Seven poker quotes about self-improvement to inspire you


Poker can often take more perspiration that inspiration to become a success at, but some words of wisdom can set you up for a winning run. From champions to Hollywood actors, we’ve plucked out seven great poker quotes to help you kick off your week at the felt in style.

1. “Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.”

Great words here from the star of Rounders, Ed Norton, who played Worm in the movie and constantly wriggled off the hook. Both Edward Norton and Matt Damon may have been stacked when they played the 1998 WSOP Main Event, but while Damon went down with kings against aces (Doyle Brunson doing the damage), Ed Norton lost with a full house against quads! This interview with the pair in Las Vegas the year that Rounders came out is quite revealing.

2. “Poker reveals to the frank observer something else of import. It will teach him about his own nature. Many bad players do not improve because they cannot bear self-knowledge.”

American playwright David Mamet, who has won the Pulitzer Prize and been nominated for Tony awards, including for Glengarry Glen Ross, clearly knows his poker too. The nature of a poker player is one thing, but revealing the human nature of a person at the table? It’s the context for all the drama we ever see, and we love this quote.

3. “Try not to think you’re better than you are.”

Erik Seidel puts it better and more simply than many observers from within the game and the legend and Poker Idol nails it here. Poker is all about staying humble to the New Yorker turned Vegas resident, and the former Mayfair Club member is one of the wisest old heads in the game.

Poker game

4. “Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they’re wrong. The trick to poker is mastering the luck.”

Jesse May, legend of the microphone and poker commentator par excellence, is always on the money with his observations and in the middle of a bad run, this could be exactly what you need to hear. Concentrate on bringing your A-Game and your luck is bound to change.

5. “If I lose, I don’t give a damn about the money, but I just hate the embarrassment of being beaten.”

Legendary words from Jack ‘Treetop’ Straus on the effects of being beaten and ones that are shared by many players who take on the game in 2021 too. Straus, a dedicated heads-up specialist, hated losing so much he refused to cut his hair until winning the WSOP Main Event, which he did in 1982. OK, we made that up but admit it… you believed it.

6. “When I experience a bad beat, I think of it as an overhead. If you own a business, you have to pay your bills, and I consider a bad beat one of my bills.” 

Jennifer Harman is the ultimate professional and deals with bad beats in this manner. Maybe not in the moment, as exemplified by this horrific loss at the World Series of Poker but we’d assume fairly soon afterwards.

7. “If you don’t ever get caught bluffing, you almost certainly don’t bluff enough.”

Phil Gordon isn’t wrong and if you’re a little timid in poker, then this is a good indicator that you need to go on the attack more. Especially in these days of GTO play and merged ranges, sometimes you have to go for it a bit more.

Wherever or whenever you play poker this week, may the Poker Gods we smiling upon you as you crush souls… which presumably then get to meet them.

Good Luck!