Skip to main content

Welcome back to the second and last blog on the value of poker and the life and business lessons you can learn from the game. What amazing lessons did we learn in part 1

1. Minimize risk and maximize odds of winning.

2. Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.

3. Accept defeat and winning gracefully

4. Don’t let hope make you a dope

4.5. Don’t go all-in against Amarillo Slim

Let’s Deal Out Four More Valuable Lessons

Poker Mirrors Your Life – Almost all of the time the way you play poker reflects who you are as a person and a lot of other info about you. Conservative people are generally conservative poker players. That may seem like a “duh,” but it bears noting that if you know a person leads a life of little risk, you can pretty much be assured they can be bluffed out by a big bet because they’re too afraid to take a risk. On the other hand, people who are aggressive and competitive, bring these traits to the table and can cause a game to get pretty wild.

Beware the “tell,” it can yell like hell. Hopefully, you saw the movie, “Rounders” with Ed Norton and Matt Damon as big-time poker players. Matt goes up against a Russian mafia kind of guy who keeps beating him at the table, taking just about all of Matt’s money – until Matt notices that when the Russian guy has a winning hand, he takes an Oreo and screws off half before he eats it. This is the Russian’s “tell” and once Matt has figured it out, he’s able to turn the tables on the Russian easily. 

Luck Has Little to Do with Winning Move over eerie, fairy theorists. Call me nuts, but I’ve witnessed perhaps 80,000 hands and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s very little luck in poker. Let me correct that. There is luck, but it’s mostly created. Maybe luck isn’t the right word for what happens at a table. It’s positive, powerful energy that’s being generated and actually causing certain cards to appear. How about them apples? Or fruitcakes?

Here’s another part of the same thinking: On any given night, winners and losers are pretty much pre-determined before you even sit down to play. It has to do with the state of mind, energy, power, mood, confidence, and a belief that people are bringing to the table. There are people like my poker pal, Emil who always, always seem to draw the exact card he needs at the exact right moment. You have to question what’s going on here. How can Emil be a consistent winner and a guy like Don M. lose, week in and week out?

Skill is a huge part of it. Emil knows what he’s doing, but Don is smart and skillful too. But Don is Donnie Downer (sister of Debbie Downer) and has a persistent cloud hanging over him. Don is so down all the time; he plays from underneath the table. He’s so depressed, hurricanes form where he’s sitting. Ironically, he has a successful business: selling Depression Glass. Oooo sorry. 

Finally, Keep Your Options Open The more options you have to win, the more outs you have to put together a winning combination, the better your chances. This is especially applicable in draw poker where you can decide to draw one, two, or three cards or play the ones you’re dealt. There’s nothing worse than the following pronouncement at the table when you’re playing draw, “Bill how many cards do you want?” And Bill says, “I’m good, I’ll play these.” OMG. That’s not good or encouraging. Maybe Bill is bluffing and full of it, or maybe Bill really is full of it with a full house. It takes a lot of guts to bluff that one and maybe that makes it a brilliant move.

The analogy to life here is obvious—keep your options open. Fishing on a lake? Take more than one rod, fish in more than one spot, fish at different depths, use different color lures, vary the size of your sticks of dynamite. All these options can improve your odds. Applying for a job? Talk to more than one company, submit multiple applications, try different resume styles, show up nude on at least one interview. It could work. Investing your nest egg? Put all your dough in one single vehicle like equities and risk surviving an ugly crash or diversify. 

In conclusion, the “art” of poker and the “art” of life and business is apparent. It is a skill, some have it, some do not. Often wonder why some people appear to be natural-born winners, and for some people, if it were not for bad luck, they would have no luck at all. The same can be said in business, for some they appear to have the “Midas” touch. Is it luck? Is it skill? Could it be strategy? Opinions vary, but whatever it is, it produces results. Although the Miner Agency may not be able to help you with your poker game, they can give you a winning hand when it comes to business. Take luck out of it and apply the winning strategies that The Miner Agency can offer.