Playing poker is a passion for many people. The reason why most serious Poker players keep hefty bankrolls is because of how variance never fails to eventually knock them over, and then proceed to kick them while they’re lying down. Their bankroll can deal with some swings and that they’ve planned for the eventuality of a larger downswing happening that it may force them to step down in limits.
We may be playing well but we’re still losing, which can cause us to believe that we’re not playing well. This can change our game for the worse. The problems arise when this is no longer just a state of mind that we’re in for a little while, like the rest of the night but when our game permanently changes because of this. Understanding how poker works is very important in order to counter this behavior. Being able to realize that what happened was just variance, that our losses are at least smaller than they could have been had we not played as well, is imperative.
We believe we have it under control, but of course it’s still hard to smile and think happy thoughts when some guy beats our flopped pair of aces by calling our bets only to turn his third-pair-hand into two pair for the fourth time in a row. We know that we were doing the right thing to bet and we know that he made a mistake in calling and in the long run we’ll win a lot of money if we keep it up. If we find ourselves upset to the point where we know that it’s probably affecting our decisions, then staying at the table is really bad.
However, there’s another potentially more important argument to be made here and that’s the fact that he may have been correct to call on the flop with his pair of sevens, nine kickers. He has five outs, so he needs odds to continue, but you’re giving him a whole of money. If he knew what you had, he’d virtually be wrong to fold. Poker is a game of small edges. It’s a little bit like operating a roulette wheel. We have the odds on your side, but someone who’s always betting on black, while a clear loser in the very long run, could still win quite a heap of money over the course of one evening.
People who berate others for poor play aren’t smart players. It happens so often that it’s amazing how they seemingly haven’t got used to it. The best scenario for a table coach is that the other players consider him a jerk. The worst scenario is that someone who was having fun giving his money away suddenly decides to play smarter. There’s a lot of hard work needed to achieve real skill in this game. The part about having fun is the most important and also enjoying the game for what it is.