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Friday, 24 February 2012 08:00

Haitian Voodoo & The Power Of Poker

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"In a game of poker, I can put the players' souls in my pocket." Beausourire, Haitian Poker Player

Strange words you might think at first, but perhaps there’s more to Beausourire’s boast than meets the eye.

Poker, out of all skill games that we play, even chess, is surrounded with an air of mystery. Luck can never be explained and even the best poker players find it hard to describe just what it is which makes them so successful. There are times I’ve played when I’ve felt that I was being guided to play and even if I was holding a bad hand, my gut instinct told me I should play.

Beausourire was a famous poker player from Haiti, where the practice of Voodoo originated and his words clearly echo his religions sentiments. For Beausourire, playing poker was not about winning but something far more menacing and disturbing. He wanted to take players souls.

When you or I play poker, we may be slightly superstitious, in that we need to wash our hands before we play or smoke a cigarette but for Beausourire the way he played poker became a manifestation of his belief in the power of Voodoo. He believed he actually could control you or I, and in turn the outcome of a game.

Cards have been used throughout the centuries for mystical purposes, in particular the Tarot, to tell the future. However when we play poker nowadays online it seems like a much more cut and dry affair. Sometimes I find myself pining for a deeper level of involvement beyond the everyday scale of winning or losing, with which we measure our achievements by.

So the next time you play Texas Hold ‘em or even free poker perhaps you could think not in terms of winning or losing hands but how you could put a players soul in your pocket...