The A-Game And The D-Game

Poker legend Doyle Brunson recently said something about poker that I think applies to most other things as well:

Chip Reese said something I’ve always remembered. He said when he’s playing his A-game, he’s not any better than the rest of the guys that are playing their A-game, ‘but my D-game is about the same as my A-game,’ and that’s where he was different. I think the mark of a great player is when things start going bad, not when they’re going good.

For some reason, Sachin Tendulkar comes to mind here. He’s been off his A-game for a long, long time, but he’s still been scoring the runs at a decent average. I can think of other players in the Indian cricket team, though, who look terrible on their D-game.

This applies to the arts as well. How horrible Salman Rushdie’s D-game is. How very good the Beatles D-game was. And so on. I’m sure you can think of many more…