Anger Is A Luxury
No Limit Hold’em is the most beautiful game in the world because it teaches empathy. Why do you think that is?
Every time you do not understand a play, you have two options:
You can either mock it or do your best to understand it.
Most people take the former option over the latter.
It’s difficult to stay open-minded at the table. Many people believe there’s a right way to play poker. They’ll say, "thank God these donkeys are doing this! I’m going to make so much money."
This is the wrong attitude to have. It’s spiteful. It reduces your enemy to a 2D caricature. You are not seeing all of his dimensions.
"If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat." – Sun Tzu
Believe it or not, there is no wrong way to play poker. If an adult in a free country pays the buy-in, he may play in any style that conforms to the rules.
If these people were characters in a video game, you’d be reading their back stories to find out how to beat them. You would be taking their wily actions as the fun curveballs they are. Instead, in real life, with real money on the line, you grumble and judge.
You get angry.
Do you know who can’t get angry? Immigrants.
People who recently immigrated to a country, people who don’t have a pot to piss in…you don’t see them mouthing off about who did them wrong. They have to keep their head down and keep grinding. They have no other choice.
In the United States now, we are a culture that fetishizes hate. Turn on the news at any time of day or night. There, you will see that seemingly everybody is angry about everything all the time.
I don’t have the time for this. Most working males I know with families to support also do not have the time for this. The people who can get on Facebook and blather are indulging in a luxury I cannot afford.
It is a high to get angry. Anger used to save our lives. It gave us a shot of adrenaline. The adrenaline gave us a sense of superiority. This was beneficial for us if someone was threatening our tribe. The righteous indignation could propel us toward action that would save our families.
There is a place for that, but it’s not at the poker table.
Imagine you and three friends decided to play Monopoly for $25.00 a piece, winner-take-all.
Think of what an asshole you would be to sit down at that game and get angry at someone else if they broke no rule.
That is an indulgence. That is disgustingly selfish. You are not managing your emotional hygiene, and you are expecting everyone else to help you cope with it.
There is absolutely no difference between tilting at the poker table and a Millennial who expects everyone at his new office to stroke his ego every 14 seconds. He is not managing his emotional hygiene through right thought and realistic expectations. He’s expecting everyone else to make accommodations for him. The tilting poker player does the same damn thing.
Do not be this man. You are better than this self-indulgence.