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How poker has reinforced my outlook on life

    • nafar84
      Joined: 20.09.2008 Posts: 546
      DISCLAIMER: I do not intend at all to offend any religious or otherwise spiritual people... just telling my personal view on things.

      Now I'm sure that most of us have, at some point in our lives, studied maths especially the laws of probability and statistics. However, I suspect that many, if not most, people do not fully grasp the implications of such laws on their personal lives, and tend to attribute "strange coincidences" to some sort of masterplan that defines their purpose of existence.

      I've always considered myself a skeptical agnostic... I believe that life is totally random.. but lately I had been struggling with some weird occurences in my life that made me think "hold on a minute, this can't just be totally random". Well, as ridiculous & shallow as it may sound, poker has helped me alleviate any such doubts.

      When you know that the odds of flopping a full house are 1,087.1 to 1 , yet you already flop a few full houses in your relatively short poker career, you begin to fully grasp that this is exactly how the law of probability works. The odds of any specific event happening in your life are somewhat comparable. For example, if you walk out to the street and see a red Toyota with a license plate starting with "9" parked.... DAMN, WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING? Probably worse than the odds of flopping a full house, but hey, it happened! You could have easily seen any other car parked so, relax!

      Discussion is welcome but please, I really don't want to start a religious debate here. Just looking for people who can relate and add something to the topic.

      Finally, I've always liked Sting's song "Shape of My Heart", but now the following lines resonate ever so deeper within me:

      He deals the cards to find the answers
      The sacred geometry of chance
      The hidden law of a probable outcome
      The numbers lead the dance

  • 7 replies
    • Solomaextra
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 7,401
      Hello! I fully understand you. This thing went very deep into my real life. And that song, it's great, I started loving it as soon I I started playing poker.
    • delete461
      Joined: 04.07.2008 Posts: 1,036
      Nice post

      As for me, I am as atheistic as it is possible to be, in fact I would class myself as antitheistic and I often ponder things like this myself.

      Sorry if my post turns this into a religious debate but as poker requires a mathematical and analytical mind I think you will find very few deeply religious people in these forums anyway.

      I have never heard that song, going to look it up now :)
    • lennert9
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 278
      In the dutch forums there's a guy who wrote a column about religion and poker, so they do exist. :p
    • slikec
      Joined: 04.02.2008 Posts: 1,155
      If you want to make further opinion first watch:
      -the secret official site:
      than to see what can good idea do:
      -zeitgeist(already 2 movies) official site:

      Anyway if you REALLY want sth. you'll put much effort to get it so you'll have much more chance to get than person who thinks if is in his destiny he'll get it ;)

      Or if you want to win at lottery first you need to buy a ticket ;)
    • nafar84
      Joined: 20.09.2008 Posts: 546
      Thanks for the responses... good to see that I am not alone in this :D

      One thing worth adding: I find it quite interesting how many people take up poker, mostly online, and within a few weeks or even days they see enough that makes them absolutely convinced that it must be rigged. There must be some direct correlation in this line of thinking with that of people who believe in a design or a masterplan for life. In both cases a very poor understanding of probability and chance is being demonstrated. IMHO, this just goes to show how easily these concepts can be misunderstood, and how easily a simple event or two in your life can trick your mind into believing that there is more to it than pure randomness.

      I don't want to go as far as claiming that the "rigged" theorists are more inclined to be religious, but I'm pretty sure that in both cases their minds are falling into the exact same trap - it's just the scope that differs.

      Slikec - yeah I did watch The Secret... well it's really just a commercial spin on positive thinking. However I believe that at its very core, when you look past all the candy-wrapping, it does offer some very useful advice. If you are positive about what you want, it will reflect on your attitude and body language, and people WILL pick up on those cues no matter how subtle. Therefore, you will automatically attract the people and situations that will eventually get you what you want.
    • Zheelvern
      Joined: 29.10.2007 Posts: 705
      I like this topic. Keep it grow! I'll say something more when I catch my PC. Right now I'm at my Blackberry :P
    • TheBrood
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,383
      Im an agnostic too I think. People see a 100 in 1 chance event happen and say its a miracle. But as a poker player you see million to 1 events happen and its normal.

      Life imo is as chaotic and random as a poker hand.