Craftsman vs. tool...

After having the "Sunday Game" cancelled, my friend (the "that guy" of my group of runnin budz) and I decided to head to the local watering hole to watch some football and take in the scenery. Unfortunately, the scenic view was horrible (read - more tool boxes than one would encounter in Home Depot of choice). I'm very observant, but its horrible when "that guy" is pointing out idiot after idiot in a given establishment. There was one moron who had the word "Bitch" written in perminant ink on his forehead. Of course he lived up to his label.

"Bitch" was stumbling all over the place, buying drinks for all his buds, who were all laughing at him and shaking their head. "Bitch" was aware he had "said word" on his forehead, and seemed OK with it. However, I think the ink was somehow affecting his hearing, as he was speaking in a manner similar to how an old person that's losing his/her hearing talks. Said another way, dude was yelling cuz he couldn't hear himself think... Maybe in thinking this one through better, perhaps the idiot couldn't hear himself think because he straight up wasn't thinking? hmmm... After we had our fun with him, he walked down to the end of the bar and was most certainly talking to a set of larger than life "Victoria's Secret Models" (this dude thinks he was surprised to look in the mirror and see "Bitch" on his forehead, he's certainly gonna be surprised when he sees who he is really talkin to, if you catch my drift). I'm not bustin on anyone who might be gravitationally challenged, its moreso that this dude's perception was way off.

Which brings me to my main points. Wouldn't it be nice if the people you sit down at the poker table with all had tattoos on their forehead telling you who they are? "Monster," "Sucker," "Moron," "ATM," "On Tilt," "Fish," and "Lucky Bastard" are a few of the many tags I'd LOVE to see on my opposition's foreheads. That would certainly make life easier for all of us if everyone had these accurate and descriptive terms on their foreheads.

But in reality, I'd propose these tattoos are already there in most of us, if not all. "What?" u ask? "How can you expect me to believe everyone goes to the tat parlor down the street and has their stats on their forehead?" Well, no... they don't go have it placed on their forehead. But if you look hard enough, you can see it.

One of the differences between "That Guy" and a true "craftsman" in the game of poker; even the game of life for that matter is that the craftsman is aware that there are other people playing the game, while "that guy" thinks he is the only game in town. The craftsman knows the opposition has a hand, possibly even almost exactly what that hand is. "That guy" can't see past his own cards. The craftsman studies his opposition and picks his spot, examines risk-reward relative to his chances of success. "That guy" looks no further than the tool box he's in --- unless its spelled out for him in the form of a tattoo on one's forehead. Often, when I am playing against one of "those guys," I raise preflop, we go to the showdown and I turn over a monster of a hand and "they" look surprised every time. I'm not sure why, as I've not been caught "accidentally" raising preflop with garbage. When I'm in a hand, I have quality material; something with positive expected value. I'm no Fred Sanford... I'm not in the junk business, yet everytime the "that guy" at the table seems shocked I have a great starting hand. I think it would help if he was aware I had two cards in front of me. I think that my forehead marking is just as invisible to him as my hole cards are.

When playing poker, you can't stop at your cards. U have to be acutely aware of what your opponent may have... asking yourself (among other things) what hands this guy could play in this manner, is he bluff capable, will he cave to pressure? You want to strive to be the craftsman of your trade, not the tool. A craftsman is a master of his profession and/or hobbies. He people watches when he's not in a hand, looking for the hidden forehead markings, taking in the scenery no matter how ugly it may be. He knows what is around him, the dangers and opportunities each present. And he knows how to utilize his own strengths and is aware of his weaknesses, working to constantly improve and add to his skillsets.

Poker Haiku of the day, dedicated to the idiot who called my 4x raise on my pocket aces...
What a "tool" you are,
Callin me down with five-nine.
What you think I had?