If poker is gambling then so is everything
I've been thinking a lot recently about the people I have been speaking to and their perception of poker. In a recent interview for a student placement at a housing firm I was asked the question by the manager 'What is your main passion in life?' Although advised through twoplustwo and family to avoid bringing up poker. It seemed only normal to tell the interviewer about how I have been playing poker semi-professionally for the past 18 months and how skills developed would help me within the working environment. I went on to outline how I take it very serious, how I have developed self control and have experience in high pressure situations as well as being my own boss. I also covered how I plan my sessions and make short and long term goals to help improve my chances of success.
Big mistake...the interviewer went on to tell me of the one time he had played with family, got lucky and won, and that one of his son's friends had a gambling problem because of online poker. I attempted to counter by talking about how I was in the top ten winners of the stakes I played last year but then cut it short as he then actually began to offer me the advice of 'staying away from gambling' as if I was a confirmed degenerate and it annoyed me that he really thought he knew what he was talking about.
People seem to have this view that because the outcome of the draw in poker is random, it means that luck is the deciding factor in the game. Guess what, if you approach something in a random way then everything is gambling. If I gave the person next to me on the bus $100k and told him to open a chain of flower shops would it be successful? The answer isn't always no. He could have a masters degree from oxford in business management and have the necessary education to make the business succeed. Or she could have 20 years experience working in the horticulture industry and have business links which could yield a great return. The person may also just be lucky to open the shops in all the right locations where demand is high. The vast majority however will fail and in a sense, the idea of giving a random person that sort of money would be a huge gamble and one which no one would take.
That is the point though. While it is true that some players may hit lucky in a tournament with no prior knowledge of the game, the way in which successful poker players play poker is to make positive expectation decisions developed through education and experience. Compare that to an investment company who will only invest in those people or ideas with the necessary qualities to succeed. Why is it that an interviewer who has no knowledge of something label me as a gambler? Ultimately I didn't get the job and I am not too bothered as I find it ironic that the very interviewer owns a company in an industry which has been one of the most volatile globally in recent years.
Just a rant as I couldn't sleep but feel free to share your stories on peoples ignorant views on poker. It would be interesting to hear.
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