Thursday, March 28, 2013

Poker fish and Fish in the tank (2)

________ Qian
________ Xun
____ ____

44 Gou

The previous article provided a summary of reasons why poker has enjoyed resurgence and a huge following by youths over the past decade and how they are seduced into playing it.

To recap the poker slang, Fish are players who do not play well in poker and Tank is when a player takes time to think whether or not to fold, call, or to re-raise a bet. Tank also takes on the usual meaning of an aquarium to some poker players.

No matter what poker literature you read, an element of luck plays a part in your very success of winning at the gaming tables; since no one can predict with certainty which five - 3 + 1 + 1 - community cards would respectively fall at the flop, turn, and the river in “Texas Hold’em”. That is why young amateurs - if they are so destined - playing against professionals to boot have had the good fortune to win several major championships including the World “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker tournament (s). The only difference is that in the long run, professionals with much better playing skills would have a higher probability to beat the odds and luck to win in cash games against poker fish.

When lady luck plays a part in winnings and losses at the gaming tables, it is gambling. And gambling is a sin vice or an evil since ancient times.

It is good to see youths optimistic and as long as they do not misplace this optimism by aiming for the wrong things that could lead to a bleak future, they are fine. While poker professionals can be very successful at their profession, not everyone - amateurs and professionals included - can make a good living out of playing poker.

For a very good example, Jerry Yang won the 2007 world poker championship and the whopping prize money of USD 8.25 million that came with it. However, over the next five years he only managed to win a little over USD 150,000 in live tournament earnings – an average annual gross income of USD 30,000 can hardly be called making good money even by Malaysian standards, let alone in the US where the cost of living is much higher. It was also reported in on March 12, 2013 that his awarded 2007 WSOP bracelet and watch are listed among the various jewelry to be auctioned off by the US Internal Revenue Service to repay tax lien of more than USD 570,000.

If a former world poker champion cannot make a good living out of playing the game, how many professionals and amateurs out there can really make it? Probably only the top 5% and the rest could be considered fish by the crème de la crème of the poker profession.

Recently, a young man had requested me to consult the Book of Changes to see if he can make a career out of playing poker. The apt and concise answers given by the ancient classic could even astound the skeptics. Since these prognostications will be clear as day even for beginners of Yijing divination, poker players and other readers – especially with the summary information on the poker scene provided in the previous article and in the preamble of this second article. For the answers given are akin to poker lingo! (Even if this is not Ripley, you better believe these phenomena!)

And the received Yijing prognostications will prove easy to understand and simple to follow by most readers including skeptics of divining with the Book of Changes.

Together with the additional information in this article on the current global poker scene, readers would be able to determine if the Yijing has truly spoken – that is answered the question posed.

This forms part and parcel of the science of Yijing interpretation which can be tested by wherewithal Yi aficionados from different eras and/or from different parts of the world. And is my usual practice - while not as comprehensive - to interpret the oracle for clients (whether fee-paying or not). For diviners, interpreters and their clients need to first and foremost determine if the Yijing has really spoken since if the Yijing did not speak - and therefore without any real guidance given - they will invariably end up in blind alleys.

The oracle:

Hexagram 44 Gou Judgment:

Coming to meet. The maiden is powerful. One should not marry such a maiden.

The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man delights in it; it looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally with it and come to no harm.”

“The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard him as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the first, he could never gain influence.”

Nine in the second place means:

There is a fish in the tank. No blame. Does not further guests.

The inferior element is not overcome by violence but is kept under gentle control. Then nothing evil is to be feared. But care must be taken not to let it come in contact with those further away, because once free it would unfold its evil aspects unchecked.” [W/B]

Nine in the third place means:

There is no skin on the thighs, and walking comes hard. If one is mindful of the danger, no great mistake is made.

There is a temptation to fall in with the evil element offering itself – a very dangerous situation. Fortunately circumstances prevent this; one would like to do it, but cannot. This leads to painful indecision in behavior. But if we gain clear insight into the danger of the situation, we shall at least avoid more serious mistakes.” [W/B]

Nine in the fourth place means:

No fish in the tank. This leads to misfortune.

Further elaboration on the oracle:

People often get taken to gambling because of their first win. They are seduced by the ease and thrill in making some quick money from gambling. And addicted gamblers invariably gamble away their hard earned money or fortune.

At the amateur levels, poker fish abound. But it is incorrect to introduce poker and fish to non gamblers since this would help spread the evil (sin) (vice).

At the mid levels, less poker fish would be found and therefore walking comes hard - and painful - with no skin on the thighs. Expenses including major tournament buy-ins, travel, food and lodgings especially in expensive cities could very well exceed cash earnings and start to deplete savings.

Misfortune arrives when there is no fish in the tank since at the professional level, poker players turn out to be sharks and the best ones could be aggressive Great Whites. And it is rare to see current and former world poker champions win at televised big cash games with minimum buy-ins of USD 100,000.

When even world poker champions cannot make a good living playing at these levels what are the chances of amateurs numbering in the hundreds of thousands hoping to make it and/or to win huge sums of tournament prize money? Their chances would be very slim.

Therefore - in line with the guidance from the Book of Changes - it could be wise of those youths intending to drop out of their studies to complete their degrees and thereafter secure a job with steady income. And not make playing poker a career or a profession.

When they can afford it, they can spend some time and spare money playing in major poker tournaments like what some successful businessmen have done and still do, if they so wish.

For no one can stop a dream of instant wealth and fame. However it is time for Contemplation (Guan) - the resultant Hexagram 20 with the three lines change - to choose the way of life going forward.

Deeper thoughts:

Did the Book of Changes speak?

Is it not profundity and synchronicity that the more than three millennia old Book of Changes has seemingly used current poker lingo to address a poker career question?

Are the pronouncements of the three lines - read together with the commentary (in italics) from the wise down the ages and my further elaboration – not easy to understand and simple to follow?

Is the guidance given not similar to those from a parent?

Do the relevant answers to the young man and in poker lingo to boot not depict the close affinity (yuan fen) between the Book of Changes and him?

These particular phenomena not only vindicate and uphold the ancient thoughts and beliefs embedded in the Ten Wings and those of Yijing aficionados down the ages; their very occurrences in one oracle would have made Richard Wilhelm and Carl Jung extremely happy.

And if your answers to my five questions are all in the affirmative, welcome!

For you are learning something from the writings.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Poker fish and Fish in the Tank

Poker, a game of skill with an element of luck thrown in, and frowned upon by the strait-laced, has enjoyed resurgence and a huge following over the past decade or so. While the older generation across the world still play poker as a pastime, the younger generation in the US and in Europe have been driven to studying the game more seriously with some turning it into a profession mainly attracted by the huge prize money pools winnable at various major annual tournaments held in the West which have made winners of the main events instant USD millionaires.

Because of this instant wealth attraction and the pervasive marketing strategies of poker dotcoms, a number of youths in the Western Hemisphere have been seduced to drop out of their degree courses to spend more time playing “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker either online or in live games. By dropping out, these particular youths would have dashed the hopes of many a parent whose wish that their adult children could obtained a tertiary education and the ability to earn a steady income therefore having a comfortable life going forward.

With the advent of YouTube, and available live and recorded video broadcasts of these major “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker tournaments on the internet, the younger generation in Asia has also been similarly attracted and influenced by the various successes of the twenty-somethings who have had won the annual World Poker Championship held in the US over the past few years and the huge prize money of USD multi millions (pooled by the large field of participants and the USD 10,000 buy-in for the prestigious main event).

The recent 2012 main event tournament was won by a 24 year old American who as the world champion took home the staggering prize money of USD 8,527,982. The past few world champions were even younger when they won this main event of “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker.

Recorded and repeated scenes of renowned poker professionals flying in private jets and chauffeured in stretched limos to the tournament venues at five stars hotels and their plush settings are constantly flashed to remind viewers of the opulence and high living that can be had by successful players in pre-recorded video broadcasts of major poker tournaments. Which young impressionable teenager or twenty-something would not be enticed by the glamour, prestige and excitement in playing live poker tournaments staged in five stars hotels cum casinos across the world and where champions become instant millionaires with bragging rights to boot?

With the huge popularity and the hundreds of thousands playing tournament and cash poker online 24/7 and the thousands playing in live tournaments and cash games, the professionals have coined certain relatively new poker terms for easy reference among the community.

While players who do not know how to play poker well were a few decades ago known as greenhorns or rabbits, the professionals now called them: Fish. Perhaps a better description since fish is food to both humans and predators as part of nature. And poker professionals are sometimes referred to as sharks (predators).

Tank in poker terms means a player in deep thought taking time to think whether to call or re-raise a big bet by another player on the same table. Sometimes Tank is equated to the usual meaning of aquarium by poker players.

By coincidence, the at least three millennia old classic – the Book of Changes – also contain hexagram lines that pronounce there is “Fish in the Tank” and “No fish in the Tank”!

Does this coincidence mean that the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes also have the prescience on what is to come a few millennia later?

If readers wished to know more about the phenomenon and the profundity of the ancient classic, read the follow up article on both lines which recently appeared as prognostications for a young man considering taking up poker as a career; therefore making them clear as day even to a beginner of Yijing studies.

If your teenage or adult children are also considering dropping out of their degree courses to make playing poker their profession, do not despair; read on and see what the Book of Changes has to say. If applicable, you can also ask your children to read this particular topic which could be of interest to them before they commit to be a poker professional.

More will be revealed and discussed in the next article.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Dissolution of the 12th Malaysian Parliament prediction date (s)

After almost two years of speculating over the dissolution of Parliament and a call for an early general election, the Malaysian public is weary of waiting and has become skeptical of date predictions. Although there is only two months left for an automatic dissolution of Parliament under the Constitution, the Malaysian Prime Minister still has the de facto prerogative to dissolve it earlier and call for a general election.

The predicted dates for the dissolution of Parliament by Mr. Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the perennial opposition party for the past fifty years or more in Malaysia, are quite close. So are the dates provided in the Malaysian Chronicle on Monday, February 25, 2013, since the dates were proffered by source(s) who had attended the meeting with the Prime Minister the previous Friday, February 22, 2013?

The predicted dates (from reliable sources as well) ranged from February 22 to March 7, 2013 in Mr. Lim’s blog while the Malaysian Chronicle’s source indicated the dates to anytime between March the 1st to March 15th.

Unless someone can really read the mind of the Prime Minister, how would we know if the predicted dates are correct or not?

But have no fear, since the Book of Changes is here!

Even before the Prime Minister has had intimated the various dates for the dissolution of parliament to his senior ministers that particular Friday, February 22, 2013, the Book of Changes has already indicated the timing (dates) to this student. Of course, as the position of a Prime Minister carries certain charisma, therefore the dates given in my blog could be out by a day or two.

According to my interpretation of the Book of Changes prognostication and the timing, the Prime Minister will on March 9, 2013, or within a week thereafter, call for the Malaysian Parliament to be dissolved.

Therefore the quoted prediction dates in the other two blogs are quite close.

If Yijing aficionados and skeptics reread my actions and hints provided in the previous article published on February 21, 2013 titled “When the Book of Changes say”, they may discern if I really know the timing or not.