«Tyranny in Poker: 10 Lessons
The Twentieth Century gave us quite many lessons and its primary wisdom can be embraced by 20 lessons. Lee Davy tried to apply those lessons to Poker and that’s the result.
There are two reasons why I bought Timothy Snyder’s book.
First of all, I’m greatly interested in human belief systems and their forming by some subtle external forces. That’s where I like to play detective and look for clues. Secondly, tyrannical leaders have always been attractive to me, I somewhat wanted to understand them.
Well, when I have read the book, I came to the conclusion, that the described situation would not happen in America. That’s why I considered moving there.
While reading, I couldn’t help pondering over the beef between PokerStars and it’s most important player base in the period of SNE (Supernova Elite) changes.
Well, I should make myself clear from the very beginning: I don’t mean that PokerStars is a tyrannical leader. This company can’t be considered neither oppressive, nor cruel. If there’s anything to blame them, is only their mistake of putting their business interests over customer value. But isn’t it the common mistake of many companies?
Another thing, which is important for our understanding, is the fact, that these things are very fickle nowadays. The social media together with the poker media have turned poker fans into so-called partypoker junkies. And the current situation can become even worse, that’s why the lessons, which I will open below, are equally important for poker companies and players.
I won’t enlist twenty lessons, I just decided that ten lessons would be quite enough. Well, let’s start.
Lesson One: Never Obey in Advance.
There must be no anticipatory obedience. Don’t forget the historical examples in 1932 in Germany and 1946 in Czechoslovakia, when citizens of those countries extended powers of their leaders at the elections. Feeling such voluntary support, the regimes became much stronger.
How can this apply to PokerStars? Recently the company has made a series of changes in its online and live products. The goal of those changes was reducing cost and preserving the ecosystem of poker. A great number of players were not happy with the situation, but almost no one brought their money somewhere else. PokerStars management received the signal from its players that no matter how much they are depressed by the recent changes, they are willing to keep on playing on this site. What else should PokerStars have done, when this company sees the number of players only increase while the costs were reducing?
Lesson Two: Secure Institutions.
To my mind, poker industry suffers from a great lack of institutions, trade unions, which would bring poker players together. This situation is no good, because if all poker players united, they would create a really huge force.
So what poker institutions do we already have? I can remember PPA (Poker Players Alliance) and 2+2 Forum. In the past those organizations did their best to protect poker players from the harmful actions of other poker organizations. One of the example is the ban of online poker in America. Though a poker institution, uniting thousands of people, is a huge force, this ban hasn’t been abolished yet. To my mind, poker organizations have not tried enough.
PokerStars company did organize a tour to California to educate people, but this company was the only one trying. It’s impossible to win, when the group of people is too small. We need a big unity of poker players, the real and powerful organization, which will be able to fight against billion dollar companies, governments and their tyranny.
Lesson Three: One Party is Not Enough.
When one company or organization creates monopoly, the situation becomes dangerous. Nowadays PokerStars company dominates the business of online poker and only PokerStars people can consider it positive. The testament of my opinion is the fact that “difficulty” players take their business somewhere else. PokerStars has made the most innovative software in the poker world and has been offering the most interesting and comfortable life tours.
But the competition still exists and this is good news, because the competitions makes everyone to play it honest. Now PokerStars company struggles against 88Poker and Partypoker.
Lesson Four: Stand Out.
Someone just has to. Here’s the list of our heroes: Alex Millar, Victoria Coren-Mitchell, Isaac Haxton. Of course, it’s scary to assume Rosa Parks’ role, but the world needs some brave men and women to explain that it’s not necessary to keep the status quo.
Not everyone is born a leader, but many people are ready to follow you if you turn out to be brave enough to lead them.
Lesson Five: Find the Truth and Believe It.
Poker people could not help noticing the debate around the PokerStars company. Some players were absolutely sure that they would be able to outperform PokerStars in running the online poker room. The online poker room in its turn believed the truth of number of such people. The example of this situation is the Presidential Elections in the USA in 2016. 78% of Trump’s claims were found to be false. What is the moral of the story? When the truth is not clear, the biggest wallet makes their own truth.
Lesson Six: Search and Investigate.
Do you know that the Internet can be compared with a bomb? This virtual space contains so many different opinions, that’s why it’s extremely important to search, analyze and investigate. If you are involved in this or that business, try to learn as much about it as you can. Don’t just follow the blind crowd and don’t believe people with loud voices and words that seem to make sense. If you hear that ecosystem of poker is almost dead and changes are absolutely necessary, investigate for yourself. If you see a lie, try to find the truth.
Lesson Seven: Corporeal Politics.
Two things must lead resistance to the result. The first one is involving various people of different backgrounds and the second one is collaboration with various people who have not been friends before. The protest should become loud and go on the streets. The poker company won’t feel bad when you keep on tapping away into your account in your favorite social media. Just stand up and get out. Leave your comfort zone and find some other poker rooms. Maybe they will become your alternatives.
Lesson Eight: Find Good Causes and Contribute to Them.
Do you know that poker does much good for charity? Actually, poker people help people more than people from any other professional sports. And this situation happens in the whole world! For example, WSOP (World Series of Poker) helps the One Direction Foundation quite much. PokerStars company has its own charitable organization and helps Right to Play.
Not so long ago poker players came together and created REG (Raising for Effective Giving). #WSOP4Charity campaign urges poker players to donate about 3% of their earnings to reducing people’s sufferings.
Tyranny greatly suffers from charity. If you want to beat the tyranny, find some charity organization and help it.
Lesson Nine: Look at Examples of Other Countries.
That’s the direction of the further development of the poker community. Do you know that about 64% of American players have never crossed the borders of their country? Is it possible to get the overall understanding of the whole world, when you only stay at home?
It’s vital for poker players to travel into different countries and study the local situation. It’s useful to analyze various cultures, talk to different people, because it helps to form a substantive and broad opinion. And those poker players who don’t want to leave their own country should talk to those player who take part in different live tours and online poker rooms.
Lesson Ten: Stay Brave.
The final lesson is the most important one. Sometimes it’s necessary to die for freedom. Death comes to us in different ways. Some people just close their eyes and never wake up, others live their life as if it’s a slow suicide. The latter can apply to those poker players who take part in the online poker rooms, which they don’t like. Can this be called the real and full life, when you are not satisfied with the things you do? I hope you will understand this final lesson properly.