It sounds so easy, but in fact it’s one of the hardest things to do in poker. The ability to do it is the most integral skill in the game. It’s the defining line people straddle that either make them a good player or a bad one. IT’S THE ABILITY TO LAY DOWN A HAND.
Time and again, poker players will call down to the river because they flopped top pair. It is the single biggest mistake most players make, and it’s the reason why their poker careers are stuck in the mud of mediocrity. Being ahead in the beginning does not cement a victory at the end. Players must adapt to market forces (new cards, new bets, unknowables) in order to maintain the highest odds of winning.
If you flop top pair, and a straight or flush draw card drops on the turn, it is your job to weed out the non-believers. If you don’t bet heavy enough and Knish catches you with his straight on the river, then you made a shitty bet and deserve to lose. Yes, there are other shitty players making decisions you hadn’t planned on, but its your job to ferret those players out, and play accordingly. Adapt and adjust. I see it over and over. Players can’t get away from hands. While the element of the unknown exists in perpetuity in poker, there is still plenty of room for objective, odds-based decision-making. People who discount odds and play call-station poker are doomed to lose.
This discipline of decision-making can be applied, across the board, in life. When making decisions, always maximize the odds of the desired outcome. If the odds are grim, don’t chase it. Throw it away and play a new hand. I don’t care how good the hand was in the beginning. Until we die, there are always new hands to play, and each hand is an opportunity to take down pots. The inability to adjust and adapt in the middle of the hand will cost you dearly. Just lay it down.