I have always personally enjoyed card games of all sorts. I played all of the classic card games preferred by the older generations when I was younger. I also played some of the newer and hyped games such as Pokemon.
It enjoyed all of these games quite passionately, sometimes obsessively. Eventually, around my preteen ages I stumbled across the game of poker. At first, like even the best I was not very good. I played for free online, and I could not even win that the better majority of the time. At some point I improved and I was winning 80% my games. I realized that there were of course methods to improve at and it was not dependent ultimately on chance. That was encouraging to me as I had mild aspirations of doing well in general.
I learned a lot about the game and was surprised to find a full graduate program offered at MIT, entitled “Poker Theory and Analytics”. One should note I was not invited to such a program, no. my friend recommended it to me as a valuable learning resource. For those who are not aware MIT OCW offers free online courses. I found this curious that such driven individuals could find the need to study a superficially simple game, only because it challenged those who told me it was mathematically illogical to win money at.
As I learned more about the game I had to learn a lot more than just the game. I had to learn psychology more than anything else. More psychology was learned in my quest for poker stardom than in the rest of my life combined. In one of the lectures at MIT, one surrounding poker economics; the instructor mentions how poker contacts have been of his most valuable assets throughout his life. I can’t help but mention his alleged battle against the formidable Bill Gates.
Among all that I learned from poker, I learned something on top of all that. I learned that things you wouldn’t think would be beneficial to your life in a measurable and predictable degree have benefits that you only need consider if you are capable. Poker taught a naive kid all he needs to know about psychology and strategy.
There are the aggressive players that thrive from you backing down
There are the conservative players that thrive from your recklessness
There are the chameleon players that thrive from your blindness
And there are the reverse psychological players that thrive from unpredictability
In conclusion a recipe at all is a recipe for disaster