by Diane McHaffie
So, you say you have an issue with luck. Bad luck, to be precise. You feel as if everyone, everything, every happening is out to get you. You feel things couldn’t get much worse. Here’s the question: Do you think you’re unlucky or are you truly, in reality, unlucky?
Many people think that somebody else is at fault for their bad luck. They feel an overwhelming need to blame someone. Not gamblers, though, they’ve gone a step above blaming humans. They blame - events! Events, happenings, occurrences, those are responsible for gambler’s bad luck. Events. You see, in poker or in real life, there will be events, be they good or bad, that will affect you, sometimes drastically. Some events may just be ho-hum and not a determining factor in your life, just a break-even moment, as Mike Caro would say.
Speaking of Mike, as you know he’s a probability guy. He emphasizes that people, over time, will likely have as many good days as bad days, compared to the expectation of average days. Along the way, you’re likely to receive unusually weird breaks, good ones and bad ones. That’s normal. But the common notion that over your lifetime you’ll eventually break even in the luck category has Mike fervently disagreeing. Here’s why: Your life isn’t prolonged far enough into the future to allow circumstances to break even. If you could live forever, perhaps.
It certainly seems as if some people are born with a golden touch, everything positively goes their way. If they need a lucky break, they get it. Then there are those who couldn’t buy luck.
Detour. Luck certainly seems to have been with Mike. He’s a successful writer, consultant, presents educational seminars and has made several DVD’s that help people better their poker game and improve their lives. His books and DVD’s have even helped law enforcement deal with criminals. He took his knowledge and skill and put it to work for the betterment of others, helping himself along the way.
But, suppose Mike had been detoured from his path? What if his poker studies had failed him? What if he’d chosen to be an skillful accountant instead? Where would he be today? How many lives would have been affected? Well, it seems that luck does play a significant part in our lives. Despite the paths we take and the obstructions that we encounter, most of us usually manage to overcome and continue forward.
Is it going to make a difference in your winnings or losses in life, if you bemoan your bad luck? Will sniveling gain you anything? Pity from friends, maybe. But even they will grow weary of hearing your sad tales.
Memories. Gamblers have snared the market on tales of misery. They always have a bad beat story to relate. If you had a trying childhood, you have a tendency to remember the bad instead of the good, right? Well, gamblers seem to rewind and replay their never-ending supply of bad memories.
Listen up: Here’s where whimpering about your bad luck can have a harmful affect on you at the poker table. Not only will you convince yourself that you’re in a slump, but your opponents are going to view you as someone more cursed than they. This may prompt them to go into attack mode. You have succeeded in reversing your opponent’s defeatist attitude and made him feel bolder, luckier. This can happen in everyday life, too. Look around you! Do you think that successful businessmen like Donald Trump or Bill Gates routinely complained about their misfortunes? Winners set goals and if they stumble they get back up, without complaining. They don’t want to be perceived as losers!
Battle. There are people just waiting for you to fail, to hear you complain, so they can take advantage of the moment. Pity will not be the emotion that you’ll receive. Your opponents may issue sympathetic sounds, but often they’re preparing for battle.
So, keep your whimpering and sorry tales to yourself. Okay, if you feel the absolute need to get it out of your system, snivel to your dog or cat. They will sometimes show a suitable amount of sympathy, nudging your hand in reassurance or licking your face.
Silence, instead of lamenting, is often a better path, whether at the poker table or in everyday life. You want opponents and business associates to perceive you as a lucky, successful person.
Diane McHaffie is Director of Operations at Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy. She has traveled the world coordinating events and seminars in the interest of honest poker. You can write her online at email@example.com.