Confidence, bitch.

Bobby Fischer - America's greatest ever chess player - said, "Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself, and this confidence should be based in fact." And he's right. All success, relating to any field or endeavor, has the common factor of confidence behind it. There isn't a single successful doctor, roofer, general, parent, bartender, president, Don Juan, or skydiver who acts without the confidence that what he/she is doing is the right move, the right approach, the right method. Even the lucky bastards who win the lottery have the tiny confident voice in their head telling them to go ahead and take a chance on the MegaMillions. If they didn't - if they *knew* they'd lose - they wouldn't bother.

To see Fischer's quote in action, watch the video here of Phil Ivey. In my opinion, he's the world's best poker player. And he knows it. And he knows the opponents know it. Here he makes a bluff with 5-2 off-suit, a hand in the bottom quarter percentile as far as odds of winning go. And yet, Ivey nets $70,300 - more profit in five minutes' work than most people gross in a year.

Ivey's success comes from what Fischer was talking about: his confidence versus the others'. Ivey's image, status, and chip stack help his case. But he's bluffing. His own tools in this battle (his cards) are dreadful. He relies solely on his *own* level of confidence, that he is *sure* the others won't have the guts to call his bets (in other words, that they are unconfident).

Guys like Daniel Negreanu make a noisy show of calling other people's hands. Ivey barely says a word. But he's as good (I'd say even better) at reading people's confidence than Kid Poker ever was. He sure gets it right in this video.

Ivey doesn't get every hand right - no one on this Earth does - but he gets most of them right. And as any poker player will tell you, them's good odds. However you go about life, in whatever pursuits you make, be they monumental or trivial ... have confidence that you are making the right move. If you don't have the "based in fact" confidence that Fischer talks about, then bluff like Ivey does. Before you know it, you'll string together some great moves, and the facts will suddenly be there to back up your assertions. Life is all risk versus reward. You know you can make the right move. So go ahead and do it.