There are many famous poker sayings that also apply to how we live our lives away from the tables, from Mark Pilarski’s “The smarter you play, the luckier you’ll be” to William J. Florence’s “If you lose your head, you will lose all your chips”. Heck, even Kenny Rogers inspires the decisions we make every day with “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away.”
And who could forget the famous phrase: ‘All you need is a chip and a chair”, coined by PokerStars’ very own Joe Stapleton in 2014 (don’t fact-check us on that one). The message? Never give up. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Poker and life often go hand in hand. Here’s how.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”
This famous quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca is certainly true for both life and poker.
Examples of good luck in life might include a chance meeting with a stranger that leads to a job offer. But the job offer would never come if the person wasn’t prepared with relevant skills and experience. They might have spent their entire life preparing, but they lacked the opportunity. So when it presented itself, they grabbed it with both hands.
It’s the same in online poker. You never know which tournament is going to be the one where the cards fall your way and the stars align. But you can be prepared for the opportunity by studying poker strategy and putting in volume.
Nothing enables luck more than hard work. If you study poker and put a lot of work into your game, then by the time a great opportunity comes around–a Sunday Million Anniversary tournament, for example–you might find that luck finds you.
Living within your means is key to a peaceful life. If you get a mortgage you can’t afford or a car that’s way out of your budget, there’s a very good chance you’ll struggle and ultimately end up with squadoosh (a Norman Chad expression for nothing that, for some reason, hasn’t crossed over into everyday life).
Stick to what you can afford, however, and you’ll not only be able to keep up with your payments, but you might even have some disposable income set aside for when you need it.
Bankroll management for poker players is very similar. If you’re playing tournaments or cash games with buy-ins too big for your bankroll, you’ll inevitably endure downswings and if you don’t adjust to a healthy bankroll management strategy, you’ll end up going broke. Following some bankroll rules not only means you’ll stay in the game longer and have a better shot at long-term success, but it also allows you to play your very best as you’ll never feel like one tournament or one session could break you.
Plus, if you manage to maintain a solid bankroll, it gives you the opportunity to take shots in events you wouldn’t normally play when a special event rolls around, such as a Sunday Million Anniversary or a SCOOP or WCOOP event.
Risk and rewards
After his turn in Rounders as the whip-smart but always shady Worm, Edward Norton shared this gem in an interview: “Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.”
We all face tough decisions and must make them without knowing for sure what the outcome will be. Whether it’s a change of career or making a family commitment, It’s down to us to weigh the pros and cons and come to conclusions that we believe to be the most beneficial.
When a poker player is considering a big bluff or making a hero call, it’s based on evidence and experience, not blind intuition. Importantly, the poker player is seeking ways to get ahead without simply waiting for the best cards to come to them. You can’t just wait around and expect things to come to you. You might end up blinding out.
Sometimes in life, opportunities are presented to us but only those willing to take the risk are rewarded.