Thursday, September 20, 2007

Balancing Playing Poker with other Commitments

The irony in the title of this post became very clear to me the other day when discussing, how business and other commitments were standing in the way of playing poker regularly.

Often how I play poker has came from experience gained in how I do business as well as the insights I have gained with successes and more importantly failures. In a recent Q and A in my column and marketing newsletter, I projected the following thoughts:

1. Poker play is about situations and how you relate to them with the information you have and experience you have with the game, the players and the action that has already occurred.

2. For me, doing business is much the same. Using your experience and information at hand as well as following the same formulas that have previously been successful should achieve the same results

3. Inexperienced poker players often make the same assumptions as inexperienced business people as misunderstanding either can effect results.

4. I have regularly said here and elsewhere that I don't have to be the smartest guy in the room and when I need the assistance of people smarter or with more experience than me, I am not too proud or afraid to ask.

5. In poker, I try and follow the same line of thinking by weighing all of the factors in playing a hand with an unknown or inexperienced player. Why risk tournament position fighting an unknown. You can't bet enough or take other action to force an inexperienced player out of the hand because they don't know any better. This isn't a bad beat analogy, unless you want it to be, but instead its a case for making better decisions all the time in every situation.

6. A good friend of mine often uses the illustration, explain it to me like I am a fifth grader not because that is the level she thinks, but instead because her experience helps draw out the details often overlooked. The analogy is you are not making it simple, by leaving out details, often the devil is in the details and that's what makes the difference. Absent experience, more information is needed.

7. I often experience people using big words to define a situation or claim they are calculating the odds as information in making a decision. If baffling me with antique or "farlexicon" (a) like vocabulary and/or expressing complex odds calculations in order to confuse me are your game, then good luck to you, because in either regard I learned everything I needed to know in grade school, but use a life of experiences in relating it.

(a) The lexicon is the internal dictionary, thus a farlexicon is an internal dictionary that is way out there!

The conclusion here is while I am "balance impaired" what I enjoy is an integral part of how I work and is the basis for everything else.