I’ve written on the power of embracing failure in poker before. I’ve played competitively online for a number of years. I lost interest when the best way to make money was in tournaments (which keeps things truly open and level) and those required too much time (especially getting all the way into the money). But I still follow my old friend Aidan Lloyd’s finely penned blog ‘My First Play Million’. Both crafty in its poker insight and its eloquence. He is also one of the biggest contributors of material for my blog here.

Aidan has posted a number of pieces that ring their own messages of embracing failure at the felt…

  • Late Laydown” tells the account of knowing when to fold’em…even when they are pocket rockets – “I’d been dealt pocket rockets. Had I not laid them down when I got reraised on the flop, I would have lost a lot more. So, although it was my biggest net negative hand, it was also one of my best. The player who won the hand had me covered; if I’d stayed in the hand, there was an excellent chance I would’ve hit the felt.” Embrace the small failure (fold, lost money) to avoid the bigger disaster (hitting the felt, lots more lost). As the video clip says, “Sometimes people get married to their aces. I don’t know why people get married to anything.”
  • 18.5 million play dollars lost” pays homage to all his lost money – “Back at the beginning of June, I thought it was kind of a big deal that in my poker career up to that time I’d managed to lose almost 7 million play dollars. As it turns out, that was puppy food. As of the time of this writing, I’ve lost over 18.5 million play dollars. Of course, as before, there’s a positive side to this story; I’ve managed to win over 24.5 million play dollars in my career. The takeaway here is that as long as you win more than you lose, it doesn’t matter how much you lose. I look forward to losing many more play millions in the future!” Actually, more of my poker posts are on the theme of ‘Leadership and Management’ as opposed to ‘Embracing Failure’. The upside/downside balance of L&M is played out in every poker game. Aidan captures that dynamic superbly in this 18.5 million dollar piece.