Phil Gordon on Not Chasing Losses

Gordon:    For me, the losses themselves aren’t nearly as tragic as the people who chase their losses.  You know, people can handle losing 10% of their bankroll, 15%, 20% of their bankroll in a short amount of time, but the people that I see that are really self destructive and end up broke are the guys that say, “Well, I used to have 100, now I’ve got 80.  I’ve got to get back to 100, and the only way to do that in a short amount of time is to play bigger.”  That starts a process that’s almost assuredly self-destructive, and, you know, I see this in financial markets all the time, where people, you know, their fund runs up a small loss and suddenly, well, they’re not going to get their bonus unless they can finish in the positive.  We’ve got to pile on the risk now, and that happens over and over and over, and it just, especially in the poker world, it’s 100% a path of destruction.  You just, you can’t multiply your risk after you lose.  You really have to step back and play smaller, and I don't know too many people that have that kind of discipline.  You know, you’re used to playing at 20/40 or 30/60 and you lose, and you have to go down and play 10/20 now or you’re really significantly increasing your chances of going dead broke and there just aren’t too many people that are able to do that.

Phil Gordon says the worst business strategy is trying to hard to make up for a loss.

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