Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. A version of this entry was first published in Poker Player newspaper in 2007.
This is part of a series by Diane McHaffie. She wasn’t a poker player when she began writing this series. These entries chronicle the lessons given to her personally by Mike Caro. Included in her remarkable poker-learning odyssey are additional comments, tips, and observations from Mike Caro.
Diane McHaffie is Director of Operations at Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy. She has traveled the world coordinating events and seminars in the interest of honest poker. You can write her online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lessons from MCU
— With bonus content by Mike Caro (pending) —
Lesson 108: Have you seen the God of Irony in action?
First you ask, “Who is the God of Irony?” Well, Mike describes him as, “a pathetic little being with too much power and not a single worthwhile idea of his own.” You shake your head and frown,” What does the God of Irony do?” The God of Irony is in control of impossibly bad beats, those unbelievable hands in which it “just can’t happen.”
The God of Irony is sitting on the edge of his chair listening to your thoughts in anticipation of implementing that idea in the most bizarre fashion imaginable, one guaranteed to make you groan in frustrated agony. Mike says that to top it off, the God of Irony doesn’t even have the audacity to gamble.
For example: Have you ever had the thought, “I could only lose if ……, but what are the chances of that?” Tsk, tsk. Therein lies the problem. You had the thought, and since it was such a far-fetched, unlikely thought you shrugged it off. That in itself was a challenge to the God of Irony. You see, the God of Irony now has to prove to you that he can make the unusual actually occur.
You don’t think so? You ask any gambler if he has experienced the God of Irony. Can the impossible happen? You bet! Oh, yes, I was a skeptic, too, just like you. I read Mike’s column about the God of Irony. I’ve heard Mike speak about him, but it’s just hard to fathom until you actually witness it.
Yes, I’ve seen it actually happen to Mike over and over again on sports bets. Why, at first I just thought he was the most unlucky guy I’d ever met. He’d bet on a game, it would be going in his favor, then he’d announce an unlikely way of losing the game, and I’d watch in horror as that thought became reality. What is happening? That’s when he explained the God of Irony. Although Mike himself doesn’t take the theory seriously and just uses it to amuse himself and others, it seemed to me that if Mike could think of a way to lose a game and watch his bet plunge out of sight, then that is exactly what would happen. It’s as if the God of Irony was tuned in to Mike’s wave length.
You would think the God of Irony could be creative on his own, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, he just sits patiently by, waiting for you to think that one impossible, disastrous thought. Then with the formulation of that thought, bingo, it becomes fact and you’re sitting there with your mouth wide open in horror.”This can’t be! I only thought “what if.” It wasn’t supposed to really happen. Nooo!” Well, buddy, if you can think it, the God of Irony will surely make it happen.
Mike doesn’t actually believe that the God of Irony is responsible for these unfortunate occurrences. But maybe that’s how he is able to mentally handle all of his mysterious losses in which he began a sentence, “What if…” and the God of Irony finishes, “Ah, I have the power to make that happen. Yes, indeed, I’ll show him that it isn’t nearly as impossible as he thinks.”
Many gamblers let these happenings affect them mentally. They fear they’ve done something to deserve this cruel twist of fate. It’s as if they are being picked on and tormented, and they’re in a quandary as to why. They moan loud and long about how such an unusual thing could happen.
You see, Mike says that by believing in the God of Irony you “know who the enemy is – a pathetic little being with too much power and not a single worthwhile idea of his own.” You now have someone to blame for those extraordinarily harsh outcomes.
So, instead of bemoaning your astonishing quirks of fate, just sit back and compare God of Irony tales with other gamblers and see who has the most outlandish tale of all. — DM