Poker as a martial art
The more I play and study, the more I see an interesting correlation. I started to see poker as a martial art.
Let me explain.
In martial arts you start from the lowest levels, white belt, the idiot beginner who's spewing fists and legs all over the place, sometimes gets the hit, but a good fighter is executing him on the spot. You keep raising through the kyu ranks, the belts get more coloured, you reach the dan ranks, you are already good and you know it, but you keep learning, don't hit the ceiling, you know it's gonna take a lifetime. The discipline is shaping you as a man, makes you better and more balanced. A basic lesson in martial arts is to not get involved in conflicts blindly, to be flexible and to know when to attack and when to withdraw.
When you reach the utmost highs you get the white belt again, like the beginners, but this time in recognition of your purity of practice. And you're never allowed to think you know everything, When you do think so, you're lost. At this level you may play the fool, you may look soft and apathetic, because you know what you're doing and will strike when nobody's expecting.
In poker the kyu-dan ranks would be the stakes, probably 200NL online would be 1 dan. At high stakes we already talk about white-belt seniors, who may often look playing like ordinary fish, but think upon the game at fully another level. And if you, ordinary fish, come and try to play like them, because you've seen them doing so, you'll get burned like crazy.
And tournaments would be like movie fights, when the hero is battling 10-20 folks at once and somehow beats them all down
There's a lot to be said and I wait for your vision. I diiscovered in my little playing time that poker is ultimately a noble art, with all miseries you may encounter at times. There are fish at high stakes - and in martial arts they sometimes buy belts or run phantom federations. But the good ones are revealed in time.