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Which Help Should You Get?

Part III: Help with guilt feelings

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: Dec 24, 2010

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Poker players and writers rarely discuss guilt feelings. They don’t seem relevant to our macho game. Besides, most writers rarely feel guilty about poker. We accept its predatory nature, gladly exploit our opponents’ weaknesses, and urge readers to do the same. A coaching client (“Bill”) taught me that some players need help with their guilt feelings. It’s not my first lesson from a client, and it won’t be the last. Strategy coaches may not learn much from their clients, but I’ve learned a lot from mine. Sensitivity Helps and Hurts I once regarded understanding how opponents think and feel as a huge, unadulterated asset. Bill taught me that his sensitivity to people’s feelings both helps and hurts him. The help is too obvious to discuss. But the negative side was surprising. He wrote: “I don’t want to feel their pain … I noticed that when I beat someone in a ...


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