Quit Winners
 
When 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 poker.

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.
 
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