Monday, February 18, 2008

Poker vs Chess

A friend recently asked me to justify the opinion that Poker is a greater game of strategy than chess, which he foolishly feels is the ultimate game of war.

The Frank Justification continues  here...

Well my friend, allow me to spell it out:

In poker you stand to actually lose something (your hard earned money). In chess you lose nothing (but pride and pieces). The potential risk of being parted with tangible assets enhances all game-play factors. IF you lose, you can lose everything—not just cards or pieces.

In chess your archaically inspired pieces represent nothing different than what the pieces in a Parcheesi game represent. In poker your chips symbolize hard cash. Even when playing for chips instead of cash the symbolism remains and is as real to the players as live fire war game skirmishes are to the military.

In chess you don’t consolidate a victory by taking anything more than an empty board in which you are alone in victory. In chess you win bragging writes. In poker you take your enemies assets to celebrate with at your leisure. In poker you relish the fact that your hated competitor may end up homeless that night due to his loses. In chess you just stare at the other guy a lot.

Unlike war to which chess is so often compared, chess is a one on one game. Like war Poker is a multi player experience involving multiple skill levels, skill sets, agendas and resources.

A poker player maintains an arsenal of tools that are employed solely for the purposes of destroying multiple competitors in a continuously shifting playing field where winner takes ALL. Some players rely on luck; some rely on balls, some on the depth of their pockets, yet others rely on odds, and others on their knowledge of their combatants (i.e. Intel). Like war, and unlike chess, no contest begins on an even playing field. Like war poker is a game based upon multiple forces of attrition and aggressive intent.

Poker maintains all factors that make chess the great game it is and many others that it does not.

Chess is a game like golf or tennis, elegant and sophisticated, yet no one will watch it on TV. Poker is like the Superbowl exciting and dangerous and made for men only. Pansies don’t play poker and if they did they would be eaten alive inside of a minute.

If likened to alcohol then chess is vodka and poker is single malt scotch.

If either can be likened to war then Chess is Clausewitz and Poker is Sun-Tzu.

I have found no game or sport that reveals more about a participant’s character than poker.

That’s the bottom line.


  1. Anonymous6:48 PM

    You are a large Polish wiener, not even a kielbasa, just a mystery meat tube steak. That's right, a frank.

  2. Sounds you've got Frank envy. Can't say I blame you.


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