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Poker Gamers Ought to Study to Break Dangerous Like Walter White

Poker gamers ought to take a lesson from Breaking Dangerous anti-hero Walter White by adopting his fearless however strategy-focused persona.

Memento mori

My favourite TV present in recent times was ‘Higher Name Saul,’ the prequel with a touch of sequel to ‘Breaking Dangerous.’ Its the origin story of the eponymous Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy Magill, which additionally thrust us ahead in time to provide that character’s story a becoming denouement.

As soon as it was over, like many others, I felt compelled to re-watch ‘Breaking Dangerous’ and as soon as once more have interaction with the character of Walter White, very a lot an anti-hero within the Shakespearian mildew. As an early adopter to the hit AMC present again in 2008, I bear in mind telling all my family and friends that they wanted to test it out. Nevertheless, my pitch to them on the time very a lot solid Walter as a foul ass dwelling out a fantasy of kinds within the wake of a terminal analysis. 

an emboldened self that defied authority and took dangers

One thing that solely grew to become clear to me in direction of the top of Season 2 on first viewing was apparent to me from the beginning this time round – specifically that Walter’s villainy was at all times there, mendacity dormant within him till the day he was recognized with lung most cancers. This final memento mori prompted a basic change not in him however quite in how keen he was to precise his newest wishes. It revealed a real self that was repressed by means of years of socialization and concern, an emboldened self that defied authority and took dangers, a malignant Oedipal self that craved mastery and respect it doesn’t matter what the associated fee.

Management what you may, settle for what you may’t 

Walt’s transformation from sheep to lion truly takes place within the very first episode and, for 5 seasons, we watch that lion manipulate everybody round him and take reckless possibilities to defeat his competitors.

However what does this all should do with poker? 

Firstly, Walter strikes up the stakes of the Albuquerque drug-world regularly, selecting his spots alongside the way in which. In that sense, his profession mirrors that of a participant on the way in which up. Secondly, there are analogies between his experiences and event poker, a sport that’s seemingly about surviving, laddering and in the end being the final particular person standing however is actually about making right tactical selections.

many gamers succumb to insecurity and concern

The main focus for event gamers must be on controlling what they’ll whereas at all times accepting that there are features of the sport outdoors of their management. That is definitely not straightforward and people emotions of frustration and injustice which might be half and parcel of the lifetime of a multi-table event grinder can take their toll psychologically. Confronted with the realities of variance, luck and the unpredictability of their opponents, many gamers succumb to insecurity and concern, emotional responses which may manifest themselves in one among two methods.

Two totally different responses, two totally different leaks

Good writers perceive that they should put their characters underneath stress as a result of that’s how their genuine selves are revealed. Equally, most event gamers revert to sort underneath stress. Some are so scared of busting that they flip down too many ‘too good to refuse’ +EV alternatives. This coverage ensures their survival within the event but it surely badly hurts their probability of progressing in it. Ready round for giant palms solely is the equal of taking that comfortable, salaried, pensioned job that doesn’t actually problem you. It’s investing your cash in low yield bonds. It’s deferring ache.

Different gamers are so scared of busting that they desperately attempt to management that end result. Deep down, they know that their demise is inevitable so as an alternative of passively accepting that, they actively ‘personal’ the occasion by inducing it, by taking pointless dangers, by chancing that high-wire bluff, and by going to struggle at each out there alternative. Having no persistence on this approach is the equal of haphazardly chasing your goals, on the lookout for get-rich fast schemes, ripping off your plasters and reaching for a life past your grasp.

you’ll die in your sword having given your self an opportunity

My recommendation to the primary group is be extra like Walter White and cease being afraid. He is aware of he’s going to die so he needs to realize one thing within the interim. You’re most likely going to bust so cease investing all of your vitality into avoiding that depressing second and begin re-directing that effort into accumulating. Speculate with a wider vary. Bluff a bit. Be constructive. You’ll nonetheless bust more often than not however at the very least you’ll die in your sword having given your self an opportunity.

My recommendation to the second group is be extra like Walter White and cease being an fool. He understands that his mind is his greatest asset. He understands that if he’s going to realize his objective, he needs to be strategic. Don’t be the soldier who runs maniacally into enemy fireplace. Tighten up. You can not beat an excellent participant with 8-4 offsuit out of place in the long term so minimize that out. Be extra affected person. Be selective. You’ll nonetheless bust more often than not however at the very least if you do, you may console your self with the truth that you didn’t result in your personal downfall.

Walter White: a paragon of poker virtues

Walter White is a tragic determine, a modern-day Macbeth who, as per the Shakespearian coda, needed to die within the closing episode. The success and common acclaim of ‘Breaking Dangerous’ proved simply how salient and very important the Jacobean tragedy is as a mirrored image of our tradition 400 years on. 

Walter had most cancers however he additionally was the most cancers. He was vengeful towards a world that had slighted him, emasculated him, failed to acknowledge his genius. As soon as his ambition was pricked and he felt as if he had nothing to lose, the shackles fell off. Devious and manipulative, he wreaked havoc and piled distress onto his household and everybody round him. Whereas the viewers vicariously loved his early conquests, they ultimately got here to understand what an abominable character he actually was. 

His ruthlessness and pathological must win in any respect prices make him a horrible position mannequin in actual life however they do make him a compelling paragon of poker virtues. To some extent, poker gamers must ‘break unhealthy’ with the intention to achieve success. By no means was there a greater piece of poker recommendation than these fateful phrases uttered by Girl Macbeth:

‘Seem like the harmless flower

However be the serpent underneath it’



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