Last week we discussed negative variance, this week we will discuss positive variance.

There is no such thing as luck in poker, only positive or negative variance.

Better to be lucky than good!
I’m running like a god!
I’m impossible to stop!
I can’t be touched!
I’m running clean!
I can’t miss a flop!
Poker gods have blessed me!

When I hear players and students of mine talk like this I am not too happy because it tells me they do not understand variance yet and still do not have the emotional control or discipline it takes to understand it.

Here’s my advice: Deal with it. I often have to bring my students back down to reality. It can be just as dangerous, if not more so, to go on an extended positive run as it is to go on an extended negative run. When this happens players tend to get complacent and not put in the necessary work on their game. When good players are running bad, they study harder.

On a good run, players can begin to develop bad habits, they forget the intangibles. They don’t prepare themselves mentally of what’s inevitably about to come. Variance will correct itself at some point just as the stock market or real-estate market corrects itself.

Positive variance can be extremely helpful to a new poker player. If you are fortunate to experience this in the beginning of your poker career take advantage of it.

You will have more confidence which is very important to any poker player. You will get a bankroll boost and it’s a great opportunity to examine your game. Ask yourself: Are you making money because you’re getting “lucky” or because you’re making good decisions?

Examples of positive Variance:

In March 2006 I turned $200 into $4500 in a 24-hour session at Caesars Atlantic city playing 1-2 NL 

In October 2007 I made over $24,000 play and rake back playing 16 tables of $2-$4NL.

Next entry we will look into life, balance and poker.

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