Make the Best Decision and Don't Look Back
I recently went to Vegas with my dear friend Dori Barrett. Our mission? To see the fabulous Elton John in concert. Aside from the concert, we had so much fun and created so many laugh-out-loud memories that I know we won't soon forget.
The show was wonderful. He played at Caesar's Palace. It was beautiful. Here's a shot that Dori took of me that I love, right after we enjoyed dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill and right before Elton came on stage. I was so happy and relaxed.
My favorite type of poker is Omaha, which is similar to Texas, but with a twist. Each player is dealt 4 down cards and all players get to see 5 community cards ... with the first three cards that get revealed at once called the flop, and then the fourth card revealed called the turn, and then the final card is revealed called the river. (It is also a game that can become a hi-lo split at times.)
Here's the thing about poker. There are rules and a hierarchy of hands, and based on knowing the rules and hierarchy, common sense, and an awareness of other players, you make the best decision at every step of the game, based on all the information that is before you.
The best players actually rarely play because as soon as the four down cards are dealt, the rules and hierarchy and common sense inform the best players to make a decision to either get in the game or to bow out. The best players bow out unless they see a high likelihood for success, based on all the information. Same thing when the flop comes, and then the turn and then the river. The best players don't stay in a game hoping for a miracle at the river. They usually go to the river only when what they are holding and what is revealed at the flop and the turn inform them that they are most likely going to win the game.
Sometimes, when players fold before the river, you'll see some getting upset when the river is revealed because miraculously, the card they were chasing comes up. And they are filled with regret and this experience causes them to throw out logic and information presented in the next round out the window as they stay in the game with a poor hand, chasing the elusive river, only to lose ... and usually lose big.
Once I fold based on the best information before me, I don't like sticking around to see what comes up at the flop or turn or river. I don't want what I see to potentially taint me in the next round, to become irrational, illogical, or overly emotional, chasing miracles.
It's like life in many ways, I think.
- At every step, make the best decisions based on all the information before you.
- Don't look back.
And of course ... have fun.
If you want to. ;)