A solution to Dan Colman’s dilemma

Don’t hate on Dan Colman. It feels to me that he felt wrong about the next step so he chose to voice his concerns without knowing exactly how to proceed. He is having a moral dilemma and has not yet found the solution. His intentions seem to be good and honest, and he may have cost himself a lucrative deal. So we should give him some respect. And it seems like he’s finally started a discussion on this topic, so here is my point of view.

First of all, I think the biggest downside of poker wasn’t even mentioned. In many countries, poker is often used as a vehicle by casinos to get people who are interested in a strategy game to do other forms of gambling. It’s the gambling that wastes time, energy, and it destroys lives.

Like any occupation, poker is extremely tough, and unfortunately there are many who don’t make it. So, you could argue that open markets create a lot of losers. That’s another discussion. We are living in a world that is survival of the fittest, and poker is obviously the same, but poker seems to be more fair because everyone has equal chances no matter their age, skin color and education.

The people Dan mentions who suffer from poker are very likely to suffer in other aspects of life or any other job. The poker table can be used as a mirror of your real life. However you treat things at the poker table: making big decisions, how you treat people, how you treat the wins, the beats, your discipline… Are you a risk taker? Are you running away from negative emotions? Colman calls all of this suffering, but maybe it’s just the fastest way of self-developing. By playing poker, you actually get the chance to experience these feelings frequently and learn how to handle them faster. After a breakdown comes a breakthrough, and in poker you have these very often.

Poker should be treated like anything in life. If you don’t find the right balance, it’s not good for you. There are fine lines between playing a strategy game, running away from real life and being addicted.

Use the time at the table as a life experience. I’m not saying you should dedicate your life to poker, but if you ever sit down at a table, use this time to experience yourself. From emotion control, social skills and rationality, whatever you want to take out of poker in order to grow as a person, you have so many opportunities. I see a huge potential in this community as many have been lucky enough to see the world, recognize problems everywhere, and at the same time have had the freedom develop themselves.

For example, one of my biggest lessons that I learned from poker is to fear nobody and respect everybody. You can outsmart everybody and everybody can outsmart you in a single hand. This is the same mistake we do in life. We put people down and put people on pedestals too often.

Don’t get me wrong. I see the big downsides, especially that we lack contributing a lot to society. But once you understand this concept, you are able to make a decision for yourself to add value to society. (Check out the post by REG board members Igor Kurganov and Adriano Mannino on helping people through poker.) Obviously, I’d like everybody to join REG as first step, but what I really would love to see is that every poker player thinks about themselves and how they can contribute, not only with money but all of their resources now and in the future. Trust me, the only way to be 100% happy if you are living in this poker world is to give back.

5 thoughts on “A solution to Dan Colman’s dilemma

  • Hi Phil,

    Very wise words from such a young man.

    I believe in your view that Dan is suffering from a moral dilemma and the One Drop just came a little bit too early for him. You need time on your side to figure out your role in life and had this victory come later in his life then I am sure things would have been so different.

    I have the same dilemma. I currently write about poker and gambling whilst at the same time I try to manage my own gambling addiction, and also coach people to overcome their alcohol addictions. It’s difficult to manage this internal conflict because there is so much fear, worry and anxiety produced by it.

    I don’t know Dan, I have never spoken to him, but after reading his 2+2 post I am sure he’ll figure it out.


  • I have to say — as a recreational poker player and full time tv writer I often sit at a table and I’m impressed by the young people playing the game today (I’m 45 btw which is antient in poker workd!) the people in my industry are often self-absorbed and immature and very cutthroat. It’s a PLEASURE to have people like Phil G in this game. Wow. I mean, this blog is soooo insightful and well written and Phil G is an exemplary guy at the tables (which does mirror life!); I recently learned how philanthropic he is, and that he’s a champion kickboxer as well!! Amazing. Keep going Phil and keep winning… And keep setting the example for your generation….. And others as well!! Bravo bro!

  • Hi Phil,
    I am very happy the “Dan´s event” has started this discussion. So needed! I believe that is what it takes to be happy in “any world” – to give back, to help others. We are one, we are connected. Thanks for this post. Hope you guys continue posting blogs. Talk soon

  • The Colman debate has caused much self-doubt and questioning throughout the poker industry. Your project, your ideas and this website offer a lifeline and a positive choice for guilt-ridden winners, industry professionals, and poker-related businesses.
    Thank you on behalf of the ‘paying’ as well as the non-playing,’parasitic’ members of the poker community 🙂

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