Poker & Life

Rafe Furst
1 min readSep 2, 2016


There is a difference between a good decision and a good outcome. Not recognizing and honoring this profound truth this is the source of much pain and loss.

In poker as in life, one level of understanding builds on the next in a developmental fashion. You can’t understand how to evaluate the strength of your hand until you know what beats what. You can’t learn to read until you know the alphabet.

Whatever your “leak” is, that’s what will ultimately be your downfall unless you confront it. Many poker players have a craps leak. Many executives have a substance abuse problem.

Selective aggression is the key to either game. Pick your battles, but be willing to go all-in when you do.

The difference between a great player and a world champion is the absolute confidence it takes to pull the trigger on a decision without a millisecond’s thought or hesitation.

In the short run, luck and variance predominate. In the long run, skill and determination win.

But the long run is much longer than you think.

Bluffing is overrated.

It’s not about you. Be mindful of those around you and you will fare much better than focusing on yourself. Try playing without looking at your hole cards sometime, you might be surprised at the results, and what you learn…

While there are so many parallels, and I’ve learned so much from poker that has helped me in life and in business, there is one area where they are diametrically opposed…

Poker is a zero sum game. Life is not.