Going Deeper Into The Poker Game

(Taking the concepts of the last two posts and smooshing them together.)

In your minds eye, picture a nice card table, an oval table with a green felt top and cup holders on the sides, in an otherwise empty room. The table can comfortably sit six people. There is a hanging lamp over the center of the table and no other light to distract or cause glare.

First, place six novice players at the table and take a moment to imagine how that would go. There would be allot of talking and joking around, telling stories and catching up about families and work. There would also be a poker rule book floating around the table that would be referred to often.

Second, place six intermediary players at the table and see how they would interact. They would know the rules of the game, but they would not be entirely familiar with all the options and possibilities in the cards. A few of the players would have little cheat-sheets on index cards, which they would have to share with the players who did not think to make one. The conversation would still be open and fluid, with the added element of some of the players accusing others of being very lucky or cheating in a half jocular way.

Third, place six expert players around the table and watch as the conversation drops off to almost nothing, as the players spend their time scrutinizing the other players. What conversation there is, is one or two quick sentences and left quickly hanging in the air. The winners would be glowing, while the losers would show extreme frustration.

Lastly, place six professionals around the table. All of them wearing sunglasses that do not reflect. All of them sitting perfectly still, with any motion they do make being highly choreographed. And not one of them uttering an unnecessary word. The only emotion that is ever shown is when one of the players is finally pushed out of the game.

So, that was pretty easy. Now, place one professional, an expert, two intermediates, and two novices at the table. A much more interesting dynamic. The professional stays quiet and motionless behind his glasses, while the intermediates compete in their effort to show off by explaining things to the novices, and the expert chooses their moments to correct the intermediates for greatest affect. But how would the game be played? Would the professional play their own hand against the five others equally? Or would they support the novices against the expert at first, then finish of the novices at the end. Would the expert even be aware of the larger game dynamics of the professional? Or would they spend all their time trying to read their stone face for any hint of a tell. Or, maybe the professional would decide to use their dominance to teach everyone at the table about all the intricacies of the game.

More appropriate to our capitalistic society, place two professionals, one expert, one intermediate, and two novices at the table. The obvious competition is between the two professionals. But, how will they use the others at the table? Will they at least be respectful? Or will they treat them as nothing but chaff.

These last two imaginary scenarios can be poured over for a very long time; exploring all the ins and outs, ups and downs, of all the different possibilities. And, I would argue, a person would be all the wiser for the time spent. However, I would like to move on for now.

In my last post I introduced the concept of economics and evolution being like a game of poker. For economics and the physical world of evolution, this is a very easy and tangible comparison. Where, for example, banks are the professionals, investment houses are the experts, the individual professional investors are the intermediates, and the average consumer is the novice. Two posts ago, however, I spoke of people with different levels of awareness of their own thought process; or consciousness. Where the people with the most awareness had a natural impact on the people around them and thus, would be pressured to see themselves as more than just themselves… like a professional poker player sitting at a table with players who were not professionals. They would learn to use them in their tactics and strategy.

My overall point of this thought progression, is that a professional player could be very selfish and ruthless, or they could choose to help other players by the way they included them in their own strategies. This is also true with people of greater awareness/consciousness. Being more conscious, or being more emotionally sensitive or empathic, does not mean the player is going to be nice or thoughtful. They can just as easily use their skills for ruthless and selfish purposes.