A Parable of Card Game

There are many situations in life that might compel us to make tough, even heartwrenching, decisions.

To put it in the context of a poker game: I have, on numerous occassions, walked away from a game (despite having a certain advantage) where I felt that the conditions were beginning to stack against me, even as it appeared I would be walking off a bigger winner had I stayed on.     

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the truth of the matter is, in those instances, it came to a point that I realized I have, quite unknowingly, committed one of the cardinal sins of card playing by getting too invested in the game. It was no longer merely an issue of win/lose. It is a game that I CANNOT afford to lose.   

Part of my consideration is also in the calibre of my opponent(s). While by no means a novice, I am still particularly wary of seasoned pros who might be sitting in the game with me. Due to the fact that you can never be sure who is one, the rule of thumb is to always treat everyone on that table as such. For many years , I’ve almost never err on the side of underestimation.

A true pro can lure you into a false sense of security by conceding a series of hands. Add that to the euphoria of winning and the consumption some intoxicating beverages offered by the house, it is almost a sure receipe for certain disaster.

When complacency and attachment (to the game) meet,  in the presence of a seasoned true pro, you know your time is up. Without needing a crystal ball, I can forsee, rightly or wrongly, the eventual result could be catastrophic for me in carrying on .

I may be seem to be exercising too much unnecessary caution and forsake some great opportunities of a big payoff , but I constantly have this self-awareness of knowing my own limitations on playing the game, knowing full well emotions remain one of my biggest weak points. 

I guess for some games in life you just have to walk away and never come back… maybe under better circumstances in the future.

Those with eyes, let them see.


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