20 Things Bruce Lee Can Teach You About Poker

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 by Gugel in Psychology

Bruce Lee

"Boards don't hit back."

Bruce Lee is widely considered to be the best fighter of all time.  He died when he was 32 from an allergic reaction to a painkiller, but his philosophy and wise words (which are shockingly relevant to poker) continue to be an inspiration.  Here are 20 lessons you can learn from Bruce Lee.

Mental Toughness

  1. Don’t fear failure.
  2. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.
  3. A good martial artist does not become tense but ready.

Tilt & Variance

  1. Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. To realize that it’s just an inconvenience [...] is part of waking up.
  2. Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose — to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it.
  3. The happiness that is derived from excitement is like a brilliant fire — soon it will go out.
  4. A martial artist has to take responsibility for himself and face the consequences of his own doing.
  5. Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain.
  6. Walk on.

Adjusting to Your Opponents

  1. When the opponent expands I contract and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “It” hits all by itself.
  2. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life.
  3. You can never invite the wind, but you must leave the window open.
  4. Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.
  5. Truth has no path.
  6. Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none.


  1. Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I’m still learning, for learning is boundless.
  2. We have great work ahead of us, and it needs devotion and much, much energy.
  3. Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.
  4. When you’re talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you’d better train every part of your body!

Table Selection

  1. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession.

Bruce Lee’s words can help you find the path to poker enlightenment.  Next time you’re facing a difficult decision at a poker table, maybe you should just ask myself “What would Bruce Lee do?”

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8 Responses to “20 Things Bruce Lee Can Teach You About Poker”

  1. Akolades

    17. Mar, 2010

    Nice way of making the relation between the two disciplines. Welcome back!

  2. smith

    19. Mar, 2010

    that is realy good one.
    i dont think Bruce Lee might know the game of poker.
    But i do know he can kill anbody with poker cards……..

  3. TripJs

    15. Apr, 2010

    Great article and interesting read. I liked it so much, I posted it at Roundersbuzz.com

  4. cody

    03. Sep, 2010

    if bruce lee was here i bet heel kick your but for saying somthing about that.

  5. Sheikh zakir

    18. Nov, 2010

    We need him,the world needs Bruce Lee

  6. kevin

    21. Nov, 2010

    Bruce Lee is the Asian Chuck Norris.

  7. davd

    29. Nov, 2010

    bruce lee sucksssss !!!!!!!! i wil kill him :(

  8. russell

    03. Dec, 2010

    davd bruce lee will kill your ass bitch lol