Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Explaining Poker To Relatives - The Great Scrabble Thought Experiment!

Now, I know poker is a game of skill, you know poker is a game of skill - but our relatives and non-poker playing friends... what do they think of the game??

This post is a 'thought experiment' let us enter the head of one of those non-poker types for a second and see if we can understand them a little better!! To start with lets consider the complexities of poker, the varied games, the types of betting, the complex decisions and the critical importance of the more mundane subjects such as bankroll management. When we are immersed in this world, with live and internet pros, satellites, software tools and poker sites competing for our business with complex promotions - it is easy to forget that from the outside people have a different view, of cards and of betting and that is about it.

So, what about scrabble?

Here is my idea for today - imagine that a buddy of yours you had not seen for a while announces that he is a decent scrabble player (you know, the game with letters which you make words with!). You are politely interested, and even more so when he tells you he is good enough to enter scrabble tournaments... with occasional wins. Well, good for your buddy! Now, next he tells you that actually makes enough playing to live a reasonably comfortable life, and that he enters the monthly inter-state championship with some huge prizes up for grabs. That the trick is to think about the intentions of your opponents, and to go for the words where you can get lines in different directions - without giving away your plan for reaching the triple word scores too soon.

Hey, we are happy to hear about this success... little confused with the strategy, so we can just nod along for now!

Your buddy is the centre of attention and continues his tale, telling you about the time he reached the last 16 in the national, and would have got through to the big paying places if only his opponent had not got real lucky at just the critical moment by drawing two of the letter 's' from the bag. No worries though, as the nightly internet games hot up your friend can play 4 games at once to gradually build up his bankroll before moving onto the tougher buy-in levels.

Sounds familiar now, right?? Almost there... turning this story around, making you the one explaining the game and the audience your family and / or friends gives a unique insight into their perspective on what you are doing. While it might not solve any problems in the short-term, having an understanding of how your explanation of online poker might sound to others could give some pause for thought... at least cut out those bad-beat stories!


A different subject to close the working week with - we have 2 new additions to the Planet Network. Now, many readers may not know that SNG Planet is only one of around 25 sites we run, some bigger and some smaller - and many in different languages too. While we need to do a little tidying around the edges the latest 2 sites are out and tackle 2 different subjects; - Firstly we took a new laptop, installed Ubuntu (thats Linux!) and WINE (windows emulator type thingy) and tried out all the top poker sites for a week... you can see the results at our new mini-site dedicated to Ubuntu-Poker Ubuntu Poker Sites ! - Next we wanted to look in a bit more detail at the 'Is Online Poker Fair' debate... no comments in this blog for this particular debate please, I'm fully aware that the rigged debate is like trying to convince people that all their talk of an angry-sky-diety is odd (ie, next to impossible). We hope that the investigations were worthwhile though at Fairest Poker !  

Anyway, GL at the tables, Mark

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