Sunday, August 18, 2019

Playing poker online robs you of knowing yourself

This may seem like one of those fanciful and annoyingly esoteric claims, but playing poker online does indeed rob you of the opportunity to get to know yourself, your tendencies, your impulses and general temperament. Which is why it would serve you much better to play poker with real life human beings; sitting around an actual table complete with poker chips and all related paraphernalia.

Like any undertaking of considerable importance, it’s critical that if you insist on doing it you do it right; and poker is no different. But beyond the necessities of applying oneself the right way; playing poker is a metaphor for how one handles the changing fortunes of life, and as such one must engage the activity with all earnestness. Online, one is up against a machine; effectively eliminating the central part of the poker experience, making human contact and making decisions based on the other players’ visual cues. It is within this setting that one gets to know how one reacts to external stimuli, especially when the stakes are high given the financial outlay of any poker game. Some people are impulsive risk takers, while others exercise a great deal of composure in their judgement of any given situation. Unless you’re in a real life poker situation you’ll remain oblivious to your own psychological make-up.

Playing poker online doesn’t allow you this inner view, and not because of a deliberate attempt at thwarting any such insight but simply because the point of online poker is satiating a gambling appetite. There are virtually no secondary benefits to be had from this version of poker, least of all those arising from not playing poker online.