Upon arrival to earth we are all thrust into the game of life, an ever-enduring contest lasting the length of our existence. Sport often reflects particular aspects of life; poker is no exception. Arriving on earth with our inherit fortune unknown, we are granted a seat at the table and await cognizance of our cards. Receiving a hand some are privileged and hold pocket aces, some a picture card, whilst others are dealt low cards off-suit; luck cannot be pre-empted but merely accepted.
After distribution one must decide if they’re willing to play, at times choosing to compete in spite of inferiority. Routinely, once one has folded and the river revealed, they discover their cards to be propitious, anguish follows as the potential pot goes into the arms of another. The contingency of poker highlights the unpredictability life; upon the flop average cards can shift to an auspicious position, a bluff recurrently beats the better hand.
In Texas hold ‘em there’s 1,326 possible combinations of cards to be dealt. The probability for receiving pocket aces is 220 to 1, juxtaposed to two cards off-suit being 3.3 to 1; it’s clear individuals holding exceedingly fortunate cards are rare to those not. Habitually, when discovering the fortune granted to others people rebuke their own predicament, oblivious in youth their optimism morphs into indignancy. What’s often neglected is victory doesn’t purely reside in the cards but in their application, just because someone’s been given an advantage doesn’t guarantee them success.
Being dealt a brilliant hand frequently ushers in a false sense of security. Fixating on their card’s opulence they overlook prospective perils dealt on the flop, blindly betting more and more until the ego impulses a play for all in. Upon the reveal they are bewildered to find their exceptional cards no match for a low hand now boasting a straight flush. Herein lies the potential of the weak hand; no one’s expecting it to be beneficial, yet, by being at a disadvantage, meticulous observation can prompt intelligent action.
Staying in the game allows your cards to gain momentum; in seeing the potential for progress it’s not uncommon for coincidence to conspire for the underdog outcome.
To Fold Or Not to Fold?
The consequences of folding must be acknowledged; when withdrawing from a contest the prospect of improving your position is terminated, conversely, folding can allow reassessment and the attainment of a better hand. When the deck is against an individual it’s easy to succumb to despair, the encroaching thought of “Why me?” pollutes the mind tinting a pallid outlook. When this befalls some resist playing a hand even when holding favourable cards, as history atrophies action, one loses the chance of becoming an influential player. No reward worth obtaining comes without risk; to hinder the future on past mistakes will only make you its prisoner.
Remaining composed in the face of adversity builds a resilient competitor, by continuing to observe and act on possibilities one’s stature in the game can improve. At times of confidence there is an urge to go all in, entailing grand reward or empty disappointment. If the Gods are not in favour defeat should be accepted graciously and the experience examined, previous failures provide the framework for future endeavours. Charles Dickens wrote, “Every failure teaches a man something; if he will but learn.” Defeat is an inevitable aspect in poker; by learning from past experiences one can better themselves for forthcoming contests.
Who Are You Bluffing?
An integral part of poker is bluffing, in committing to deception the better hand is often beat. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is an enduring aphorism for purpose, changing skins in different environments can help one attain what’s desired. By presenting a certain personality, sometimes, we gain access to situations we wouldn’t normally be privy to. Although advantageous, issues arise when people forget they’re deceiving and convince themselves of their significance, the ego overriding rationally.
After a well-executed bluff one’s attitude may shift to see scheming as way to advance. Using cunning techniques to attain chips can intoxicate an individual, leading them to neglect the reality of bluffing; methods may repeatedly work but, eventually, the charade will be torn down. When this occurs people loose grip of what’s held so avariciously, with their shallow disposition exposed, customarily, a crisis of character follows.
This needn’t be something irreversibly negative. Throughout our lives we all will, at different stages, seek clarification of who we are. Although unpleasant, circumstances where one’s flaws are exposed question the premise of our person, an auspicious avenue to realign with the true self. Happiness isn’t derived from possessions but authenticity, if one is willing to accept and learn from their loses humility can be practiced; contentment is found in appreciating of what one has, not the desire for amassing more.
Life’s a game we all must play. As we are ushered into the human experience our initial hand in unknown to us, upon disclosure it’s wise to remember it’s not only about cards but how they are used. Throughout life opportunities will arise to become influential on events, by learning from mistakes, developing strategies and staying authentic, one has the best chance at playing an increasingly smart hand.
Image source: Antique Gambling Chips