picture of poker chipsJust wrapped up my first column for examiner.com, “Twelve lessons poker can teach you about life.” I’ve started doing some freelance pieces for examimer.com on poker. Officially, I’m the “DC Poker Examiner.” Not exactly my heaviest work, but a fun little bit of freelancing.

Here’s a snippet from the piece:

5. No matter what you do, some days everything will go wrong. Preparation and planning are important, but they won’t spare you from the brutality of bad luck and variance. If you flip a coin, you have a fifty-fifty chance of it landing either tails or heads. Sometimes, if you flip a coin three times in a row, you’ll get heads three times. Unlikely, but it happens. You might flip a coin ten times and get heads each time there as well — less likely statistically, but not impossible. In fact, if you flip a coin a thousand times, you’re bound to have several stretches where heads or tails lands ten or more times in a row. In short: bad luck happens, and it can happen in bunches. Just as you can have a day where you spill coffee on your shirt, wreck your car, and get dumped before dinner, you might have a night where you lose with aces in back-to-back hands, then flop a flush that gets beat on the river by a one-in-twenty long shot. It can feel like a conspiracy, as if supernatural forces are twisting the universe you crush you. And yet, in reality, nothing is after you other than the cold, remorseless cruelty of chance. The lesson: bad luck, like good luck, will come in streaks. Learn to take both in stride.

Read the rest here.