The first hint that something was missing came from the card we had dealt to Joe Hachem. “I am not very happy,” said Joe, “at all.”
A bit of imagination, and poker would have been transformed. In the first few turns, we would have had an alternate dealer, with only one set of cards. Poker would have changed to a five-card stud game, with a minimum of 10 players, and we would have had a special rule for the first three rounds.
While we were waiting for the starter pack, we sat around a table, telling stories and talking about how we had played games before, and how the rules had changed in each of them. When he had turned a half a dozen cards, Joe pointed to the same card and said “That’s mine.”
As a player, and poker enthusiast, I can’t help but see how the story works. All of us who are fans of poker love the story behind the game. It gives the game a greater importance. While it would be nice to pretend that the story is true, I guess it isn’t.
Another part of the story that intrigues me is that I am a life coach, and that someone else, at least in the beginning stages of my career, asked me for an opinion on a subject, that of what is a winning hand? I have done this many times and have always been given the same answer: there is no perfect hand, because there is no perfect person.
But this is not to say that any of us would have won a hand of poker had it been played the way it was originally. If you change one thing, or the other, or the cards, or even the dealer (or whoever is responsible for dealing the cards) or whatever, you will still have a game. But it will be a different game, with different rules, and the person playing will look like he has a better game, and it will still be a game.
So it is a story that is told, but the “story” is more about how poker was played. It is also a story that was “improved” upon by someone else and was later adapted for use in poker.
I call this “conforming,” and one of the ideas that has been followed by many people is to fit the story into their own lives. You can do that with any story, but some people have a greater affinity for such things. For example, a story that talks about a job that was taken and now there is not a job will have greater resonance than a story that talks about people who have chosen not to work. Both are true, but a former employee may be more interested in the former, while a person who chooses not to work may be more interested in the latter.
After Joe had returned home, the next move was to place the cards back and put the cards back on the table. We called out the names of the players and began again. Each time, we made a few changes to the winning hand, and we did it again. The game continued until there were only three left.
During the third round, the players, being on a high-stakes bet, began to play by the normal rules. The dealer faced the table, and the pots were raised, called, and re-raised. Then, when we made a decision, the dealer turned around and dealt. It was then time for Joe to take his money and leave.
Of course, there were no prizes, but I think we all learned something during the game. When we were playing, we never expected to make the final table. Because of the excitement of the last round, we did not have the focus to make sure that we were all working towards the same end result.
We all have been there, and it is easy to see how big a difference a little bit of polish, as the story tells the story, makes. and so it is not surprising that there are stories that are told, and stories that are adapted, in order to make the stories tell themselves. and make money.