Bill Burton, a
well-respected gaming author, introduced me to the concept of the
"emotional bankroll". He explained that, as players, we find ourselves
justifying our sessions' financial bankrolls, but rarely give significant
thought to the psychological impact of our bankroll variations. And, it
is this psychological impact that can sometimes cause us to fail, to lose
our session bankroll, when we do not permit ourselves the psychological
detachment needed to tolerate the variations of the game.
Some professionals, like the DiceCoach, define emotional bankroll as the
gradual attempt to increase our emotional tolerance to risk. By gradually
exposing ourselves to increased betting units and extended table play, we
learn to accept the consequences of this additional risk. We learn to
treat both the wins and losses as a matter of fact, not allowing emotional
swings to govern our play.
So, is there some magic formula that will teach us how to increase our
tolerance to risk?
Early in my Craps career, I knew that I wanted to be a green to black chip
player. With Mr. Burton's advice, I embarked on a mental discipline that
would allow me to gradually increase my betting threshold, while still
preserving my emotional well-being.
I want to share some of my own ideas or philosophies about "Emotional
Bankroll", and how I make it work for me.
First, Focus Forward. Always focus on the next throw, the next dice
set, the next place bet. During a session, I've been known to turn to the
DiceCoach and tell him to get his dollar chip ready because a 4 or 10 is
coming up next. He always grins when he's forced to throw out his $1 chip
for the 2 for 1 pay off. Always keep your thoughts in forward motion.
Come to terms with your losses. I quietly reconcile my emotional
well-being with any losing session, accepting this as an opportunity to
become better at this game. Keeping this thought at the forefront
automatically forces me to improve. Losses stimulate growth, keep you
humble and remind you to leave your ego at home.
Eliminate the "would've, should've, could've" mentality from your
mind. I try to detach myself from the outcome, moving on in a positive
fashion to the next playing opportunity
Try making money for others. In helping others make money for
themselves, I bolster my "Emotional Bankroll" with positive energy, as
well as increase my own ability to win. I think this is part of Dice
Coach's success. In the process of observing and teaching his students,
his personal game is becoming more and more consistent.
Lastly, Always respect the randomness of this game. As in life,
opposite values co-exist with one another - up/down, win/lose,
pleasure/pain. All our experience is by contrast. One experience would be
meaningless without having experienced its opposite value.
So, what's your emotional bankroll?