Patience is a virtue. She is a poker player’s best friend.

Aggression is great, and necessary, and powerful, and indispensable. But patience is even better.

In combination, patience and aggression are unstoppable.

Patience lulls your opponents to sleep, making them complacent and prone to mistakes.

With patience, you keep most of your chips when the alternative isn’t accumulating; it is bleeding. Bleeding hurts.

When it’s time to be aggressive, you will know. You will know because your opponents will be making you an offer you cannot refuse. You will know because you have the nuts. You will know because you are good at math and the math if favorable. You will know because your opponents will display their weakness just as surely as if they were sending up smoke signals. Puff, puff, please take my chips!

Until then, patience pays. The payments are not visible. Chips you did not lose also do not accumulate and become sexy photos to post to social media. But they are just as valuable. When the stock market is going down, it is good to have cash. Investing at the wrong time… that is gambling and a bad risk, caused by a lack of patience.

Right now, there is a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected and killed many people. Others are suffering. Extreme social distancing is recommended. Shelter in place is mandated. After weeks – or months – of staying home, we hope the brilliant scientists and courageous healthcare workers will conquer the coronavirus. When that happens, many people will complain because they practice social distancing, they sheltered in place, and it was all for naught as they never even caught the dreaded Covid-19 disease. These are the people who do not understand patience.

When you have the opportunity to sit at a poker table with them, do so eagerly. Be nice and smile a lot. Your time will come.

Until then, be safe and be patient.


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