Blues and poker

As some of you know, I’m almost as avid about poker as I am about playing the blues. Is there any crossover between the skills required in each of those pursuits? Or, do bluesmen make good poker players?
I’ve heard, in TV interviews, people claim that their professional backgrounds help them in poker. Everything from cage fighter to auctioneer, they say that because they’ve learned some set of professional skills, that makes them good poker players. Some of those claims might be true. Heck, all of them might be true to some extent. There are many skills needed in poker, and you might learn those skills through other businesses or occupations. However, most poker players overestimate their own abilities. So saying, “I’m a good poker player because I’m a good manicurist” (or whatever) might just be part of that same overestimation.
So what about my principal occupation, musician, does that help me in poker?
Well, I actually think being a musician can harm your poker game to some extent. Because music is all about the rhythm. And poker is not. That is, you win a hand, that doesn’t mean you’re going to win the next one. Or you raised and then waited one street, doesn’t mean it’s time to raise again. There usually isn’t a rhythm to a poker game, at least not one you can recognize as it’s happening, and if it there is a rhythm, it’s a much slower one than any song! So don’t try getting into the groove.
Being a performer (of any type, not just a musician) might benefit you at the poker table, because you are used to being watched. For some poker players that is a tough thing to get used to, having people watch you carefully. Performers love that attention of course. But be careful not to go into an act, unless you really know what you’re doing. You could give away information that you don’t want to while you’re entertaining the “audience” who are really your opponents.
Maybe blues, specifically, helps prepare you for the ups and downs of poker, through its lyrics. Blues is all about winning and losing at love and relationships, how even good times turn bad and bad times don’t last forever. That’s a good attitude to have when gambling! Good luck.

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