Poker Entitlement: Thoughts on Success and Failures on the Felt

As far as poker goes, I must say that I have been pretty fortunate. I have had a decent amount of success over the years in live and online ring games as well as live and online tournaments. I haven’t had many prolonged negative stretches. I have had my share of bad beats like everyone else that has played a fair amount of hands. I have been “one-outed” and “runner-runnered” just like the rest of you. (Don’t worry, there is no bad beat story coming.) That being said, there have been plenty of times that I have encountered some smaller stretches of negative results and I have to say that it still bothers me. In order to help clear my mind, I always try to remind myself of two of my own personal poker sayings:
“You are not entitled to winning regardless of the players and the game.” and “When you are running good, you are not as GOOD of a player as you think you are and when you are running bad, you are not as BAD of a player as you think you are.” These simple sayings help to keep me grounded from getting too high or too low while playing. We have all felt that awesome feeling of being “bullet proof” at times at the poker table. There are days when we make every right read and always seem to make the correct call, raise or fold. We pick the perfect spot to make a well timed bluff. Those days everything seems to be right in our poker world. Then there are those days at the table when nothing seems to go our way. We fold the best hand and call with the 2nd best hand. We pick what we feel is a great spot to try a bluff and run squarely into an opponent holding “the nuts”. At times it can be a rough roller coaster to ride.
Always remember to try to remain balanced, not that it is easy. Don’t get me wrong. I feel the “positive” when I’ve had a good session and I feel the “negative” when I’ve had a bad one, but more importantly I try to constantly analyze HOW I played. This is the most important thing to do. We should always be striving to improve our game. Also, I try to correct myself during a session when I feel like I am starting to stray from my “A” game. I’ve seen otherwise excellent players turn into “chip spewers” after losing a big pot or two. This brings me to the title of my blog, entitlement. I feel that some good players start tilting after a bad beat because they feel a certain sense of entitlement. We should never feel a sense of entitlement in a poker game! Don’t think that you can just show up at a game and book a win. Don’t think that you can just play on auto pilot against a soft table and come out ahead. Don’t think that you SHOULD win just because you feel that you are a better player. You should always be paying attention and trying to play your best no matter what the situation. That is how you become the best player that you can be.
There are far too many players that bemoan the fact that they lost when they got their money in good and that it is “not fair”. Remember, if you are an 80% favorite then on average you are going to lose 2 out of 10 times. It doesn’t mean that on average you are going to win 100% of the time. Deal with it! In the end you will take an 80/20 flip all day every day. - Frank L. DiRe Nerdthusiast Content Writer Follow Me on Twitter @FLD15