PokerFarce and PokerTruth
Author Ray Michael B
Synopsis of PokerFarce and PokerTruth
Serious poker players are often asked, "What's it really like...the world of poker? The answer is not easy because poker is an amazingly complex game. As complex as life itself. This book will attempt to answer that question. You will be taken to a serious game and be sitting besides the author. That is, you will be a spectator to the unfolding drama of poker.
You will get to meet the players up close and personal, witness their strong and weak points, and watch their varied reactions in victory and defeat. Not only will you "play," but you will have to address those problems that all poker players deal with. This includes bankroll management, developing self control, and understanding what it is that makes a poker player truly great. Your opponents will range from some of the best players in Las Vegas to a brilliant Japanese Admiral as he planned his attack on Pearl harbor.
(246 pages; ISBN #1880685-20-5...$19.95)
Poker Farce and Poker Truth Book Excerpt: The Attack on Pearl Harbor
Combined Fleet of the Japanese Imperial Navy. A naval military genius
Dec. 7, 1941: The Pearl Harbor Attack. The most complex, the most difficult, the most daring, and the greatest and most brilliantly planned and executed military operation in all of the history of naval warfare.
The Principles of Winning- Poker Applied or Operant
- Aggressiveness. Never a doubt about this in Yamamoto, "I am the sword of my Emperor." "Tora (Tiger) - Tora-Tora," a coded signal sent by the raiders that they had achieved a surprise (bet -- all-in coup); and that they were pressing home the attack (the equivalent in no limit hold 'em to "firing the second barrel without hesitation at the turn, to finish the job").
- Implied odds. With the loss of just the ante, (29 planes worth in '41 dollars to about $430,000), with one big surprise bet, one big blow, Uncle Sam nearly went broke. The U.S. Pacific Navy ceased to be a functional and effective fleet for awhile immediately after the attack. Uncle Sam's tab: Hundreds of millions of dollars in material and the men lost. How's that for super-implied odds, folks?
- Know the Game Ways of Thine Enemy. Japanese military
intelligence (through the embassy espionage network in Hawaii)
was superb. They really cased the joint. They really "read" their
man down to the very curlicue on the mustache of the jack of
"Timing is everything." Hit 'em hard when they're running bad, and "hit 'em again if they're asleep at the switch." Admiral Yamamoto attacked after the first payday of the first week of the month, on an early Sunday when everybody was still in a drunken stupor, or were still in bed nostalgically dreaming of a mainland white Christmas. Gordon Prange's voluminous book, At Dawn We Slept, embodied all this.
- Game plan and execution. Tenacity and toughness: Big heart. The attack and its mechanics had been percolating inside Yamamoto's bullet-shaped skull for many years. The logistics involved were staggering; the obstacles mountain high, the risks enormous. Yamamoto hurdled or climbed them all to the very peak against very tough objections or opposition from "battleship admirals," among others.
- The strategic big bluff. Yamamoto's short and long term game
plan and plays were:
- Emasculate the U.S. Pacific Fleet with one "all-in surprise big-bet." Blow the best player out of the game, good and early.
- Get all the "free cards." Without interference from the powerful U.S. Navy, "run-over" the "weak" players in the Pacific game, and win all their black chips (oil), white chips (rubber), red chips (copper, lumber), and yellow chips (IOU's from the vassalage of the conquered nations).
- With the same "free cards," make a strong hand to blow out future contenders in the Pacific pot.
- From a position of strength (chip-leader or board-card lead), dictate a favorable negotiated peace agreement. "Business, buddy. How about a 75-to-25 split pot before you really get hurt, huh?"
Background of the Attack and How It was Predicated and Dominated by the Principles of Winning-Poker
In 1904 the nascent Japanese Imperial Navy soundly defeated the Russian Imperial Fleet in the historic Battle of Tsushima. The Japanese Navy came of age, as did the U.S. Navy, a few years earlier after Admiral Dewey trounced the Spanish Armada at Manila Bay.
Yamamoto, then an ensign and apprentice to one of the greatest modern admirals, Togo, received dismembering and disfiguring wounds in that epic conflict. Convalescing for two months in a hospital, (and congratulated earlier by his mentor-idol Admiral Togo), Yamamoto began serious thought and study of the influence of naval power on geo-politics. He scrutinized England, also an island empire, but smaller than Japan, which wielded so much clout. Not to his surprise, the principle muscle was the powerful Royal Navy. ("Gunboat diplomacy" is an extension of that power; or more directly, Mao's dictum: "Power is what comes out from the barrel of a gun!")
Indeed, "Britannia rules the waves," Yamamoto agreed. Very early in his analytical studies, he came to the conclusion that sooner or later, America and Japan would inevitably play a "heads-up all-in" game for all the marbles in the Pacific; and that he, Yamamoto, would be a principal player (as the sword of his Emperor).
That was the main game.
But first he had to study the future enemy and his game ways. The opportunity came on a silver platter. He was ordered to go on a two year post-graduate course of study at Harvard. His fellow students at Harvard promptly introduced him to the game of poker (and later, bridge), which was to become one of his enduring passions in life.
At first sight, he fell in love with poker. It was so ideally suited to his temperament. At bridge, his memory of cards played was phenomenal, near photographic. But he preferred poker. You see, Yamamoto was a warrior at heart, and poker is a game for the true Samurai.
On campus Yamamoto was a regular guy, well liked, who got along with everybody. He attended socials and many times was the life of the party. Very quickly he learned to speak fluent English. But all was not play. Yamamoto was one of the hardest working students at Harvard in his day. The main thrust of his curriculum was the economics of oil -- the lifeblood of all navies. Well into the deep of night he absorbed every aspect of the American oil industry.
Before he left Harvard he had such mastery over the subject of oil that many American petroleum companies offered him a job. Thank you, but no, thank you, he had no intention of leaving his beloved Imperial Navy.
Before he left America, he traveled the length and breadth of the country, touring factories, and was awed by Uncle Sam's robust industrial musculature. "What power!" he gasped.
On a student's allowance he hitchhiked to Mexico, living like a hobo, taking stock of oil production techniques. Not one detail escaped Yamamoto's spongelike brain. This was a complete observer. All along he kept current on international naval affairs, most particularly naval air power and aircraft carriers which he realized would be the best fist of any fleet.
He returned to Japan and, at age 39 in 1923, was promoted to captain and given his first big command as executive officer of the new air training school at Kasumigaura, the equivalent of Pensacola. Although Japan's foremost exponent of naval air power, he could not fly. He learned how to fly in the morning and did his duties in the afternoon and well into the night.
From 1925 to 1927, he was sent back to America as a naval attache in the Japanese Embassy in Washington to investigate everything pertaining to America's foreign policies, shipbuilding and national defenses. Off duty he was a "regular" in all night home poker games run by the U.S. Military and diplomatic personnel in Washington. They sought his participation because he was such an outstanding player.
Across the poker table were his future military adversaries. He better mentally catalogued their plays and tendencies, their actions and reactions, and their bluffing frequencies, for these would be the same plays and tendencies deployed in the field of combat.
Yamamoto became such a compulsive poker player that if there was no home game, he could not and would not go to bed unless he first played heads-up poker with anyone -- "just to get inside his skull," is how he put it. Clearly, Yamamoto was perfecting his skill at "Third Level Poker Psychology." Think what the enemy thinks you think," -- a skill he would one day use to best advantage.
When there wasn't any poker game at all, he would play shogi (Japanese chess), especially at sea as poker was unknown in the Imperial Navy then.
He sought to perfect his understanding of "position," defense, strategic retreat, regrouping and reattacking. For he knew soon, he would fight in the liquid chessboard of the Pacific Ocean. He returned to Japan and began the Herculean task of rebuilding the Imperial Navy to the most modern navy of its day. Bigger and faster warships and heavy on aircraft carriers were his signature navy.
Yamamoto's carrier air arm was the top of the line, bar none, of all the navies of the world. For well he knew, the Pacific War would be a carrier war.