Are You Making The Right Decisions?


As in all aspects in life, poker is about making the right decisions at the right times. At the same time, making the right decision could end up busting you. Yup, poker can certainly leave you scratching your head.

I haven’t had that many tough decisions in my life. I have a great family and played sports throughout my childhood up until college, basically I can’t complain. I did my fair share of silly things during college like most people do, but when it was time to buckle down I did so and got my degree. My last year of school I made probably the toughest decision of my life up to that point- I took one thousand dollars of my money to see what I could do with it playing poker.

You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice. ~Steven D. Woodhull

I thought, (like everyone does) that I would be able to make a ton of money right away and retire at the age of 22. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. Lets just say after about 2 weeks of playing poker I was frantically sending applications to businesses looking for a job. But hey, that’s why I have a degree to fall back on, right?

It wasn’t long before I just got fed up and took one last stab at the poker thing. I’m not saying I got lucky, (maybe only half of the time) but I was able to build a nice bankroll from that last $200. It was a real nice turn around since I was able to win a few big tournaments in a couple of days. I’m sure many of you have done the same thing. But the question is, “What decisions led you to where you are now”?

In everyone’s life there are always those few very important decisions that can change your life forever. It can be something from getting involved with the wrong girl and having your life completely ruined forever. I have a few friends who are now daddy’s when they didn’t want to be. Not that it is such a bad thing, but they were certainly put between a rock and a hard place. For some people it could be picking the right job. You can always look back and wonder, gosh if I had just decided to become a doctor rather than a teacher my life would be so much better. But would it really? If you spend your life living in the past you will never enjoy the present or have success in the future.

A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one. ~Rita Mae Brown

Ok, so what does any of this have to do with poker? Well, every decision you make at the table leads to different scenarios further on in the game. It’s like a domino effect of sorts. “God dang if I would of played that hand I would of doubled my stack!” So now I’m pissed and I make a bad decision later on and lose all my chips. “WTF if I had folded the previous hand maybe the cards would have been shuffled differently and I wouldn’t of gotten my aces cracked by 57 off suit”. Yeah I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thoughts as silly as these when on tilt.

The point of my article is that like in life, poker is all about decisions whether they be tough ones or easy ones. Once you make your decision you have to stick with it, and if things go bad you just have to keep moving. Some people seem to be a little luckier than others and that is fine by me. I’m sure people that have won the lottery will tell you they were just in the right place at the right time. Well, sometimes when I play my 57 off suit and flop a boat, I was simply in the right place at the right time.

“Gets down to what it’s all about, doesn’t it? Making the wrong move at the right time.” — Cincinnati Kid

This is the great thing about poker. Sometimes a bad decision can have a good result as well as a good decision having a bad result. But unlike in life, there is always another tournament or cash game for us to enter and make the best decisions we can make. So, next time you want to go on tilt and smash another monitor just think to yourself, “did I make the right decision? Would I do the same thing again? If not, what would I do differently?” and most importantly, have fun. It is a game we’re playing after all.