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Are poker players whiners?

The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.” – Lord Jeffrey

It’s about a month ago that I started playing poker online. And because I tend to throw myself at new challenges very enthusiastically, I tried to read as much as possible about the game itself, gaming theory, strategies, and almost any poker related topics. One of the most valuable sources on the internet are (not quite surprisingly) the various poker forums out there. The two forums I’ve been visiting regularly are Pocket 5’s and 2+2. What is surprising, though, is the amount of complaining going on.
Now, even I have found out first hand how frustrating a bad beat or even a few of them in a row can get. And, yes, I admit that I feel tempted to go out there and complain about it on some forum. But then again, I decided not to. Why is that?

I don’t believe in envy, bad luck/karma, or (to put it in a more general context) comparing what I’ve got with what others have. It doesn’t matter. If I’m not the handsome hunk being able to get as many looks from women like Brad Pitt does, so what. Feeling bad about that won’t change a thing about the fact that them ladies do like him more than me. Being envious about my neighbor’s Ferrari won’t make me able to afford one as well. I’d rather be happy for my neighbor and try harder to get my very own flashy car. The basic idea is to not waste my time and ressources on being negative, rather feel positive about it, and use that mental state to improve your own situation.

Unfortunately, many poker players seem to spend all their energy writing posts about how a bad beat they’ve conceded. And if there is a bad beat section in the forums, they’ll try to disguise their complaining post as a strategy question of the like “Got my rockets cracked, should I’ve layed them down preflop?” This way they try to get some attention, because no one is wasting his time in the bad beat sections of a forum anyway.
Only recently, gidders, a player whose advice I enjoy particularly and who is running his own poker school, got so annoyed with complaints that he walked steaming all over new players complaining in a post on P5’s to remember. While he might have been a bit harsh, I can understand that he had to vent all this built up frustration of dealing with whining players on a daily basis.

While gidders post was interesting, supermoves’ reply to that was even better. He took his time to explain that he also felt like so many other players before, and that only admitting that while he can improve his game, he can’t improve his luck. Thus, studynig harder to turn into a winning poker player is the way he chose.
Now, this is exactly what I am talking about. Look at yourself critically, pick out your weak spots and work on them to turn your flaws around to be your strengths.

To be able to improve my game, first, i have to recognize and admit that I am a losing player (plading guilty as charged). The logical next step is to try losing less, and maybe turn into a profitable player some day – the sooner the better. And while doing so, it won’t help to focus on the bad beats. Logic dictates that every bad beat must have a matching good beat. I’ll rather focus on those lucky pokermoments (like I’ve done before) than remind myself of those times when I was on the wrong side of the beat.

Let me wrap it up for those that can’t bear my (sheer endless) rambling:

  1. Stop whining
  2. Find your flaws and correct them
  3. Stay positive and use that mindset to improve your game

If you can’t become a winning player following those simple guidelines, you’ll at least avoid becoming a whining player. And don’t forget to try and have fun on the way.

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