attention to detail; they remember each pot, how many players were in it, who raised, who had the key cards, who hesitated at key moments.

— Psychologically tough— The best don’t give in, no matter how severe the psychological beating. Psychologically tough players have the mindset that they can win in any situation and can overcome anything. You cannot judge a player until you see how he handles adversity.

Again, the book is “Ace on the River”, written by Barry Greenstein. If you can find it online or in a bookstore, you’ll learn a lot from it. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.