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Another Look at Forgiving Yourself

For making mistakes, and for making good decisions that don’t turn out well

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: May 14, 2010


My friend Barry Tanenbaum recently wrote a column called “Forgive Yourself” (Card Player, March 24, 2010). It was based on the epilogue of his excellent book Advanced Limit Hold’em Strategy. When I read that epilogue, my first thought was, “Did Barry get religious or join some New Age, touchy-feely group?” After thinking about it, I realized that it was the right way to end his book. So, I decided to end my own book, Poker Winners Are Different, with the same point: “To improve your game, you must experiment with new ways of thinking and acting, and some of them will cause painful mistakes. If you can’t forgive yourself, you will dwell on those mistakes and become unwilling to take essential risks.” A recent conversation convinced me that you should take this principle further. Don’t forgive yourself just for making mistakes. Forgive yourself for making good decisions that don’t turn ...

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