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The Slight Edge


by bradv7007  |  Published Oct 18, 2012


Hi Folks, it is about 5:30 pm on Thursday evening October 18Th and I am excited to be alive :). I hope all of you reading this are doing great too. Lately I have been playing the most poker of my life and absolutely loving it. I am from WA State originally and have lived in Las Vegas now for about 5 1/2 years. I play my cash games mainly at the Red Rock and Golden Nugget Casinos with a few visits to the strip peppered in between.

Along with my poker goals I am focused on getting rid of some extra weight and having more discipline with my finances which leads me to this blog about slight edge living.

In life and in poker we are faced with hundreds of seemingly insignificant choices every day. Little things that are easy to do that seem to make no difference at the time, but are really and truly what decides our success long term ultimately. Its so simple that most people miss it! In your life today you have either made simple disciplines that done consistently over time will carry you to success or simple errors in judgment that made over time that will cause failure. It is so important to realize that success in your poker, finances, weight loss etc etc etc is not caused by a quantum leap it is achieved by doing a lil bit every day and adding to it little by little until the compounding effect kicks in.

How does this translate into your poker success? Well lets take two poker players that are fairly equal in talent and ability and look at their slight edge decisions regarding poker. Joe wakes up and reads 10 pages in a good book every day, sometimes poker related and sometimes just a book on finances or being positive. Sam doesn't like to read so he skips it. Simple discipline/ Simple error in judgment! Easy to do. Easy not to do. After the 1st day is Joe a better player than Sam? How about after a week? He may have learned a little bit but you probably wouldn't notice any difference. But over the course of a year look at what happens. 10 pages X 365 Days = 3650 pages which is probably 10 to 15 good books. Now after a year and say 10 good poker books and a few on attitude and happiness would you be able to see a difference in Joe & Sam? You bet your life you would!!!! That is the power of the slight edge! Why don't more people live this way? Because we live in an instant gratification society. If Joe read his 10 pages today and won the WSOP tomorrow Sam would have taken notice real quickly, but as we know that's not how it works. Sam probably didn't notice much improvement in Joe for several months and then if he was like most people he would have attributed his winning to some good luck and run good.

More examples. Joe makes the disciplined decision today to not play while he is tired, Sam is just as tired but plays anyways. Is Joe instantly successful with an ample bankroll? NOPE! Is Sam Broke and sitting on the rail? Probably not, heck he might have even gotten lucky and won. But over hundreds of sessions its not even close. Joe has set himself up for success and Sam has taken the path towards failure. I can go on and on and I am sure that as this blog continues I will give many more examples. If you are more like a Sam than you care to admit there is hope! You can draw a line in the sand and start making better choices. You can put the slight edge on your side starting RIGHT NOW! Why not? What do you have to lose? YOU ARE A WINNER, now is the time to START ACTING LIKE ONE!

What are your dreams? Are you living them? Are you at least on the pathway? Success is a journey not a destination, so turn off your computer and start out on your path. Do something little. Something seemingly insignificant. Something positive! Then keep doing it over and over and over adding to it as you go. God is GOOD! He made you to Win!

A special thank you to Jeff Olson for teaching me the slight edge and you can get his book "The Slight Edge" if you want to learn more about it.

Have a great day and God Bless,

Brad Varnell

You can follow me on twitter @BradV7007

I am coaching poker and teaching the slight edge philosophy to a few friends and family. If you are interested in taking lessons please email me at BradV7007@YAHOO.COM


2 years ago

Well-written article. One caveat: In my experience - a decade of working in bookstores - women are the more voracious readers and I suspect are also more likely to not play poker when tired. So, I'd avoid the "sexist" tag in your example and change "Sally" to "Sam". Obviously I don't have "binders full of women" to back up my claim but I agree that a disciplined approach and a willingness to study poker away from the tables are key ingredients in improving your game -regardless of gender..


2 years ago

Thanks Trent I appreciate the advice!