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playing poker and teaching science: Half the Damn Chips
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Half the Damn Chips

Do you ever get tired of learning?

As a professional educator dedicated to molding young minds, I know the value of a good education. Scientific, peer-reviewed studies demonstrate a direct correlation between the grades a student achieves in school and the students' future happiness.

Higher grades translate into the opportunity for a happier life. Statistics prove this unequivocally.

I relate this fact to my students with my “D” speech. I give it every year. Here’s the abbreviated version: If you are SATISFIED with receiving D’s then you are satisfied with below average. If you are satisfied with below average then that’s the kind of life you can expect to have. You’ll have a below average job with below average income, a below average house, a below average car, a below average spouse, and a couple of below average kids.

*note: I do try to make it clear that I am talking about being satisfied with below average and that there are students who work very hard and may still receive a D. Students who work hard can still achieve a happy life.

The founder of Faber College said it quite eloquently, “Knowledge is good.”

I learned yet another lesson at the poker table yesterday. In a one table Omaha 8/b sit-and-go, I was in the final five with an above average stack when I three-quartered the chip leader, and then put out the fifth place finisher.

I was sitting on a stack that represented HALF of the chips in play with the remaining HALF spread out among the other three players.

I had half the chips.


Half the damn chips.

I even said to myself, “Self. You have half the chips. You can coast into the money.”

Poker is about making money. Right??

I forgot that fact and made it about competing and winning. I got a couple good starting hands and went past the flop with them and invested too much money and then tried to push the short stack off a hand, and then, and then, and then…

Bubble Boy.

Note to self: don't be a donkey!

So today I'm at at NLHE sit-and-go and make it to the top four, again with half the chips. Half the damn chips. I told myself, "Self, you have half the damn chips. You can coast into the money."

What did I do you ask?

I had half the damn chips..... I coasted into the money, put out the third place finisher, and put another $75 into my account.

Knowledge is good.


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