On the eve of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event, aspiring ‘Eagles’ would be well served to consult the “My First Play Million” blog for pointers on embracing the failure inevitable to all but a handful of them finishing in the money…

  • “Last night’s session was very different from the previous three. It opened with a lengthy drought – I didn’t win a pot until hand 34. It was a measly one at that – just $668. By that point, I’d lost half my stack, and would lose even more before my fortunes turned around. What kept me alive was my willingness to fold early and often. It’s such a simple strategy to state, but often a difficult one to stick to. Patience pays.” – Opening Drought
  • “There’s no doubt in my mind that the difference between a good cash game career and a brilliant one lies in knowing when to end a session. There’s definitely an art to exiting. What makes exiting well especially hard to do is that often the very best time to quit is the very time when you feel you’re at the top of your game and can do no wrong. How can you quit when there’s all that money at the table, just waiting to be yours? However, if you can convince yourself to quit when you don’t really want to, you’re going to end up with a ton of money in the long run.” – The Art of the Exit
  • “The key thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how many hands you win; the only thing that matters is whether you win enough when you do win to more than offset your intervening losses. If you have enough patience, the phone will eventually ring, and you’ll pick it up and know it’s for you.”Eleventh Hour
  • I’ve always thought being dealt a hammer (deuce seven offsuit) after winning a couple of hands in a row is an excellent quit signal. Last night I realized there’s an even more powerful talisman – I hereby dub it the champagne quit signal. This is when you’re dealt pocket rockets after winning two big hands in a row. Why on earth would this make a good, let alone excellent, let alone superlative, quit signal? For the simple reason that rockets are so hard to let go of. Any hand that’s hard to let go of is also a hand which can lose you a bunch of chips in a hurry. Why risk losing chips when you’ve just had a chip infusion? You can fold aces with style and flair when you’ve just had a nice boost to your stack. To honor their prestige, you make them your last hand.” – The Champagne Quit Signal
  • “It’s a given that you can’t win every session. In fact, even when you’re a very good player, you must expect to lose roughly a third of the sessions you play. What makes for a good losing session? I think there are three criteria:
      1. you were dealt a large number of hands [ed. exposed yourself to lots of upside]
      2. your seeing the flop percentage was low [ed. you played well/tight]
      3. you didn’t hit the felt” [ed. you had no catastrophic loss]A Good Losing Session
  • This hand revealed to me one of the weak parts of my game. I’m not willing enough to cut my losses and end a session before I hit the felt. A session where I lose $30,000 is better than one where I lose $40,000, and I need to keep that in mind more often.” – Perpetual Patience