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Poker Quotes

For Readers With Short Attention Spans

Poker QuotationsI've written tens of thousands of words on this website and elsewhere. Whether the bulk of it is sensible or hopeless drivel is up to the reader. Most of the articles start with pithy quotes from some other writer. Just in case anybody wants to similarly pad out their articles this century by quoting me, here are a collection of brief thoughts. These aren't my personal Cliff's Notes, but they are a place to start if you want to get to know my writing.

"Besides lovemaking and singing in the shower, there aren't many human activities where there is a greater difference between a person's self-delusional ability and their actual ability than in poker." -- Poker Ego

"Once you start thinking you have nothing left to learn, you have everything to learn." -- Poker Ego

"Fortune favors the bold. Nobody ever said fortune favors the greedy... World history and poker history are littered with people who wanted everything, sometimes even when they had almost everything. Wanting everything is the quickest way to having nothing that I know." -- Greed

"Optimists enjoy Omaha; realists dominate Omaha." -- Omaha Strategy

"Playing winning poker is a bit like a tree, everything begins at the roots and branches out from there. Unfortunately few players realize this, so when a person identifies a problem, too often they hack away at the branches, instead of going to the roots." -- Poker Discipline

"The very most important skill a player needs to manage is not math, it's not reading opponents, it's not good starting hand selection, it's not a solid game plan, it's... self-control." -- Poker Discipline

"All other poker skills, tactics and strategies run through discipline. Every bit of winning strategy and brilliant philosophy must be applied or it's almost worthless. No other knowledge matters if you don't practice self-discipline and use what you know. There is no way to discipline. Discipline is the way." -- Poker Discipline

"Self-control will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no self-control... You canít control luck. You can control yourself. And you better." -- Self-Control: Playing Your A-Game

"Much of the profit of a winning player comes from cunning, fraud and flight when they don't have the best hand, or even any hand at all... Money not lost spends the same as money won." -- Winning Without the Best Hand

"Sometimes we do everything right but still lose to some miracle suckout. But that is poker. If it can happen, sometimes it will." -- Poker Mistakes

"The nature of poker is that you must lose in order to win... The door to poker income swings both ways -- money has to go out for money to come in." -- This Door Swings Both Ways

"Poker happens to be one of those things where you have to show what you got, not just babble about how you think you got it." -- When the Eagles are Silent

"Most of our poker career takes place away from the poker table. If you spend a year building a bankroll, and then blow it one night on the crap table, you are a lousy poker player." -- Poker Filmmaking

"Making money playing poker is a constant struggle against the impulse to have fun playing poker." -- Underdogs

"All winning poker is simply a matter of putting in the hours when you have the best of it. Hopelessly un-sexy, but there it is." -- Making Money Playing Tournaments

"[Losing] well is a fundamental ingredient in being a winning player. The mountain that successful players stand on is mostly a pile of carcasses of players who could not handle the downward spikes that are inevitable if you play the game... Skill lasts a lifetime, and gathers the money that luck can't hang onto." -- Handling the Luck in Poker

"Poker is a lifelong game where self-control, bankroll management, game and table selection, and other skills are all more important than the actual card-playing." -- Poker Strategy From Reality TV

"Poker is a brain game, and... we donít have a lot of brain cells to waste. As players, there are a lot of things we can completely control at a poker table. Then there are a lot of things we can partially control. And finally there are the things we have absolutely zero control over. Every second you spend obsessing over the third group, you are not spending your brain time on the first group -- or the critical second group." -- Life's Rich Pageant

"Top-notch poker thinkers answer questions that do not have a definite answer... Multi-dimensional thinkers who logically digest indefinite information are the 'smart' ones... In times of crisis, either personal or national, people turn to multi-dimensional, multi-talented people. They turn to people who think logically in uncertain circumstances, not those who can merely deduce objective answers." -- Smart Poker Players

"Bluffing should be like eating vegetables -- it's good for you even if somewhat unpleasant. Don't think of bluffing as candy, something fun, because having too much bluffing fun will make you sick to your bankroll... Bluffing feeds the same human desires as riding a rollercoaster or seeing a scary movie. People like semi-living on the edge. Needless edge-play though not only becomes foolhardy, it takes the edge off the edge." -- Poker Bluffing

"If you don't ever get caught bluffing you almost certainly don't bluff enough." -- Poker Bluffing

"The true nature of a playerís skills are on display when the player is getting his teeth kicked in. And, this is the time when winning players make their most important poker profit. Whatís that you say, profit when you are losing? Absolutely... Money not lost earns interest and dividends and has implied value just like money won does." -- Genuine Ability

Poker Quotes"The bet is the atom of winning poker." -- Bet-ability

"What is true in life is usually also true in poker." -- Bullies

"Most people bluff in all the wrong situations. Most people bluff from last position. Most people bluff in big pots... Most people bluff after they raised before the flop. In all these situations you may as well stick a flashing light on the pot that blinks '211 in progress.'" -- Steal This Pot

"Be generous with your beloved opponents. Give them endless gifts of information and knowledge. Let them pick up clues. Let them be confident in their reading of you. Let them draw clear, definite conclusions. And let them all be wrong." -- Control Your Opponents, Don't Confuse Them

"[A] bad player has a million ways to get lucky. And, like Branch Rickey said, this is by design... The following statement is an oversimplification, but... The luckier you are at poker, the worse you play." -- Poker Luck

"If you play fine, even great, for a year and win hundreds of thousands, but then dump it off when drunk or on the crap table even, this is a horrible poker player." -- Slow Enough to Finish, Fast Enough to Win

"Fundamentals win ball games and poker games and games of every sort. Let the suckers try to buy lunch with their egos." -- Texas Hold'em Basics

"Oodles of players can handle things when they are going well, only to explode like a Pinto at the slightest stress." -- The Poker Long Run

"Great players can do more things adequately than those that just come easily. Great players work on making their weaknesses less weak. Great players work on improving their mediocre skills." -- A Little Bit of Everything

"I'm pretty sure that God gave us two halves of a brain for a good reason. We should be using both sides of our brains to win at poker. Why would anybody want to play with half a brain?" -- Poker Players With Two Brains

"Poker very seldom lets you know for a certainty (before the fact) that you are right. The great players act based on conclusions they draw from incomplete, indefinite and contradictory data." -- Poker Logic

"Starting hand charts are training wheels, crutches. They keep you from doing the stuff of playing poker: critical, situational, analytical thinking... Poker is mostly not about cards, itís about people. Memorization of starting hand charts is inviting permanent mediocrity." -- Poker Starting Hand Charts

"Quite often, tournament poker isn't about making hands... it is about making do." -- Running Without the Ball

"Compare the amount of dumb things you see people do to the amount of brilliant things people do. No contest. It's not like you see people writing Hamlet every day. Given the chance to screw up, people do it all the time." -- Poker Choices

"Deception wins the money; confusion gives opponents a fighting chance at acting correctly... Randomness is the enemy of successful people. Deliberate action, combined with deception and trickery make winning players. Aiming for confusion is an anti-skill in its purest form... Just like better players have a toolbox full of valuable skills, weaker players will have a toolbox full of anti-skills for us to profit from. -- Anti-Skills

"There are exceptions, but in general people who play for ego end up with ego (and debts) while the people who play for money end up with money. Poker will always be a gold mine for people trying to get the gold because so many players aim for other things like ego and machismo, and give away money while pursuing $$$-worthless goals. The poker world is littered with the carcasses of pseudo-macho, ignore-expectation-play-for-ego losers -- even though many of them have a great deal of limited skill." -- Winning Poker Skills

"Winning poker is also about defense. It's about taking players off their game. It's about making them play your game." -- Poker Defense

"People ask me what book I'd recommend to a novice Omaha player... my normal reply is: the Bible. Omaha has the tendency to drive beginning players to prayer, but it really shouldn't." -- Omaha High-Low Strategy

Steve Badger Quotes"PLO8 is a very different animal from its two closest relatives, Limit Omaha High-Low and Pot Limit Omaha High. The key Limit Omaha8 concept is playing appropriate starting hands. The key Pot Limit High concept is position, position, position. Of course, all games value many concepts, but the key PLO8 concept is the bet-ability of hands on the later streets, when the pots (and thus the bet sizes) are bigger." -- PLO8

"Most players greatly over-fixate on winning pots. If they put a nickel into a pot, you darn near need a crowbar to pry them away from pouring millions in to chase that nickel. Proper PLO8 play is directly counter to this, which is why most players are not suited for the game." -- PLO8

"The key word in PLO8 is and. When you show down you want to be saying, "I have low and..." If there is no and, you usually don't have much." -- PLO8

"Even more than No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha is a card game that is only a little about cards. Personalities, chip stack size and table position dictate play much more than the spots on the cards." -- PLO High

"If you play QJT4, and get a flop of KJ4, youíll likely spend a lot of time thinking about how 'complicated' Omaha is. You throw that garbage in the muck before the flop, and the game is much simpler." -- Omaha Myths

"Seeds are funny things. How do those big plants and trees grow out of tiny things the size of a fingernail? Well, they do. From small things, big things one day come. The way Texas Hold'em came to California may be the seed of the seed of the seed, but everything poker is today owes a lot to what, and how, that took place back when." -- When Texas Hold'em Came to California

"When no pair starts winning pots, they start coming my way!" -- Interview with Lee Munzer

Also see John Wooden quotes and his Pyramid of Success