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Dunyain and Poker influences. posted 07 Jun 2005, 10:06 by AleoMagus, Commoner

Hello all. Mr Bakker, first of all, congratulations on what is the finest new epic fantasy series in a very long time. I see a little speculation so far on this board about how far reaching, popular, and recognized these books will become. Perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself, as I'm not even finished TWP yet, but if you can keep it up, I have no doubt that these books will not just be big - they will be a new standard in the genre. I'm sure you are told this a lot on here (we must all be fans, right?) but I can pick winners, and you sir have two with you name on them. Anyways, enough gushing. I have a question, albeit somewhat strange and obviously brought on by my own interests. All the same... Were you in any way influenced by a gambling background when you imagined the characteristics and abilities of the dunyain. If not, I suppose this suggestion may even sound odd, so let me explain. The first thing that struck me was the probability trance. Poker players call this 'going into the tank'. It happens often in no-limit poker play where a player must make a play that has numerous considerations, usually mathematical/logical. They count their 'outs', consdier probability and risk reward of all possible actions and in a sense, adopt almost exactly what you call the probablity trance. Now obviously this is in a much lesser and more specifically applied form but I still couldn't help but draw a comparison. Secondly, we have the facial expression and body language understanding that allows them to understand an manipulate others so well. It's not quite as prevalent as the uneducated might think, but this is still a major part of poker. Reading tells and understanding what the body language of other players mean is a very valuable skill, and can often be a major factor in tipping a tough decision one way or another. Some great players have made amazing reads on other players through facial recognition or other body language tells. Third, we see the detatchment of emotion from experience and the calculating mindset of the logos. Poker players fight constantly to battle what they call 'tilt' and a great many ascribe to very zen like principles of understanding and acceptance. Poker is a game with a large element of luck, after all, and even with perfect play, you can still lose. Again, I know it is often just hubris that leads people to believe that some facet of their life must apply to everything around them, but these comparisons just seemed striking to me. Whether you intended it or not, Khellus is the perfect professional gambler. The dunyain understand the odds and they understand people. More likely I suppose, it is just a fantasization of game theory/decision theory principles (with a healthy dose of logic thrown in). Poker and other skilled gambling is really just a specifically applied instance. anyways, I am rambling now. Great work, and thanks. Regards Brad S view post

posted 13 Jun 2005, 17:06 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thanks for the kind words, AleoMagus. Though I've personally played poker off and on for about twenty years, I've never actually explicitly considered Kellhus or his abilities in the light of it before. I suppose he would be a kickass player, but my guess is that he would have his potential poker buddies doing far more useful things before the chips even hit the table! :wink: view post


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