The good player sometimes makes profitable agreements with other players. Occasionally, he can make an agreement with a loose player whereby each time either one wins a pot he will pay the other, for example, $5. Such an agreement will give the good player a guaranteed side income. Even when the loose player is a big loser, he will usually win more pots than the good player. Many poor players will gladly make such an agreement because they erroneously believe that a winner must win more pots than a loser. Also, most losers desire an association with a winner (the good player); such an association boosts their self-esteem by making them feel they are on the same level as the winner. Often a loose player happily maintains such an agreement indefinitely without ever admitting or even realizing that he is providing the good player with a steady side income.

Compared to John Finn, Sid Bennett plays more then twice as many hands, wins about 50 percent more pots, but loses nearly three times as often. He eagerly accepts John's suggestion that they pay each other $5 every time one of them wins a pot. Two years later, Sid is still pleased with this arrangement as indicated by his comments:

"At least I keep collecting these side bets," he says with a broad smile as John wins a huge pot and gives him $5. "Don't understand why you made such a stupid bet."

"Ha!" Quintin Merck snorts. He knows John makes money from the agreement. John knows it too, and his notebook data prove it:

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