Poker, practicing law, and elections


I caught the tail end of an interview recently. The reporter asked an expert about the election and the expert used an expression that caught my attention: “The best possible outcome vs. the best outcome possible.”

You want to win everything (best possible outcome) but you have to accept the best outcome possible–under the circumstances.

As a lawyer, you want to win every case but you can have a successful career if you win a preponderance of them. You want to sign up the biggest cases or clients but you can earn a great income with smaller ones.

I played a lot of poker in college. I wasn’t as aggressive as I could have been and was rarely the biggest winner for the night. But most nights I walked away with a tidy profit. A fellow player was very aggressive. He bet big and often went “all in”. He won a lot of big pots but lost a lot, too. Most nights, he finished down.

No matter what our path, most of us will agree we need to know “when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em”. You do the best you can and live to fight another day.

Some will say, “that’s not how I want to live my life”. For them, it’s full speed ahead, no matter what.

Sometimes they win. Sometimes they crash and burn. Either way, we hope they have our phone number on speed dial.

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