Optimism plays a completely different role in the psyche of poker players

If Ace doesn’t flop, then he simply calls the bet rather than the bet or raises the failure to give his KK, an overpair to the board, a better chance of maintaining leadership and winning the pot. He may know this strategy, but being pessimistic, he fears the worst: What if the opponent drops the set, or Ace may fall in a bend or river – while he doesn’t fix his hand. He thought a little about the odds – the fact that his KK was probably the best, also that the odds were 7 to 1 against an opponent with Ace in the hole catching the second Ace on the turn or river. The pessimist may never stop to consider card odds. “Why bother,” he said to himself. And, of course, pessimists are more prone to being bullied.

On the other hand, optimism plays a completely different role. He realized that his KK was quite vulnerable; there are so many hands that could possibly beat him. So he raised preflop to thin the pitch; Then, his pocket, Raja, had a much better chance of surviving in the river. And, optimistically, he mused, “Wouldn’t it be great if I caught another King. Of course, I know the odds are about 7 to 1 happening. But even if I don’t fix my hand, there’s a good chance my pocket will lift it, especially with a little help from me. Towards that end, on the flop he bet – or raised the previous bet, while he used Esther Bluff’s tactics to bolster his goal of thinning the field.

There may be good reasons why a player is pessimistic. He or she may not be familiar with the strategies and tactics that are essential to becoming a winner at the poker table. He just wants to play, turn away from books or seminars that can teach him how to become more skilled. Why take the time? He came to play! Because he lost nearly every session he played, he lacked confidence. That, in turn, leads him to play dread poker – the best way to become a loser. Contrast this with a truly skilled player who has reason to be confident: He is a winner! He’s an optimist!