Winners demand an edge. There's no question about it -- a person who is honestly dedicated to winning is going to demand an edge in whatever they are doing. If they don't have an edge, they simply won't play. This may fly in the face of the concepts of good sportsmanship and "giving it the old college try," but if you want to be a winner in poker you need to demand an edge. This idea is not completely new -- it builds on the whole concept of the successful poker player being a disciplined individual.
So what does it mean, to demand an edge in poker? It means that you have the better hand, the bigger stack, the better position; it means that you have to have something in your corner that will increase your chances of winning. If you don't, then don't play.
Being able to play only when you have an edge is not always easy. It may sound like it -- after all, no one is going to complain about having pocket aces -- however, it's the "not playing" part that most people have a problem with. If you are getting nothing but junk all night, and you subscribe to the "demand an edge" theory of poker, you're going to be doing a lot of nothing all night. This can be tough for players who are highly invested in playing -- whether it is for fun or for money. This all comes down to understanding why you, personally, play poker.
If you have the bankroll to support it, and you're only interested in the action, pick low limit games where you can spend to your hearts content without hurting your bank account. If, however, the money you invest in the game is important to you than you need to learn how to demand an edge before you can expect success.
The next time you're tempted to call with a weak hand ask yourself, "where's my edge?"