The Rush of Victory In Poker
The thing about poker and tournament poker that makes it so addictive is that anyone can compete, from the lowliest unskilled to the veteran professional so long as they have the entry money. Every player wants to be the last man standing, the king of the mountain, the big cheese.
Whether you win one hand or the game of skill and logic but also of random luck. The great players will use skill to win over the course of time but luck and chance will leave you hanging right through to the river going face up, revealing if you got that Jack you needed for the Royal Flush. This is the seduce allure of poker and poker tournaments where everyone, no matter how skilled could be the man on top.
Winning is fun (it sure beats losing) but in ring poker games winning is not hard, and hundreds if not thousands of people are winning every day, and possibly at the same time you are. Doing the same thing as thousands of others does not give the same rush or thrill of being the one to achieve something original, original as in Neil Armstrong original.
However, when you clinch the win in a tournament, whether it is the World Series of Poker or the local card room’s monthly event or even a charity event, there is only one winner. There is only one king of the mountain. Someone else may be king tomorrow. However, who cares? You do not because you are the king, right now, when it matters most.
You must remember that in poker we keep score using money and not endorphins that give us that thrill, that rush of victory. Playing tournament poker just to get the winner’s high is like dragging a tank through a field, just because. Remember that the king of the mountain got to the top of his mountain by playing outstanding poker where he had all the math, angles and probabilities covered.
For most of us, we cannot afford to play poker as if we have millions in the bank to burn. The money you and I spend playing poker is not trivial. Poker is not about the thrill of the win. Poker is about winning, and winning money. When you play poker to win, you play to win money. The thrill comes from playing the cards right, reading your opponents and then manipulating in to playing your game is what triggers the victory rush of endorphins and gives that emotional high.
At the end of the day, poker is about winning to make money, not winning to get that victory rush. You want to get real satisfaction in winning at poker, take the long view: The more money you win, the better a poker player you are, the more money you can win. Remember: Money pays all the bills, and keeping the bills paid is what lets you chase the dream of being king of the mountain.