“Whenever you engage in warfare with enemies, you should strive to be the first

to occupy advantageous terrain, so that you can win in battle.”

-Sun Tzu

“Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.”


Rule 47: You’re never going to win at poker by calling.

Why are some players hesitant to bet when they have a good hand? Why do

they just “call,” passively, and check along instead? There are several reasons for


this: an innate cautiousness and timidity; a feeling that attention will be turned to

them, perhaps, and other players will be able to “read” them (thus “revealing”

their hand); a hope that maybe someone else will bet for them; a feeling that they

are sticking their neck out, and 먹튀검증업체 that bad things happen whenever you do this (you

get your wrist slapped); and so on. The player must get over this hurdle? must

push himself beyond it.

Bet. Raise. Practice raising. If you have a good hand, do it. If you aren’t very

good at it, then do more of it. (Always with a good hand, however.)

“Never call; either raise or put down.”

-Ernest Hemingway to Lillian Ross

“Fortune favors the bold.”


Rule 48: Think of the raiser as your friend.

It makes some players nervous when someone else raises. Try a different

approach: Try seeing the raiser as your friend. Remember that if he raises and you


re-raise him back, you have worked together to put a lot of pressure on the rest of

the field. See the raiser as a cannon firing alongside yours.

Rule 49: Stay on your game.

This might be one of the most important rules in poker. (At least, an

argument could be made that it is.) What does it mean? It means: Stay on it at

3:00 P.M. It means stay on it at 4:00 A.M. (when you can barely keep your eyes

open). Stay on it at dawn. Stay on it when seated for hours next to a loud

obnoxious player. Stay on it while sitting next to a loud-voiced drunk who is

getting lucky every hand. Stay on it despite a series of bad beats, one after another.


Stay on it despite having great success and a mountain of chips. Stay on it whether

you’re up $450 or down $650. Stay on it despite failure and despite success. Still


stay on it.

“Perseverance on an even keel is what gets the money.”

-Steve Badger, professional poker player

Rule 50: Avoid being carried away by the “momentum.”

Re-evaluate your cards at each new moment of the game. Don’t be drawn off

your game by external forces?table-talk, dares, challenges, distractions, emotions,


or even the seductive wash of chips going into and out of the pot. (Don’t be drawn

in emotionally by the excitement and lure of a big-money pot, either. Monster pots


develop because other players have something. When the betting gets heavy, reevaluate your cards in light of this fact.) Avoid getting carried away by the various

kinds of “momentum” in the game. The rhythm of the game has a way of drawing

us into hands we ordinarily wouldn’t be in. The game always starts out neutral, of


course?sane, logical, and objective? but it then becomes an emotional whirlpool.

There is a strong undertow that seeks to pull us in, and this undertow can draw us


off our game if we are not vigilant. It takes discipline to operate independently of

all this activity.

Rule 51: If there is a lot of betting going on, from many different

directions, there’s a good chance that you’re beat. Consider folding.

Expert players make money by making good lay-downs. The money they

save in spots like this is money that adds up over time. (And these sorts of

situations are, indeed, one of the places where “giving it back” happens.) The

profit accumulated by lesser players?painstakingly won through correct play,

perhaps?often goes back across the table to their opponents in situations like this.


If we are earning an average of just one big bet an hour, it’s easy to see how all the

profit from a day’s play can melt away in a situation like this.

Rule 52: Play each hand individually; play each card and decisionpoint in each hand deliberately.


point in each hand deliberately.

Play deliberately at each step. Concentrate on making the correct play every

card, every street, and every hand. Doing this helps short-circuit the “momentum”


trap that sometimes occurs (the momentums of the game itself, as well as

emotional momentums?anger, tilt, confidence, pride, and ego). Make each

decision carefully, but not “panic-carefully.”

Rule 53: Fine-tuning your game?it’s in the details.

It’s relatively easy for any intelligent person, in any area of life, using broad


general principles to make decisions that are fairly close to optimum. Any

improvements that take place after this point, however? any subsequent finetuning that occurs?must come in individual decisions, rather than generalities. In


other words, to move up to the next level, each individual decision has to be

looked at and considered on a case-by-case basis. This is generally the case as we


move up the ladder of expertise in any field, and it is also true in poker. It means

breaking the game down into individual hands and looking at them. A wellinformed overview is no longer enough.


Rule 54: Retain your ability to control events at all times, in


Control is control. Very few people seem to know this simple truth. Here is

an example. You are driving down a road and a youthful driver pulls out up ahead,


suddenly and without warning, very fast from a side road. You can tell by his

expression behind the wheel that he knows he is about to be hit (by you), but it is


too late because his momentum is now so strong that he has already committed.

The rule here is to keep control of the joystick at all times. This joystick of control


means to be able to go forward or back at all times and on a moment’s notice. This

is what control means. (And it is what the pros do.) There isn’t any excuse like “I


was already committed” or “I had developed my own momentum by that point and

couldn’t stop.”

The true professional in anything has control at each increment. He can “turn

on a dime,” switch gears, go forward, or backward on a moment’s notice. Like a

good tennis player, he becomes so good at these quick adjustments that he

performs them seamlessly. To phrase it another way: There is more to his control

panel than “Stop” and “Start.” There is a whole incremental range in between.

Control means the ability to think at each new moment. (Don’t get caught up in

any momentum?whether yours or others.) This is why good poker players can

bet, raise, and fold, all in the same betting round. They have control of the joystick.


It is one of the things that distinguishes them from the average player. They have

more than just a “Stop” and “Start” button. They have control of the joystick at all


the points, by increments.

“Sometime, look at a novice workman or a bad workman and

compare his expression with that of a craftsman whose work

you know is excellent and you’ll see the difference. The

craftsman isn’t ever following a single line of instruction. He’s

making decisions as he goes along . . . He isn’t following any

set of written instructions because the nature of the material at

hand determines his thoughts and motions, which simultaneously

change the nature of the material at hand.”

-Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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