By: Jason Lake
Everyone needs something to believe in. We also need someone to love, and a roof over our heads, but you shouldn't pick just anyone to love, nor should you pick just any roof to sleep under. Smarter decisions lead to better outcomes. The same goes for the things you choose to believe.
“Choose” is the operative word here. At any point in our lives, we are operating under a belief system that's based on whatever people have told us before. We start life young and weak, and so is our initial understanding of the world. We grow up believing in things that aren't true – until someone tells us differently. Then we have a choice to make: Keep believing what we used to, or accept the new gospel. This is how we learn. People who learn poorly, well, they end up making poor decisions. It's very sad, and it's happening all around you right now – including at the poker tables, where far too many people are being held down by these three beliefs:
3. “I'm due.”
No, you're not. Just because things aren't going your way right now, it doesn't mean the universe will balance things out for you. Haven't been dealt pocket Aces even once in the past 1,000 hands? Get used to disappointment. Your chance of getting dealt AA on Hand No. 1,001 is exactly the same as it was for every hand before that, and any hand of no-limit Hold'em you'll ever play. That would be 220/1.
2. “This dealer has it in for me.”
No, they don't. First of all, see above. Second of all, assuming you are playing poker at a reputable establishment, your dealer does not have any control over which cards you happen to be dealt, or whether you win the pot afterward. If I had superpowers like that, I sure as hell wouldn't be dealing cards for a living.
1. “Three-Deuce offsuit is my lucky hand.”
Sure, there may have been one time when you played 32o and you flopped a straight, then the next time you played it, you triple-barrel bluffed and your opponent folded on the river. But don't start thinking it's a lucky hand and one you need to play again. And if you do continue playing 32o, well, I hope to see you at the tables someday.