In the context of his wedding anniversary, Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt describes the "commitment device," the point at which a person locks him or herself into an uncertain - and perhaps unnerving - course of action, but from which a benefit can also be derived:
The idea of a commitment device is counter-intuitive. How can it makeyou better off to lock yourself in so that you have fewer options to choose from? Aren’t more choices always better than fewer? If there is no strategic interaction, more is always better, but when you are competing against someone else, limiting your options can be helpful. A classic example is an attacking army burning the bridges behind them so that they have no easy way to retreat.
And as it turns out, being all in is a pretty good poker strategy under the right circumstances.