Dr. Tricia Cardner, in an article at PokerNews.com, challenges players with the question of whether they would like to be average players who have to work hard to pile up their winnings or a naturally gifted player who can win without efforts.
Before answering the question of which of the above two correlates with long-term poker success, she offers a few caveats. Success requires a number of factors such as emotional intelligence, curiosity, passion, and so on. One of major personality aspects that translate into poker success is “grit.”
Angela Duckworth, who has done a lot of research on the grit factor, says that it can be defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” A person with grit works hard and simply does not give up.
The world of poker admires natural talent and geniuses who can understand complex concepts with incredible ease. This often makes the average poker player feel that attaining poker success is not for them as they are not geniuses. But this is just not true.
In the first place, there are different types of abilities. While some players are psychologically blessed, others have uncanny mathematical abilities. However, those who can work hard need not be mathematical geniuses to enjoy poker success. In fact, poker is not that complex a game that only a few talented people can learn it. Hard work is most important in the poker world, and this is how average players can become really successful. Several studies have shown that those with a huge percentage of grit do not have natural talent, while those with natural talent do not tend to work hard. Being talented, therefore, does not really guarantee success.
It was Francis Galton who first wrote a scientific treatise on talent and achievement. Besides studying biographies of prominent athletes, musicians, and judges, he used qualitative methods to find out exactly what is required to become an achiever. He came to the conclusion that three things are required for success—passion, talent, and hard work.
This greatly simplifies the recipe for poker success. Aspiring poker players should never lose their passion for the game. In addition, they should be willing to work hard and long for several years. They should have grit. An average poker player who works in a disciplined manner and is determined enough has better chances of becoming a success than a talented player who is not willing to work hard.