Resurrecting the thread a bit. This is quite true with a whole lot of pro poker players. They play it safe because eventually they still almost always gain money. Ironically it makes them fairly easy to play against because of the consistency. I played similarly, minimizing most hands and actually losing more often than winning, but maximizing my returns on wins. Not much different than most pros, but instead of sticking with the highest odds on the starting cards, I more frequently started with the lower odds. Playing Texas Hold Em, the odds change substantially on the flop when the bets are still low. So although my odds were a bit lower initially, I played the odds after the flop which also had the benefit of getting much higher pots because of the expectations of them starting with a better hand (which they very often did).Pro poker players often do things to reduce standard deviation. This lessens their vulnerability to a run of bad luck, which they say WILL happen anyway. I think these bets also reduce their expectation, but they say it's worth it.
Most people don't play this way, so the pros still consistently make their money. But shifting the time that I reduced my deviation was very effective against someone who kept their deviation low from the very beginning. So how does this tie in with the OP? It's a version of stop-loss where I'd cut my losses unless the gains were more likely. But the only reason why I gained more than I lost in the vast majority of these cases was because of external decisions by the other players. In a truly random game I'd end up at 0 (or really below since I started with a bad strategy), but when you have emotions involved or other external factors, this type of system can work. It really requires that external part, though.