I think asking about a near miss is very applicable to Poker. I remember all too well the first time I was at a final table with first place being $100,000+. They put the money on the table when there were six of us left, I didn't win. I remember the hands 12 years later...
I find that over time Poker players get jaded, burnt out and just a bit numb to everything. The winning never feels as good as the losing hurts... but something we all remember is the first time we had a "big" score and asking how that felt.
When starting out I won $700 when I was in college and I felt like I had won the lottery. Everything is relative :)
I need to check out that book the PokerMBA! I get asked about my old poker playing days and I always say that the people I played with were more interesting then the hands themselves. Which is why I stopped dreaming about playing cards for living and instead moved to the Bay Area to join the startup world.
For example in my very first WSOP preliminary event around 2007 I met a really nice gentleman, clearly a very competent poker player but a businessman / entrepreneur type above all else. We were next to each other for 6+ hours so of course at some point you put the poker face away and get to chatting.
Our mutual connection was that we both spent time living in California. He said he used to be in finance and decided to buy a used sporting goods company that was into franchising and financing and when he had time he would come to Vegas and play Poker.
I had a million questions about how he was able to grow the company, what's it like running a public business etc. I was fascinated and probably played 2 hands in an hour as I was just totally into the business talk. He went on to play in a $1 million dollar buy-in tournament and was involved in a hand where he made someone fold four of a kind! Has to be one of the most interesting hands ever covered. "Russian businessman folds four-of-a-kind in $1M poker tournament" - NY Post
...I should have taken my poker winnings at the time and invested in his company Winmark.
The stock price from the summer I met the CEO and until today.