In fact, one of the biggest differences between most players and the world’s best players ishow often they quit. My favorite stat in Ms. Duke’s book is what happens in Texas Hold ’empoker after professionals and amateurs peek at the starting cards they’re dealt. The pros playfewer than 25% of their hands before other cards hit the table. The amateurs play more than50%.
“Amateurs usually hold ’em,” she writes. “Professionals usually fold ’em.”
Folding isn’t a sign of failure. It’s a prerequisite for success.
Ms. Duke says we should all fold more. We spend too much time on too many pursuits that are no longer worthwhile to avoid feeling like we have failed. But in poker, that’s a good way to go broke. Because elite players are obsessed with optimal quitting, it has been on Ms. Duke’s mind for decades.