Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
Horses scare easily. So man invented blinders to keep them from seeing things in their peripheral vision which might unnecessarily spook them. It is a very basic analogy, but we all have this. We all have the things which keep our focus in front of us or else we might go crazy with all the amazing things this world has to offer. The coolest thing is when something new comes into your field of vision and it joins the sight you have created.
Four years ago I didn't know anything about poker. Obviously I still have tons to learn, but with each passing year my understanding of the games and its players grows exponentially. The first year I feverishly studied the blog to get an understanding of all the players I would need to know to cultivate my interviewing skills. There is no amount of studying however that can surpass the knowledge that comes with time.
Now during the Main Event some non-professional poker players who often have other skills find their way into this little poker world. Of course with their mass appeal it is important to cover them as well. This year I heard there was a hockey player in the main. So, I read his Wikipedia and headed off to his table. Minus the fact that this hilarious guy with a goblet walked right thru our shot, I thought it went okay for an interviewer who maybe has 10 mins of prep time.
Someone mentioned to me yesterday that there was some article with the video in it on a Yahoo site. Honestly, at this point in my job, I've gotten pretty used the the whole internet troll thing. I never read the comments. Everyone has an opinion. But since everyone was talking about it I figured I better read it. The big complaint is that I don't know who he is. To which I reply, "okay sports writer, do you know who Chris Moorman is?" Am I supposed to know everything about everything. I mean come on! My job is to report on poker, not hockey.
It is interesting because I think in some ways I am guilty of this also. The poker world is so isolated and I don't even realize it. I will be talking to people and mention Vanessa Selbst or Jason Mercier and they will just have a blank stare. It is so hard to see the world outside of your own tinted vision.
The amazing thing is that your own vision is constantly evolving. When I was living with no electricity in Thailand my family thought I must be on drugs, because when you come to rely on all your amenities, you think you can't exist without them. But, humans have such an amazing ability to adapt. Given two weeks I think almost anyone could adjust to almost anything. It is part of how we are built.
The difficult thing is to learn empathy. The essential thing is to at least try to look at the world through the eyes of someone else. Everyone can not know everything about everything, but we can at least try know each other.
Furthermore I can say from my own life the more judgement you put out there, the more you get. Every time I gossip about someone or say something shitty about someone, I end up spending more time wishing I didn't and regretting it than I did in the actual moment. Conversely, when I chose to extend forgiveness and kindness to people I am apt to dislike, it is actually ME who ends up feeling good. It is a decision we each make moment by moment. I probably deserve tons of ridicule for plenty of poison I've spewed in my own life. But, because it is a decision every moment, I am making the choice to pull my blinders off and see the world in its complete awesomeness. And of course try to be patient with everyone else so I might actually learn something from them!