Poker advice from the Stoics: Say something or let it go

TAGs: Poker Advice from the Stoics, Stoic philosophy

Lee Davy continues to supply you with the very best advice from Stoic Philosophers that can be used to increase your win rate at the poker tables.

When I play live poker, I sweat like a goose waddling onto the dance floor at a fox convention on how to break into chicken coops.

It’s not the heat.

Playing poker in the Rio Casino is like a Wim Hof retreat.

I sweat because I am nervous, and the last time liquid poured from my armpits at the World Series of Poker it smelled like weed. Normally, this isn’t a problem, because you will be hard pressed NOT to find a table at the WSOP that doesn’t house at least one person smelling of weed, but there was nobody on THIS table who smelled of weed.

Except for me.Poker advice from the Stoics: say something or let it go

I didn’t have a change of shirt. I didn’t have any deodorant. And the pro sitting next to me kept looking at me with one of those faces you see after the farmers have lined their fields with turkey shit in a small, rural valley.

At the break, I asked everyone if they had deodorant – except for the pro –  and nobody did. Out of desperation, I sprayed my armpits with a lady’s perfume. It was a disaster. Now I smelled like a drug dealing whore.

And he kept staring.

But he never said anything.

 What to do When You Are Sitting Next to a Drug Dealing Whore

From 161 to 180 AD, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus was the Emperor of Rome. He was an unusual fellow. Back in those days, had a smelly drug dealing whore sat next to an Emperor they would have farted in a gas mask and forced him to wear it.

Aurelius was one of the good Emperors; Stoic philosopher and author of one of the most talked about books in modern business circles Meditations.

 The Stoic philosopher would have had very simple advice for the man stewing in the seat next to me.

Do Something About It

Speak up.

Look, I know it’s as tough as smoked herring, but if the person next to you stinks, and it’s affecting your game, you have to say something. Politely, point out the problem. They might not be aware they have one. Owners of skunks can’t smell them. Cigarette smokers have no idea that buried into every little stitch is the stench of death.

They may thank you.

Accept It

 People smell.

Take it.

Stoic Philosophers like reminding you that the only thing you control is your thoughts. You can’t control someone’s body odour, so why stew over it? Take it, slip some Vicks under your nose, or move seats.

Sitting next to someone who stinks can quickly turn an “A’ game into a “C” game, but whose fault is that? It’s not the fault of the omnipresent olfactory ogre. It’s yours for allowing his odour to annoy you.


It’s -EV.

I know, because I spent 12 levels at the WSOP complaining about the smell of my own and it ruined my game.


views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of