Poker and 10 gods

During my college years I used to play texas holdem ocasionally—you know, thursday-night poker with friends, and some occasional multi-player tournaments organize by the local community. Above all, I was at that time playing for fun only. Then after a year, I gradually started to play online more, read a lot of articles and learning about every aspect of the game. I became attached to the game to the point of actually considering myself becoming a pro. However, I was also finishing my undergraduate studies and eventually I won a schoolarship which make me choose graduate school instead.


Due to my interest in both poker and bazi, I decided to do a little bit of research. I started by crawling the web in search for the top 10 poker players of all time. I found that rankings were based in 2 different criteria: Oficial career earnings and No. of times placed 1st. Regarless which criterion you choose, half of the players keep appearing in every ranking.

To my surprise, I found that 3—Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu—of those top 5 players have very strong Friend (F) and 7 Killing (7K) gods in their charts. What is more, two of them, Ivey and Negreanu, share an interesting pillar configuration where the pattern: 7K over IR 7K F appeared in their charts. Notice that this means both have 7K rooted.

Now, how is this related to their extraordinaire poker skills? you might ask. Well, there is a simple explanation—7K is strongly related with they ability to bluff and bluffing is an indispensable resource for any profesional poker player. Hopefully I don't need to convince you of the second part of that statement, others have already stress how important bluff is to poker players. But in order to estabish the link between 7K and bluffing, the latter needs to be described.

Bluffing can be decomposed into another two more granular abilities; first, the courage/determination to put pressure on others players by betting big, and second, being able of doing so with absolute composure (aka puting on a poker face) and therefore giving no hint to other players of what is going on. Agressiveness, authority and control are typical characteristics associated with those who possess strong 7K god.


Another element which plays an important role is the F god. In my experience folks with Strong F god used to have good self-esteem and an innate human mind insight (psychology aptitudes). Which are also very important skills for poker players. Poker is mentally a very challenging endevour, think about it, you have to bet money wisely, while pushing your intuition as well as your ability to constantly do mathematical estimations to the limit. Although some others have pointing out that poker is a game of skill as much as luck, see here and here, the random component to of it is undeniable, making it possible to fail even when you do everything right. This toughness can easily translate into very frustrating situations often leading to the tilt state. Here is when F comes into play, as this god may confers you autocontrol.

I found this very interesting considering that both Ivey and Negreanu are probably the 2 most successful players of their generation and arguably the 2 best players ever. What do you think?.

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