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September 5th, 2005

New Philosophy

Once, I heard an interview with a professional poker player. He started his career as a mathematician. He realized, in analyzing the noble game of poker that the more hands one plays, the less of a factor randomosty is. (I know it's not a word, but you also know what I meant.) The more hands you're dealt, the more the law of averages says you'll get every possible hand, evenly spread out based on probability. Across a lifetime, everyone gets dealt the same hands - and the more hands you're dealth, the more even the distribution of probability. If you only ever get dealt a few hands, you'll have huge spikes of randomosity. If you get dealt thousands and thousands of hands, you'll have a nice even bell curve.

So, in regards to poker, the more you play, the more skill becomes a factor. A professional player gets the same number of good and bad hands in his lifetime, so it's a matter of skill how well you play them. A professional player who has a run of bad hands need only minimize his losses, before probability inevitably evens out, and the good hands are dealt. Minimize your losses, maximize your gains - and you'll have a successful career.

So what's the lesson to be learned? Being dealt a run of bad hands is just a waypoint on the road to a run of good hands - over time it will all even out. That's the immutable law of probability. And the worse your run of hands -- the better the hands you have yet to be dealt.

So my new philosophy:

The worse it is now, the better it'll be later.

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