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The Thresholds of Misery and Happiness

by Matt Lessinger |  Published: Jun 13, 2012


Matt LessingerIt goes without saying that the more poker you play, the more losing sessions you will endure. Even the best players take frequent losses, but in the end they will come out ahead. What separates the true winners is the way they handle both their winning and losing sessions.

The real question for some people is whether they can handle losses at all. Some players, even experienced ones, feel an irrational need to get even on a given day. They might think to themselves that, since they have a “refuse to lose” attitude, they are playing to win. I would argue the exact opposite: These “chasers” are not playing to win. They are playing for psychological satisfaction. In short, they want to avoid misery.

Chasers clearly have trouble dealing with losses, so they play in such a way that they lose as infrequently as possible. Maybe they win nine out of ten sessions. Not bad, right? They get the joy of winning 90 percent of the time, so they usually go home feeling content.

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