Tag Archives: poker face

No Sense in Strong Without a . . .

by Greg Hague

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.


Weak?  Play Strong.  Convincingly…

I was a poker veteran by now.

At 12 years old, I had already sat in on some of Chubby’s Friday night games.

Tonight, I would use a lesson Chubby taught me:

“In poker, and in life, when you are weak – play strong.

He explained,

“Life is like poker in so many ways.  Lenders make loans to those who they believe are not much in need.  People don’t ask you to lead unless they perceive you are a person of strength.  The world pities the weak, but follows the strong.”

So, back to the game.

I had a junk hand – weak.  But the pot was heavy.  Time to play strong.

“I’m all in,” I said, in my deepest, manlike tone.

I could feel my lip quiver a little.  A bit of sweat on my brow.

The men looked at each other, smiling.

“I’ll call you,” Chubby said.

My head snapped back in horror.  Chubby had tricked me!  I watched him scoop my allowance off the table with the rest of the pot!

I stormed out of the room.

Later, Chubby came into my room.

“I did exactly what you said – I played strong when I was weak and you cleaned me out!” I explained.

“No, Greg, I said, ‘when you’re weak, play strong CONVINCINGLY.’  No sense in strong without a straight face,” he laughed.

What did I learn that night?

The weaker you are the stronger you act. No sense in strong without a straight face.