How do you deal with losses at the poker table?

The way a player deals with a poker loss tells you a lot about their personality. I hit the poker room this weekend intent on getting in a solid poker session and mixing it up a little. I have not played too much since the US Poker Internet ban went down although I used to really like the Pokerstars site prior to that. In general I am pretty solid somewhat tight player who drinks at the table and likes to vary it up and keep people wondering while still playing mostly premium type hands. Basically a buzzed Action Dan Harrington on a red bull.

I mix it up for a few hours going down but then clawing my way back above my buy in with overall solid play. Experienced a lot of people who handle their losses in interesting ways:

  • The whiners looking for sympathy – If your looking for sympathy at the poker table (or often in the game of life) you are barking up the wrong tree. They are at the table to get your money not care about your bad luck.
  • The know it alls who talk a lot about skill, odds etc but are getting their clocks cleaned nonetheless. Sure they may be right but the long run only counts if you stick around that long. Often poker and life is about how long we play the game and putting in the grueling hours not the would be shoulda beens.
  • The analytical scientists who feel the need to recount why their losing decision was right and how bad of a mathematical play the person that beat them made. Yawn these guys never get laid I’d bet 5-1 on it.
  • The sore losers who lash out at others when they are losing mostly another player that annoys them for poker etiquette infringement or even worse the dealer who they seek to blame for some annoying transgression in their mind. These guys are the biggest losers of all can not accept responsibility for their own bad decisions or short term variance.
  • The drunks who didn’t even seem to care about losing money but only viewed it as part of the experience. Not advocating to be an indifferent drunk here but at least these guys are not expecting sympathy at a poker table.

After clawing out 50$ gain after being down in 1/2NL (stack now $350) I reached my pinnacle hand where I picked up AA and got all in preflop vs. KK. I was a 4-1 favorite to take it down but it was not to be another K hit on the turn and did me in. Didn’t get mad, didn’t call the guy any names, didn’t show much emotion at all. Even if your 4-1 in the good there is always that one…

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2 Responses to How do you deal with losses at the poker table?

  1. Fearless says:

    Depends on the scenario, if I’m playing with friends we scream, shout , laugh, or punch each other. If for actual stakes I ‘ve found stoicism to be key.

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