Book Excerpt: Poker Winners Are Different

If you asked, “How are winners different from losers?” most people would answer, “They play better.” That answer is true, of course, but it misses the point. Greater skill is not the most important difference.

It certainly helps, but many strong players fail, while weaker ones succeed. You may know excellent players who are often broke, and moderately-skilled ones who win consistently and always have money. In fact, some world-class players are broke. Despite their immense skills, they are losers.

I am not kidding. Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar are generally regarded as the best players of their eras, and both died broke. So did Hall of Famer, Nick “The Greek” Dandolos. The same may happen to some of today’s top pros.

Nolan Dalla, the Media Director for The World Series of Poker, has been reporting on tournaments for many years. He wrote, “One of the most troubling aspects of the tournament circuit is seeing how many players are constantly broke. I’m not talking about bad poker players or novices. I’m talking about names and faces everyone would recognize.”

They are broke for a wide variety of reasons, but an important one is that they are not much better than their opponents. “Your success at leading site for online poker depends, not on how well you play, but on how well you play in relation to your opponents.” If most competitors have approximately equal abilities, the small differences between them will have little effect.

That principle applies to poker because most games are “stratified.” As games get bigger, the players get tougher. The skill differences between high-, middle-, and low-stakes players are often much buy accutane greater than the differences between players in most games at any level.

The subjects this book discusses have much greater effects upon your results than your knowledge or skill because the differences between players are huge. In most games the skill differences between players are much smaller than the differences in motives, discipline, thoughts, reactions to feelings, and decisiveness. These differences are the core of this book.

That’s good news because you’re stuck with your natural ability. It came from your genes and history, and you can’t change them. However, with hard work you can change some of these characteristics. This book can help you to become a winner, regardless of how talented you are.



That’s enough discussion. You want to know what you should do. Most chapters contain this short section which shifts the emphasis from analysis to action.

1. Learn how you compare to winners.

That’s this book’s first objective. It describes how winners think, feel, and act to help you to compare yourself to them. You may dislike some comparisons, but you should learn what they are.

2. Commit yourself to making the necessary changes.

Learning these comparisons is just the first step. If you don’t commit yourself to changing toward the winners’ patterns, this book will waste your time and money. If you can’t or won’t make that commitment, you will continue to get the same, disappointing results. It really is that brutally simple.

This is a book excerpt courtesy of our good friend Dr. Alan Schoonmaker.  He is also the author of The Psychology of Poker and Ducy? You can purchase the book Poker Winners are Different here:

Leave A Reply