Scott Fischman (http://www.scottfischman.com), two time World Series of Poker champion and the World Poker Tour’s Young Guns champion, prescribes the a remedy of ‘embracing failure’ of sorts in his book ‘Online Ace’ (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933060123/sr=8-1/qid=1156629755/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-4078246-6598346?ie=UTF8). He calls it ‘embracing variance’ and it captures both the prescriptions of ‘acceptance’ and ‘persistence’ that I spoke about at the beginning of my ‘Turning Adversity to Advantage’ blog.
Is his definition of ‘variance’ really akin to my blog topic of ‘failure’. Well, have a read of his description…
“No matter how good a player you are, you are going to encounter bad luck. Really bad luck. Utterly ridiculous shit luck…What you’ve got to remember is that streaks – lucky and unlucky – are a normal part of the game. They are part of a larger concept called variance, which means that the road to average is full of all kinds of wild twists and turns. In other words, even if you are playing well enough to be a consistent winner at your game or games of choice, you are still going to suffer through periods when nothing seems to be going your way. There are, however, two bits of good news. First variance works both ways – even a mediocre poker player will enjoy the occasional winning streak while good players will enjoy runs where every decision seems to result in a jackpot payday. The second is that losing streaks – at least the kinds associated with variance – are just temporary diseases whose cure really isn’t that unpleasant.”
So Fischman makes a great case for ‘acceptance’ of failure. What is his remedy, the ‘cure’ he refers to? To pull back to avoid more failure? Nope…to ‘Embrace’ the failure causing variance. He says, “Just play more hands…one of the many great things about online poker is that there’s a simple way to attack variance – by embracing it.” He prescribes a strategy of multi-tabling which allows the risk variations to be spread and thus muted. Ironically, the most risk conservative approach is one that involves embracing more risk. Don’t just rise each time you fall…rise again and again.