Your Opinion Above All Others

I don't know how people expect to win at this game when they care so much about what others think.

Poker is a glorified game of rock, paper, scissors. If everybody constantly throws scissors, it would logically pay to be a contrarian and throw rock.

Yet, every year, I see a new group of guys coming in. They talk smack on forums. They post comments on videos and blogs. They create cliques at poker tournaments, and talk about who is better than who, and who sucks. Then, three years later, they disappear, only to be replaced by a new group of assholes.

I'm lucky enough to know some truly great poker players. They've been around for decades, made millions of dollars, and done all the things we want to do.

How much time do you think they spend talking about who is better than who?

None. They couldn't care less.

If you tell them some player won a tournament, they'll usually go, "good for them. Who's that?"

They're so deep within the game's problems themselves, they couldn't care less about what others are doing.

If they're judging some player's play, they're likely to forget the name, unless the play is illustrative of something special.

The average guy walks into a poker room and is startled. There's so much going on. People are yelling constantly. If someone belittles their poker play, they shrivel.

The professional walks in, and thinks, "how can I work these people over?"

Every man has a demon within them. Our nature instills within us a child who tells us to eat garbage, blame others, and never take responsibility for our actions or situation.

You can note quickly men who have lost versus this demon, even if you just walk by them on the street.

The professional sees the weak man and laughs when he acts like a child.

You know what's childish? Degrading other poker players over a play. "You'll never be good, because you do something

I disagree with." It shows you care too much what others think of you, because there's no financial reason to do that.

We are all pack animals, deep down. We're attracted to certain people due to their genetic fitness. Men seek to out rank each other, fearing ostracism if they are not the alpha.

The professional gamblers who succeed recognize this human nature and exploit it.

If they see a guy chortling about another's poker play, they know they're seeing a mark.

If the player they are mocking is playing bad and giving away money, a real professional wouldn't make a sound.

If the player got one over on the chortler, then he is the fool.

Either way, there is no room here for a roll of the eyes, a snort, or a shake of the head.

"You're bad at poker, because I disagree with you," is a pithy whine. It shows you have no faith in yourself. If you did, you wouldn't care what another player does. You'd seek to quietly exploit it, without tipping your hand.

"You might have gotten one over on me, but I want you to know I personally don't like how you play," is what's been said here.

Could you imagine this in pick-up basketball? "That move you scored on me with, it sucked."

"Look at you, emotional," you'd likely hear in response.

Real hustlers are quiet. They take what works and drop the rest. They would never correct another player.

What most poker players don't realize is they're not actually playing for money. They're playing to feel better about themselves. It kills them to not be respected as a poker player.

This is a joke. Lebron James is the best basketball player on Earth. Every single day people still talk about how trash he is.

Most poker players adopt a play because a big name uses it and it is accepted by their friends.
If you're adopting a play that's already being used by a number of people, then it's already dated. And someone somewhere is at home on their computer, finding a way to exploit it.

When you meet that player, they are going to destroy you.

To succeed in poker, you must value your opinion above all others.

This means cultivating an opinion that's worth valuing. You must study broadly. You must learn to use poker tools. You must be open-minded when someone presents new evidence. You must procure evidence yourself.

When someone challenges your opinion, you must say, "show me the evidence." If they have none, their opinion is not worth the breath that was used to utter it.

Don't Miss these Strategy Stories
    Join the most trusted US poker site since 2001 and get a 100% bonus on your first deposit, up tp $1,000!
    Stay up to date on the latest poker news through social media. Join us at Facebook/americascardroomnet and follow us @ACR_POKER on Twitter. We invite you to share ideas and reactions.