12 Jan 14

“Don’t spend too much time reading our own press releases!”

Political axiom

“Positive outcomes don’t necessarily demonstrate superior play. Superior play will lead to positive outcomes more often than will poor play, but even poor players sometimes catch lucky. It is when you confuse catching lucky with playing well, that demons sneak in!”


We’re here in Las Vegas for the 2014 SHOT Show, starting with “Media Day,” on Monday. We’re all anxious to fondle the G42 (Glock’s new, small 380, similar to Kahr’s P380), as well as any number of other new entrants into the fray.

Shunning “Zombie Burlesque,” and similar local intellectual extravaganzas, I got involved in a poker game yesterday afternoon and evening. It was a hold’em, 2-6, limit game (my “gulp” limit), and I was at table of good players, not bottom-feeders by any means, although many were on-hold for seats at the simultaneous no-limit game.

In four hours, I won $21.00, and, of course, enjoyed playing. My fellow players were, as I said, savvy denizens of the Game, but several were undisciplined and impatient, at least more than me. Several others were heavily distracted by the Colts/NE playoff game on the monitors located throughout the card room, and were thus not devoting much attention to their play. I was, of course, distracted too, just not as much.

These were the two categorizes of players who contributed most to my modest gain for the evening. Of course, my fortunes went up and down. I just decided to quit when I was slightly ahead.

The point, if there is one, is that I’m not a particularly devoted, nor “serious” player. That’s why I stick with low-limit games, but I do enjoy the Game and good-naturedly matching wits with other players. But, I have at least some talent for identifying fellow players who are undisciplined and easily distracted. For me, they represent opportunity!

Of course, there are no guarantees, even when you’re the best of players! That is why skillful players know when to quit, or not play to begin with. No point in beating your head against a wall that has a door in it!

Even the best of golf professionals are not able to score a hole-in-one on any kind of regular basis. They probably score them ore often than the rest of us, but, as in poker, you’re not going to win every hand. You’re not even going to win the majority of hands, no matter how skillful your play.

The best you can do is show a modist gain for your efforts, as I did (at least this time), after playing hundreds of hands. From watching televised poker tournaments, you might get the impression that one can expect pocket-aces every other hand. Oh, that it were true! The far less glamorous truth is that spectacular poker hands, like holes-in-one, are few and far between, and seldom make any real difference in our overall play anyway!

The best players know how to pay attention to the task at hand. They are patient and disciplined, and they don’t panic. None of us play poker perfectly, but constant improvement needs to be our perpetual goal.

The Game of Poker mirrors the Game of Life!

First report on the Show tomorrow evening!