someone asks you how you fared in a poker game, what
kind of answer do you give them? Do you tell them
the exact truth, an approximate truth, or do you lie?
How does answering that question make you feel? Spend
a moment to describe those feelings here.
If you won and get to tell people you won, you probably
feel good. If you lost and have to tell people you
lost, you probably feel bad. What if you never had
to tell them you lost? Wouldn't you spend more time
feeling good? Well, yes you would, but since some
losses are unavoidable, at least part of the time
you would have to lie. Which is exactly the bold strategy
I'm proposing here: Next time-any time-anyone asks
you how you did playing hold'em, tell them you quit
winners, because if you always tell everyone you quit
winners, you never have to worry about how to tell
anyone how you did.
Is this really an issue? Do other people's expectations
of you and your poker outcomes really affect your
poker performance? Well, let's take a look. We'll
start by dividing the universe of people you know
into those who play poker and those who don't play
Among the people you know who play poker, we can further
divide them into the categories of friend, foe, or
irrelevant stranger. Why would you want to tell a
friend you quit winners, even if you lost? Presumably
because your friend understands what you're up to.
He knows that you're trying to detach from outcomes.
As your sympathetic poker playing friend, he understands
that the voracious need to book a win can put even
the steadiest of players on tilt, and send them hurling
rack after rack of chips into the bottomless pit of
gotta get even. Your friend will realize that when
you say you quit winners every time, you're merely
protecting yourself from the need to quit winners
every time. You and your friend thus conspire together
to render the question irrelevant.