Erika Ettin: Put on a poker face to play the dating game – Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)

I love playing poker. I can’t say I’m a great player. In fact, well, I’m not very good at all. (I have a hard time folding when I’ve already committed to the hand!) But, I still love it, for better or worse… often worse.

One of the main reasons I keep coming back is that a large part of the game is based on skill. In Texas hold ‘em anyway, you have to figure out which hand makes the most sense given the two cards you’re dealt, in addition to the other five that come later in the game. You need to use strategies that have worked in the past, either for you or for others, you need to practice to improve your skills, and you need to play fairly often in order to stay at the top of your game.

But, what if, after you have thoroughly honed your skills and mastered the art of the game, you still can’t win sometimes? At that point, you just have to resign yourself to trying again next time because the rest of the game is up to timing, chance, and luck. Sometimes you’ll have those working in your favor (pocket aces, anyone?), and other times things just won’t go your way, no matter how well you played.

In online dating, much of your success will be due to hard work. Dating takes work, you ask? Shouldn’t it be easy? In simple terms, no. Online dating isn’t easy, and many people don’t realize it. They think they can just throw a profile (often a mediocre one, with the first few words that come to mind and nothing else) on a website and simply wait to see what happens. That’s like walking into a bar and just plopping yourself

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