There are many among us who wonder how some of the best gamblers in history managed to pull off the feats they did. Stu Ungar, a terminal heroin addict, managed to win three WSOP titles despite a pitiful mental and physical health state that eventually led to his passing away. And yet, Ungar had a secret which helped him persevere – his wife and daughter. He won the WSOP titles to secure their future while sliding into his bad habits.
What are the secrets professional gamblers take to their graves and how do we know these legends are in fact true?
#1 It’s Not About the Cards
You have perhaps heard this when discussing poker. Most players agree that while you have a very good chance at drawing a superb hand, it should never be about the cards. Playing the cards is one way to guarantee yourself a loss whereas playing the player – this is a sure way to find a chink in someone’s armor, and that’s always a good thing indeed.
However, you cannot live by this maxim exclusively, as in certain situations, such as online gambling, you won’t be able to read the player, which is an essential drawback. This is where you need to start playing the odds. The chances of an event transpiring based on the information you have collected from the table so far.
#2 You Are Going to Lose
Here’s another secret most professional gamblers don’t like to talk about – you are going to lose a lot. Yet, they won’t tell you about those. It’s natural to experience bad beats in any form of gambling. Whether this is roulette or poker, players just have bad days. The cards won’t come or you won’t be feeling too well. This exact same thing applies to the biggest names of poker and there is truly no way to change that.
However, if you manage to acknowledge that you are losing because of this being your bad beat day as opposed to anything else, you will be able to gather strength and recover quickly. It’s simple as that – know your enemy, know yourself.
#3 Treat Gambling as a Form of Investment
The majority of professional gamblers agree that games such as poker are a form of investment. However, this is not the same as trading stocks, or at least not in the eyes of the law. Not everyone agrees that poker is a game of skill, but the players at the top who have been winning titles consistently seem to have proven those naysayers completely wrong.
Gambling is a form of investment and therefore you should only invest what you can realistically afford to lose. If you go all-in with your life’s savings, then you are putting yourself into a position that is very difficult to climb back out of. A great professional player would always warn you against something as foolhardy as that.
#4 Poker Players Are Incredibly Superstitious
If you ask a poker player how to win and become better at the game, they would give you all sorts of arguments, such as being logical, focused and committed. Grind and play hard. Study and pick theoretical knowledge. Understand maths and if you don’t take classes. There are all sorts of tips and advice you will hear being thrown out there, but the truth is that all poker players tend to agree when all is said and done – there are specific quirks that might actually be helping them win. Or so their thinking goes.
While logic seems to be the guiding principle, there is also something else. Some claim professional poker players don’t believe in superstitions and would not “knock on wood” or wear their “lucky socks”, but this might actually be some of the secrets they take with them to their grave.
After all, you wouldn’t want to know that your success is contingent upon the moon being in a certain alignment with Earth, for example? Such claims sound rather ridiculous, but they are in fact a sort of a mental palliative.
#5 Gamers Create Smurf Accounts
When it comes to gaming or online tournaments, some of the best names in the game have chosen to play under aliases – mostly because they seldom win a title. For whatever reason, some people just tend to be better at playing live events as opposed to qualifying for WSOP via the online qualifier.
Well, there is no shame in any of this, but most professional gamers would prefer their lucky socks and smurf accounts to remain a secret to take to the grave with them!
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