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A Little Happier: You Can’t Win the Hands You Don’t Play.


I love proverbs, true rules, Secrets of Adulthood, koans, paradoxes, and teaching stories. And I also love aphorisms!

An aphorism is a concise, powerful, general observation attributed to a particular person. Because aphorisms are sharp and short, they're grand generalizations, and by saying little, they manage to suggest a lot. Their brevity gives them extra punch.

I’m working on a collection of my own original aphorisms, and I’m also collecting my favorite aphorisms written by other people as well as my favorite proverbs.

In particular, I’m collecting “Proverbs of the Professions.” Proverbs from teachers, doctors, nurses, ski instructors, accountants, computer programmers, horse trainers…I’m collecting them all.

I particularly love the proverbs I’ve collected about poker-playing. They’re so thought-provoking, and, as is so often the case, when a proverb or aphorism applies in one situation, it’s likely to apply to many situations.

Here are my favorite proverbs of poker-players:

  • You can’t win the hands you don’t play.
  • You can win with the worst hand, and you can lose with the best hand.
  • Big raises make big pots.
  • The house always wins.
  • If you can’t spot the fish at the table, you’re the fish. (If you don’t know or can’t guess the meaning of “fish” in this context, a fish is a player who isn’t good at poker.)

I love collecting of all the professions and occupations! If you have any great ones to suggest, please send them my way.

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