Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We're moving the White House to Vegas, baby!


Ken wrote an entry yesterday about an article he read in Time. It concerned the candidates' preferences when it comes to gambling. (Senator McCain prefers craps, and Senator Obama is into poker.) He got some comments saying that people thought that was pretty much a fluff piece for Time to publish, and that such things have no bearing on the campaign.

I beg to differ! I haven't read the article yet, but from Ken's synopsis, I totally get the relevance. It's nothing specific like policies or opinions, but I think your choice of casino games says a LOT about a person's personality.

Craps, for example, is very much a game of chance. While there is some strategy as to how you place your bets, whether you win or lose depends completely--and literally--upon the roll of the dice. And sometimes it's not YOU rolling the dice, it's the guy down at the end of the table, so you're counting on HIS luck to not crap out. The bets get bigger and the stakes get higher as you continue, and it's been my experience that when you win, you win big, but the same goes for losing. You can go up by quite a bit, but lose a bundle as you continue. To me, it's a very chancy game. It's a lot of fun when the rolls are going your way, and it's even more fun when you're rolling and everyone is winning because of you. It's one of the more adrenaline-charged games you can play, in my book.

If you prefer craps above all other casino games, it tells me that you like to be on the edge a bit. You get off on that adrenaline rush, and you're willing to take the chance on winning big while knowing that you could lose just as big. You're a little impetuous, but you enjoy the excitement of the game. You like to take chances.

Poker, on the other hand, is a more deliberative game. While there is chance involved in what cards you're dealt, it is up to you as to how you want to play them. A good poker player will know his odds of getting two pair or a full house, three of a kind or a flush, etc., and play accordingly. They will know when to stop betting, cut their losses, and fold. They will also know when it's time to bluff, and they will be very good at it. Poker, much like blackjack, takes more thought and strategy than pure games of chance like craps or roulette. It also takes more concentration as you focus on the players around you and learn their style of play and bluffing.

If poker is your poison, it tells me that you're more thoughtful when it comes to your games. You're not willing to hand things over to fate, you want a little more control. You want to play smart and fair, but you know when you have to be misleading, and sometimes you've got nothing in your hand, so you DO have to bluff. You don't like to take big chances, and will deliberate before taking quick action.

If you stop and think about both of our candidates, this fits very well with their personalities. Senator McCain has always been known as a bit of a maverick, and has been accused of being hot-headed (I think that overstates it--he's got a temper, but who doesn't?). Senator Obama has a more contemplative style, and has methodically gone about picking the people who have built what I like to call his "campaign juggernaut."

While it may be a sort of "pop culture" approach to personality, I find that the gambling analogy and the candidates' choices of games are fairly on-the-money, so to speak. I understand the appeal of both games.

Me? I'm a blackjack girl.


tsalagiman1 said...

Especially for the left, it's interesting how much "isn't relevant". For the most powerful position in the world, people should look at all aspects of the candidates.  It's too important a position and too critical not to.

I got the connection too.  I think Time was also doing a little balancing between the straight out serious analytical articles and something a little lighter.


carouselqueen70 said...

I agree that it is relevant. Everything that they do shows us what kind of president they will be. What they do in thier personal life plays a big part in how they will act as president. I am not sure if many will agree. ..hugs, Christine

rdautumnsage said...

Either way you put it, It's my hope that either candidate isn't willing to gamble on the stakes needed to reform the US and get us out of this recession. The references were interesting...(Hugs)Indigo

dbdacoba said...

I was a horse player myself and, very much like poker, it required research, concentration and being alert to, and preparted for, the changes and surprises that happen, smetimes at the last minute.  A good poker player will also fold, even with a good hand, if the pot isn't large enough to compensate him for the percentages of the win/loss ratio.  I have spent an hour researching a race and then passed it because I couldn't come up with a clear choice.  I made a profit at the race track because I was careful and considerate about it.  I would sooner trust myself in the hands of a poker player than a crap shooter.

Thank you for this entry Beth.

frankandmary said...

Yes, I was a doubter on that Time entry of Ken's.  I live about 1 1/2 hrs from Atlantic City & used to visit often enough at one time to make a personal assessment of the folks I went with, different ones at different times, & I didn't think that sort of environment showed their true nature.  I tended to see (along with Disney, Great Adventure, all LET US ENTERTAIN YOU places) more led to mischief behavior, let loose mentality.  Also most of the people I went with played different things accordinging to the amount of money & time they had, which differed with each visit to an extent. My most cautious friend "IRL," as opposed to casino life, tended to be very wild, spendy & flirty if she had a bit of extra time & a nice amount of cash on her & she also played high risk then.  I don't think she'd run the country that way, but since she is a Green voter, I doubt she'll ever get the chance. ~Mary

buckoclown said...

You are Aces in my book :o)