The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the pinnacle of a poker player’s career. It’s the equivalent of the World Cup for a soccer player, the Olympics for an athlete and the Superbowl for an American Football player.
So professional poker player David Diaz must be feeling pretty sick this morning, after finding out that he has received a lifetime ban from any casino or hotel owned by the Caesars Entertainment Corporation, particularly as Caesars own the WSOP brand and the casino where it is currently being held.
So what did David Diaz do that merits a lifetime ban from the holy grail of poker events? He can’t tell us what he did because he doesn’t know himself. David Diaz was drunk. So drunk that he cannot remember a single thing.
This story is a classic case of the pain and pleasure principle in effect in our society. More than 80% of the world’s population drink alcohol and it’s safe to say that the habit is ingrained in our society. In order to make sure that we continue to ‘fit in’ we develop the ability to apply a lot of pleasurable experiences to the consumption of alcohol, and pass the painful experiences as a much smaller part of the wider scheme.
In the case of Diaz, he has no doubt has been drunk thousands of times before. Some nights would have ended without incident, and a lot of fun, others would have ended with one or more people getting upset, and every now and then you have a humdinger of a problem like the one Diaz currently faces.
This is what happens when you drink. You need to widen your scope and purvey the sight of the bigger picture. Poker players know and understand that in the short term luck is king, and it’s only over the long term that the skill of the players can emerge to take control of the edges needed to win in this game.
Alcohol is no different.
In the short term you may have some fun and create some wonderful memories. But it’s an illusion. Do you really think alcohol has the ability to make you laugh? If it did then why not prescribe it to the depressed? The trick of alcohol is that it gets you to believe that it has a benefit.
People make you laugh, not alcohol.
Over the long term your body will suffer and you will hurt a lot of people through your lack of control and inhibitions brought on by this deadly drug. Is a lifetime of believing that alcohol makes you happy worth a lifetime ban from doing something you love?
So now the million-dollar question.
Will David Diaz learn his lesson and never touch another drop of alcohol ever again in his life? If he didn’t drink alcohol how could he ever be banned for life from the WSOP? By all reports Diaz is a very friendly guy at the table. A man who had to overcome cancer at the age of four. A battle that resulted in the loss of one of his arms. But will he pay heed and stop drinking, or will he simply put this incident down as the one that got out of control? Will he tell himself that he needs to cut down in the future? Will he kid himself that he has any form of control when it comes to alcohol?
Only David Diaz has the answer to these questions. I hope that he gets interested enough to want to see the bigger picture. I really do.
Now I want every single person who reads this post to think of the worst thing that you have ever done whilst intoxicated and ask yourself whether it would ever happen had you been sober?
How did that event change your life? Do you have a secret that weighs you down that can never be shared? Share it with me. Write about your biggest screw-ups right now. Feel the pain, and for once just forget the illusion of pleasure that alcohol casts upon your mind.
Photo courtesy of Plutor cc @ flickr .com