Poker By Numbers.

Gambling is bad. Well, it’s complicated. Let’s just get the disclaimers out of the way early shall we? Only ever bet what you can afford to and never chase your loses. That being said, let’s cut the deck, ante up and play some cards shall we?

Really rather contradictory, poker isn’t really gambling. One hand might be 100% luck, but over the course of time your ability to win is to 100% skill. Not only can all that hard work be erased in an instant but there’s also no real way of measuring when exactly goes from one to the other. I told you it was complicated.

Once upon a time, before all the other inane things moved into my brain, there were numbers. Maths was my strong suit, which is all the more impressive given how resistant children are to wear suits in the first place. Maths came easy to me. I didn’t even have to try. I can only imagine it’s what sporting prodigies growing up. When it came to school and homework, I was Messi to their, well, everyone else. Then one day it stopped. As the rest of school got easier, my subject of choice got infinitely harder. The numbers betrayed me. Soon enough I’m faced with pushing forward with English and all the blagging opportunities that lay within or a subject that had already left me behind. There’s a joke here about how my English isn’t all that special either but I’m not that guy. I’m definitely that guy.

Anyway back to the seedy world of cards. Which it totally isn’t. I’m not even sure anyone has this idea of smoke filled poker halls anymore but they don’t really exist. Outside of your local pub trying desperately to hang on to it’s remaining customer base with one of these poorly organised nights. You know the ones. Five fellas that would be there anyway and another four who only ever come in to take their money. I know what you’re thinking. Yes it does sound like heaven.

It’s not for me to explain the finer points of the game. But to – at least attempt to bring this all back around – point out that the reason why I love the game so is because of it’s roots. Cold. Hard. Numbers. I can calculate where I am (albeit not as fast as I’d like) at any given moment. Then you add on top of that the joy of being able to look someone in the face and know that it had nothing to do with their sharp suit or shades (no one dresses like this in reality anyway) but rather a calculated guess. Valuing your own opinion that much that you’re prepared to risk everything. Maybe it is proper gambling after all.

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