How to Take Charge of Your Poker Resistance

Guest Post by Lee Davy, June 15, 2014

If you are reading this then you no doubt suffer from poker resistance.

Do you know what poker resistance is?


Sure you do, but your reasoning is kept under lock and key - and you don’t have the key.

Why aren’t you on the coliseum floor? Why aren’t there stones carving lines in between your toes? Why are you watching from the stands - laptop in hand - reading my work?


poker resistance
Public domain:1944, Warsaw uprising, Henryk Ożarek (left) and Tadeusz Przybyszewski (right)

Poker resistance is a killer. It laughs when you put on the gloves. Its knuckles are red raw. It’s a rooster with blades for claws. It’s a Pit Bull. It’s a great white shark. It’s the smell that leaps from Pepe Le Pew’s derriere. It’s shit, not sugar. It’s Brussels sprouts, not chocolate brownies.

It’s not just you. How dare you think you are special. Look around you. Everyone suffers from it. It even recognizes itself and reaches out into the ether for some ethereal connection.

When your parents tell you that ‘poker’ is not a real job; when you tell them how much you win, they always respond with the question: ‘but how much do you lose?’

What value are you providing for the world? Why don’t you have any friends? If you don’t have fresh air you will die; you need to get out more; gambling is the devil’s game.


Poker Resistance - If you are reading this then you no doubt suffer from poker resistance.

Sound familiar?

This is resistance reaching out to poker resistance through the ether. It envelopes your family and soaks them in it. They are so scared of you, that they do everything in their power to make you scared too.

If you crack it. If you really can make a living out of clicking buttons, then what does it say about them? Their judgments hinge on the strength of their own resistance, and you suck it in like the rays of the sun, because deep down you know that it’s true.


Their concerns are legitimate. Their worries make sense. This is why you are reading this article instead of getting down and dirty. It’s an excuse. A reason to stay on the sidelines. A reason to not do the work.

It comes in more forms than Mystique. Why do you think you love telling bad beat stories? It’s not you talking. It’s the resistance. You aren’t even any good at what you do. You just got lucky. You called out ‘one time’ and the Poker Gods misheard you. They thought you said ‘all of the fucking time’ and you have been winning ever since.


poker resistance
Public domain: Banquet of the Gods - Frans Floris (1519/1520-1570)

But your levels of skill are knee high. You don’t even know it. The joke is well and truly on you. It is carved into your forehead. It’s like a game of chase the ace. You don’t try to get any better because you keep winning. There is no need to work hard, no need to pick up that book, no need to hire a coach - that’s poker resistance.

Variance is our best friend. It gives us an excuse to stop playing. That’s exactly what resistance wants. Inaction. It wants you to drink from the well. The one that stands still. There are no ripples, no drips or drops. Just stillness and staleness.

“I better take a break. Get my mind back in the game.”

Reality check. This is a fight to the death, but it takes place every day until the day that you die, or resistance stays in the corner. This isn’t a movie. There aren’t 12-rounds. If you want to succeed you have to get used to the fact that you have to piss your pants because you can’t move to get to the toilet because the bones of resistance have hemmed you in.


poker nurse
Public domain: Nurse beside patient, ca. 1920, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Australia

Once upon a time there was a nurse. Everyday she would comfort people as they died. These are the five things she said the dead regretted not doing before they died.

1. They wished they had the courage to live a true life to themselves, not the life others expected of them.

2. They wished they hadn’t worked so hard.

3. They wished they had the courage to express their feelings.

4. They wished they had stayed in touch with their friends.

5. They wish they had allowed themselves to be happier.


Poker Resistance

This is resistance. It destroys action, rides inaction bareback, kills creativity, creates suffering and takes an axe to your muse and hacks away until there is nothing left but a bloody jigsaw.

There is a very bad Will Smith movie where this big bad alien wreaks havoc on the human race. The only person who seems to be able to kill them is, of course, the King Kong of protagonists - the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.


Smith has worked it out. He knows the aliens can only recognize him via the scent of fear. If he can suppress it then the alien cannot see him. He can walk right up to the big bad bastard and tickle it to death.

If you want to beat your poker resistance then take a leaf from tree that stands in the backyard of Mr. Smith. Don’t allow it to smell your fear. Find a way to overcome it. Navigate a path around it. Leap over it. Crawl under it. Learn to co-exist with it.

But how?

Turn up to work every day. Love the game, don’t lust after the game. Commit to a life of personal continuous improvement. Be humble. Love to learn. Keep on keeping on. Make procrastination your bitch. Don’t take any shit. Be an arrow. File excuses in that draw you can never quite find. Stop being the title of professional poker player, and actually be the professional poker player.



Just do it.

You will feel it.

You will know.

It’s a feeling that comes from within. You generate it and so you can feel the weightlessness of its void.

Now stop reading this shit and get to it.

Go to work.

Be a pro.


Lee Davy

Lee Davy spends his time helping people to cope with the challenges that alcohol brings into their lives, and his work can be found at the He also writes stuff like this in his spare time, and would like to thank Steven Pressfield and the book - The War of Art - for the inspiration behind this post.


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Further Reading:  

Titan Poker Benefits
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Poker and the Bible

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Texas Hold'em Poker Guide

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Why Poker Is Better than Sex


Previous articles by Lee Davy:

What Online Poker Can Teach You about Self-Esteem

This Kid Called Lonely

The Real Life Ups and Downs of a Professional Poker Player

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