I was watching an old episode of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, and when the Commentator described Chris "Jesus" Ferguson using those words it resonated with me. "More a gamer than a gambler"

I know we all feel cheated when our dominating hand gets overtaken on the river. I suppose we all feel anxious when we have all the chips in the middle. But do we play for that very same anxiety? Do we have to love the thrill to be a poker player? A gamer? Or can we love the game without having the 'gamble' in us at all? 

But i see that a lot of players out there are naturally attracted to the exhilaration of the race. they will play any two cards and hope to get lucky. They will call, knowing they're almost certainly behind for the minute chance they will hit their miracle river and  suk out.

This is a natural tendency that the students of the game work to cull from their system. They learn the math, they learn to assess the situation, put their opponent on a range of hands, count their outs, and make a decision based on the amount they stand to risk measured against the amount they stand to gain and the odds to do so. Based on what they know of their opponent, the way he played in previous hands.

And the players. The pros shake off the bad beats. They say, "I played it right". "I got my chips in good, I can't control the way the cards come after that". I'm trying to learn to see it that way, but so far, I've been feeling like the math is kicking my ass, I'm fine with losing when I put my chips in bad, it's what should happen, and i find it Gut wrenching and, frankly, tilting when my dominating hand gets cracked on a 5% river.

Has Chris Ferguson Written a book? I'd be first in line to read it if he did.