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"I understand and approve of your horror," said the Oldest Member, gently. "But you must bear in mind that Jenkinson's is not an ordinary case. You know and I know scores of men who have never broken a hundred and twenty in their lives, and yet contrive to be happy, useful members of society. However badly they may play, they are able to forget. But with Jenkinson it is different. He is not one of those who can take it or leave it alone. His only chance of happiness lies in complete abstinence. Jenkinson is a goof."
"A goof," repeated the Sage. "One of those unfortunate beings who have allowed this noblest of sports to get too great a grip upon them, who have permitted it to eat into their souls, like some malignant growth. The goof, you must understand, is not like you and me. He broods. He becomes morbid. His goofery unfits him for the battles of life. Jenkinson, for example, was once a man with a glowing future in the hay, corn, and feed business, but a constant stream of hooks, tops and slices gradually made him so diffident and mistrustful of himself, that he let opportunity after opportunity slip, with the result that other, sterner, hay, corn, and feed merchants passed him in the race. Every time he had the chance to carry through some big deal in hay, or to execute some flashing coup in corn and feed, the fatal diffidence generated by a hundred rotten rounds would undo him. I understand his bankruptcy may be expected at any moment." (From The Heart of a Goof, pgs. 16-17)
It has been said that the first stirrings of talent and greatness in athletics, the arts and science can be observed in someone when they are very young. Likewise those destined for a life filled with bookie joints, pawn shops and flophouses also exhibit unquestionable signs during their formative years. For a list of these 'tells,' you need look no further than ...
Your mounting debt has occassionally prompted visits from a mob Lego breaker.
You plead with your parents to buy you a puppy but only if it's a Greyhound.
You regularly engage in the questionable practice of "Flashcard counting."
Your prom date is an Atlantic City cocktail waitress.
In math class, before the teacher even gets to finish the "One train leaves Chicago and another leaves Toledo..." question, you're down for a five spot on Toledo.
You're barely nine and you've already invented a loaded dice version of 'Trouble.'
The only time you opened your social studies textbook was for a gambling raid perp walk.
"How can I change my luck?" Research reveals that the luckiest people don't wait around for good things to happen - they generate their own good fortune. And you can do it, too - just follow these proven, easy methods to start improving your luck right now!
By Marina Khidekel
Surprising secrets of lucky people!
What makes someone lucky? Contrary to what you may think, it's not about being in the right place at the right time, says luck expert Steve Gillman. It's about having a certain mindset. To start thinking like a lucky person, he suggests:
Research shows lucky people share a common characteristic: optimism! By having positive expectations, they actually cause positive outcomes through their own behavior. Not a natural optimist? You can become one! Before starting any new task, imagine yourself doing great at it. You'll retrain your brain to expect the best, which opens you up to better fortune!
Following your hunches!
We all have gut instincts, but naturally lucky people trust these feelings. For example: You're honored to have been asked to chair a community group, but your stomach flutters nervously? Decline! Hunches are your sub-conscious telling you the right thing to do!
Filtering out anything unlucky!
Experts say lucky peoo;e dwell only on good things and let the bad fall away. By concentrating on the positive, they've trained their brain to look for opportunities for lucky breaks. You can, too, by taking 10 minutes once a week to reflect on what's going well for you. Soon, you'll find yourself feeling luckier, which actually leads to being luckier!
Easy moves to make things go your way!
Studies show that lucky people socialize in ways that can benefit them, says motivational speaker Susan RoAne. She suggests:
Giving a compliment!
See a woman with great hair? Tell her! Noticing others' strengths not only increases your alertness to the world - a trait lucky people possess - but helping someone feel good about herself helps you become more confident, which opens you up to lucky breaks!
Talking to strangers!
Lucky people admit to regularly striking up convesations with people they don't know - such as in line at the grocery store. Doing so increases their chances of learning about new opportunities that they otherwise wouldn't have heard about.
Deepening your bonds!
Experts have found that forging more personal connections with people already in your life can increase the power of those relationships to bring you luck. So, for instance, when you talk to a co-worker you don't know that well, make eye contact, smile, ask her questions and truly listen to what she's saying. Research shows people are more willing to help friendly people they feel they can trust.
Accepting that invite!
The next time you're invited to a party, say yes! Experts say almost all luck comes from opportunities other people present to us - and many of those opportunities come from random connections we make at events we could have skipped. By just showing up, you put yourself in a place to increase your connections - and your good fortune!
Tricks to overcome any unlucky break!
Ever wonder why some people seem born for success? Author and luck expert Gillman and Stanford psychology professor John D. Krumboltz, Ph.D., say it's all about taking the right actions after a disappointment. Try:
Looking for the silver lining!
Lucky people tend to look at problems as opportunities, not just negatives. For instance, if you have a setback - like an argument with your husband - look at it from another angle: A disagreement can be a springboard for a discussion about your relationship, which can bring you closer!
Taking the blame yourself!
Lucky people aren't immune to blunders - but their natural reaction is to accept personal responsibility for them (even when others were also to blame), instead of stewing, for example, "If only Rita hadn't forgotten the report..." Taking responsibility for things means you'll strive to better the situation - helping ensure a better outcome next time! (-- p. 23)
Secrets of Lucky People A Study of the Laws of Good Luck
By Steve Gillman
How to Create Your Own Luck
By Susan RoAne
Luck Is No Accident Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career
By John D. Krumboltz
The New York Times Magazine
The Medium Flop Poker players share their hard-luck tales online.
By Virginia Heffernan
Online-poker forums have turned the gambler’s time-honored “bad beat” story — a tale of a seemingly surefire victory gone wrong — into a literary art. A timely literary art. When it comes to online poker, bad-beat stories entertain an inevitable, if unspeakable, contemporary worry: the Internet is rigged. And who doesn’t brood on that from time to time? Facebook is taking our data; our surfing patterns are being tracked; the bill for all this free info is bound to come due someday.
Someone on Wikipedia defines it with uncommon eloquence: “ ‘Bad beat’ is a subjective term for a hand in which a player, who had what appeared to be strong cards, nevertheless loses.” In a bad beat, four aces are always losing to a fluke straight flush, and some idiot opponent is always lucking into great cards at a statistically improbable time. An exemplary bad-beat narrative sounds like this: “I went all-in on the flop with aces, the board was AKQ rainbow, got called by 57 suited who also called my huge raise preflop, and lost to runner runner flush.” (Thank you, Doron Singer at Part Time Poker.) ...
Granting, then, that the primary goal of a bad-beat story is to get something off your chest, there are narrative strategies you can employ to make sure other posters don't yawn you off a board. To win sympathy and kudos, according to at least one bad-beat narratologist, you have only to make clear how focused and intelligent you were, how high the stakes, how slim your odds of losing, how vile your opponent was and how well you command the idiom of your game. Do all that, the guardians of the form seem to agree, and you;ll recoup your losses - of dignity, anyhow. (-- pgs. 18-20)
'I want to talk to you about Society Spice,' said Sir George severely, dismissing the minor subject of costume. He retrieved the copy of the paper from the corner into which his just indignation had caused him to fling it, and began to turn its pages with knitted brow, Roderick eyeing him the while with all the care-free insouciance of a man watching a ticking bomb.
'Ha!' barked Sir George suddenly, lifting his son and heir a clear two inches off the seat of his chair. 'Just as I thought! It isn't there!'
'The fourth instalment of that series on Bookmakers' Swindling Methods. It has been discontinued. Why?'
'Well, you see, father -- '
'Pilbeam told me it was a great success. He said there had been a number of letters about it.'
Roderick shuddered. He had seen some of those letters - the ones which Pilbeam, a jovial enthusiast, had described as the fruitiest of the bunch.
'Well, you see, father,' he bleated, 'it was so frightfully personal.'
'Personal!' Sir George's frown seemed to darken the room 'It was meant to be personal. Society Spice is a personal paper. Good heavens, you don't suppose these bookmakers can afford to bring libel actions, do you?'
'But, father --'
'All the better if they did. It would be an excellent advertisement, and no jury would award them more than a farthing's damages.'
Roderick shuffled unhappily.
'It isn't so much libel actions.
'What do you mean?'
'Well, father, it's like this. I happened to be down at Kempton Park last Saturday, and I met a man who told me that Ike Bullett was going about uttering the most awful threats.'
'Ike Bullett? Who's Ike Bullett?'
'He's one of the bookies. The articles have been particularly outspoken about him, you know. And he was threatening that if I didn't stop them he would put the Lads on to me and they would come and butter me over the pavement.'
Sensational as this announcement was, it seemed to leave Sir George completely unimpressed. He did not actually snap his fingers, but he made an odd contemptuous noise at the back of his throat which amounted to a finger-snap. Having done this, he proceeded to speak his mind.
It was a manly, sturdy attitude that he adopted. He defied Ike Bullett and all his kind. Ike Bullett, he seemed to suggest, might put all the Lads in the world on to Roderick, but he couldn't intimidate him, Sir George. He faced with a fine, fearless unconcern the prospect of people buttering Roderick over the pavement. Not since the days of Lucius Junius Brutus had there been a father so ruggedly careless of the comfort of his son.
'The series,' said the proprietor of the Mammoth Publishing Company tensely at the end of a striking passage in which he had voiced some of the resentment he felt at the mean trick which Providence had played upon him in making him Roderick's father, 'will be resumed. At once. Understand that!
'And if,' said Sir George valiantly, 'this Ike Bullett of yours doesn't like it he can lump it!'
'Very well, father,' said Roderick hopelessly. ... (From A Marriage has been Arranged, pgs. 12-13)
"Why, sometimes in the picking season," said the Tankard, "I've had as many as six (wasps) standing on each individual plum, rolling their eyes at me and daring me to come on."
Mr. Mulliner looked up from his hot Scotch and lemon.
"Suppose they had been gorillas?" he said.
The Tankard considered this.
"There wouldn't be room," he argued, "not on an ordinary-sized plum."
"Gorillas?: said a Small Bass, puzzled.
"And I'm sure if it had been a gorilla Mr. Bunyan would have squashed it just the same," said Miss Postlethwaite, and she gazed at the Tankard with whgolehearted admiration in her eyes.
Mr. Mulliner smiled gently.
"Strange," he said, "how even in these orderly, civilized days women still worship heroism in the male. Offer them wealth, brains, looks amiability, skill at card tricks or at playing the ukelele ... unless these are accompanied by physical courage they will turn away in scorn."
"Why gorillas?" asked the Small Bass, who liked to get these things settled. (From Monkey Business, pgs. 115-116)
Chan's No. 1 son, Jimmy, a contender in the 100-metre swim at the 1936 Summer Olympics and detective wanna-be, learns that Pop Charlie made a surreptitious switcheroo to obtain the highly coveted mystery invention presumably intended as a de-coder of war intelligence.
Chan, Jr.: But when did you get it, Pop?
Sr.: Took opportunity to acquire same during excitement in girls' dormitory.
Jr. Then no wonder you weren't worried when Hopkins got away.
Sr. Important lesson for good detective. When all players hold suspicious cards, good idea to have a joker up sleeve.
Poker's one-time leader has just folded its hand. WPT Enterprises, the parent company of the renowned World Poker Tour, raised the game's stakes a few years ago, helping create the huge surge in popularity of no-limit Texas Hold 'Em. A televised tour, giving viewers a peek at players' hole cards, was the ace up its sleeve.
During the winning streak, there was talk that WPT could be worth substantially more than its $500 million market value, and that poker legend Doyle Brunson was plotting a bid. But WPT's owners didn't walk away from the table at the right moment. They are selling now for chump change -- a measly $12.3 million and a tiny cut of future revenue.
WPT counted on gamblers' luck. But new players started chipping away at its stack. The company responded by going on tilt -- betting too much on expansion, including costly failed ventures online and in China.
The poker craze may have died down but it hasn't died. The World Poker Tour is a recognized brand with its tournaments still broadcast in 150 countries, and a new deal for an eighth season on Fox Sports in the US.
You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
Know when to walk away, know when to run
You never count your money, when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done.
I ended up with my guardian angels, or rather my demon spirits, at a little roulette table, where I was amazed to discover that my favorite numbers were three, eight, and eleven - a fact of which I had been totally unaware and which turned out to be unalterable. I discovered that I preferred black to red, odd numbers to even, low to high, and other instinctive choices that would no doubt be of great interest to psychoanalysts. I lost a little, then won betting on a single number. This seemed perfectly natural to me, but struck my companions as quite amazing. "Imagine that! After only five minutes , a single number!" I went and lost my winnings on a game of chemin de fer: I was having trouble making sense of the value of the cards, so I was partnered with a charming croupier who decided how I should play. In this way, I discovered that when the odds were even I would not draw at five. (Any player who reads this will now have a complete profile of my style of play.)
And something else I discovered for myself was that, at the gaming table more than anywhere else, it was important to conceal one's emotions. In the course of a single evening I had seen it all, betrayed on people's faces with the kind of intensity and exaggeration affected by certain ham actors: distrust, credulity, disappointment, anger, passion, stubbornness, exasperation, relief, exultation and, even more unconvincingly, indifference. And so I decided that, come what may, whatever the belessings or blows of fate, I would meet them always with smiles and graciousness. And just as my favorite numbers have not changed, so neither has my attitude. I have even been congratulated on my sangfroid by one or two super-phlegmatic Englishmen, and I confess I take more pride in this than in the few other virtues I may have - or thought I had - displayed in my life.
I will not seek to explain here the appeal of gambling; either you are susceptible to it, or you aren't. You are born a gambler just as you are born with red hair, or intelligence, or a malicious nature. ... (From Games of Chance, pgs. 19-21)
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