The Game of Poker … and Life

I love poker. Texas Hold ‘Em is my game of choice poker, but I’ll play any type – Video Poker, Omaha, it doesn’t matter. However, I have learned to play the game well. I’ve also learned not only about poker, but a lot about life just by playing poker. Even though I was just learning the lessons to transfer from the game to the game of life, I wanted to share them in hopes of helping others, but I hope to help others see things in a new way.

Hopefully, those of you reading this have a basic knowledge of the game of poker. If not, head on to http://pokerstars.com for the basics and not so basics, plus some great tips and places to play since this article is not a poker lesson! 온라인카지노

Being bipolar, I don’t always play poker as well as I could or should. Whenever I get manic, I lack the judgment to make the proper calls and I’m a very sloppy and reckless player. Whenever my mood stabilizes to a manageable degree anyway- I reflect back on past plays I’ve made and I’m constantly analyzing my game play. I take a lot from each hand I play, whether I realize it at the time or not.

I’ve learned to get a player is bluffing or whether they have a real hand and are betting legitimately. I’ve learned that even though my hand may look good as a hole cards, if someone bets big and I call them, I have already earned a big chance of losing chips, thus, it’s better to fold my hand and wait for the next one.

So what does all this poker talk have to do with life? A lot, I believe. Here is what I’ve learned to date:

Take your time! There have been many times I’ve been playing a tournament and have been stacked high, close to the end. I’ll draw good hole cards, and someone will bet much higher than the minimum bet. It’s very tempting to call that the person with the rich anticipation of huge stack of chips, but on the other hand, if I do call them and lose, I can lose my entire stack, thus losing the tournament itself. It’s much better to fold unless I know I’ll still have enough chips if I lose to make my final goal of placing high in the tournament.

Apply that to life by not jumping at the first chance of everything carefully weighing your options and the consequences of your final decision. In the end, if you jump forward without analyzing all roads, pros and cons, you can lose everything you’ve worked hard for.

Read people. Never assume you are fully know someone. I don’t chat much, but it breaks my focus, but I’ll say hi if I see a name I know and exchange light small talk. And there are some players with whom I’ve become familiar, enough to know how they play: if they don’t, do they bet high every hand, and so forth. However, I never take my knowledge for granted. I’ll use it as a handy tool when I’m choosing how to play my hands against those people, but I’ll never assume they do exactly as I expect. I’ve been bluffed by some of the seemingly nicest people and lost big.

Apply that knowledge to life by taking people face value and always keeping open minded, no matter who that person may be.

As there is a soundtrack to this sound, I will not be “all in” without considering the pros and cons, there are times when we must take the chance or lose it forever. Things are not always as they seem, in poker or real life. That people betting may be bluffing, and if I still have a good stack of chips even if I lose, I will take that chance. Of course, with each hand, there are always several factors to mull, the same as with life and each situation we face.

Sometimes, it may be our benefit to go “all-in”, and take a chance that we will come out ahead. It may be our only chance.

I like to slow play my hands. Many people who play will get dealt a high pair, or a deal with a high-suited deal and go all in before the flop. (The flop is one of the best ways to get your cards or fold). Most of the time, they lose the very first hand of the tournament. I very seldom raise before the flop because I just don’t know how the next five cards will come out and whether my good hand will be good enough. So I wait for the flop to see how things go.

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