An analogy for poker players…
In poker, you sometimes find yourself having so few chips left that you are vulnerable to being wiped out on the next hand played. Call this being short stacked. In tournament-style house games, most players end up in a short stacked position, sometimes early in the game. This is a difficult position to recover from. Here are some strategies to consider:
Bet aggressively in the hopes of getting out of the short stack position as soon as possible.
Bet conservatively, playing only the best possible hands.
I have found more success with the latter strategy. Both strategies are dependant on luck. The conservative strategy increases the exposure to getting lucky by allowing the player to stay in the game longer and see more hands. 1
In life, like poker, all you can do is play the hands that you are dealt with the best of your ability. Since March, I’ve been short stacked in that I have been effectively all-in on every health decision. The next treatment could be my last if it doesn’t work. At the same time, the current treatment is definitely not going to work for the long term. In this position, our strategy has been conservative, playing just to stay in the game, not to win. 2
A lucky hand often times does not come around. Sometimes you get a great hand and it doesn’t translate to a lot of gained chips. Indeed, in poker, being short stacked is usually a losing position. That is the outcome that has to be expected and planned for.
That’s the reality. I’m going to focus on getting lucky.
Thoughts? Please comment below.
I am a beginner/novice poker player. A better player can comment on the strategy options here. Obviously, it’s a disadvantage if your opponents know your strategy. ↩
conservative/aggressive in the context of health decisions refers to risks and rewards, which may differ from the recommendations based on current standards. ↩