I know poker is just a game and you can fold up the cards and go home any time you’re ready, but it is fascinating how this game resembles life and every day struggles we all seem to have. There are many ways which poker shares with real life. I know in the short term in both poker and life, luck plays a big factor. In the long term, however, luck is not a factor in either one and seems to somehow even out. You get an unbelievable bad run of luck just to have an unbelievable good run of luck come right around the corner. When you’re in the middle of a bad run, you swear there has never been anything like it before and you are in a state of disbelief. It seems like when you’re in the middle of a good run this is the way it should be and maybe somehow you deserve the luck that is coming your way. Maybe you’re smarter or just a little more deserving than your opponents.
In life, we seem to do the same thing. When things are going well, we somehow take it for granted that this is the norm and this is the way it is supposed to be. When the bad times come and they will, you just can’t believe it and feel maybe you’re being punished for some wrong doings. You feel like god has his thumb on you and won’t let you up. These bad runs finally go away and you’re blowing and going again, somehow forgetting how ugly the bad streak was. This cycle goes over and over.
It’s funny how the true personality of a person comes out in a poker game. If they are conservative and a little afraid of the future, they will most likely play cards like that. They probably won’t risk much on anything but the best of hands. They are what poker players call tight and they are very exploitable by the bluff. There is always a doubt in their minds that maybe their hands just isn’t quite good enough to win and good poker players can exploit this doubt. You run across this type of person every day.
The aggressive or maniac player is usually loud and needs to be the center of attention. They usually jump in a situation before really thinking it through. This is the way they play poker. They are very exploitable by letting them have the lead and simply allowing them to hang themselves. Patience and calmness need to be used when battling such an opponent. This is true in poker as well as life.
The most difficult player to play is the player who can change his or her game as the situation dictates. This type of player is usually quiet and observant of everything at the table. He gives his brain all the information possible to make the correct decision. He adjusts his play according to the situation. He knows the math and this gives him the confidence to make the correct decision even if he loses. These players are the most successful in poker and in life. They gather all the facts, make a thorough analysis of the information, arrive at a decision and implement the action this decision calls for, and finally disconnecting emotionally from the outcome.
People who can read the personality or psyche of another person and make a decision based on this read are always the best poker players. Many are just average card players, but this one ability makes them great. The same thing applys in life.