Matt's Blog: while { coding }
 

Poker

I am just bafflingly awful at the game of poker. My affliction is a common one: I want to see the next card. I always want to see the next card. Pair of kings? I want to see the next card. Off-suit rags? Next card, please. That’s how poker gets you. Amazing things can happen, even if you start with shitty cards.

The poker masters, the ones who write about it anyway, say you only want to play your best hands. That means a lot of folding. Folding isn’t easy. It feels too much like giving up. You look like you don’t know what you’re doing. And worse, you don’t get to play! You just have to sit there and watch others play, imagining what might have been. Most of the time it’s still the right choice.

I think this might be the key to the whole live-your-passion thing. We’ve all heard the advice to do what you love. And the counter-advice that doing what you love is hokum, and you’ll love whatever you’re good at. Maybe that’s a false dichotmy to begin with. Maybe passion – burning love or maybe just a good feeling – is just a hint to play that hand.

But that’s probably not as important as when the feeling isn’t there. Knowing when to hold ‘em isn’t the struggle. It’s the knowing when to fold ‘em.