What Would Poker Be if Players Couldn’t Bluff?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. Proponents say the agreement would result in multilateral economic growth,[1] while critics say it would increase corporate power and make it more difficult for governments to regulate markets for public benefit~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

Recently it was reported the France was on the brink of walking about from the TTIP negations citing a lack of transparency and implying a failing democratic process.

Wiki leaks to some extent (although probably not hand in hand with France) seems to be inline with the distrust of an opaque process:

“The secrecy of the TTIP casts a shadow on the future of European democracy. Under this cover, special interests are running wild, much as we saw with the recent financial siege against the people of Greece. The TTIP affects the life of every European and draws Europe into long term conflict with Asia. The time for its secrecy to end is now.”

To the author this is very related to poker and our social (lack of) understand of it.  All parties want to negotiate the most mutually favorable deal possible, as this is the benefit of such large scale international trade, and to do so the bargaining game should include the most comprehensive strategies possible (possible if a very carefully chosen and fairly unqualified choice of word here).

We tend to think of this in terms of “A simpler poker game would be easier to find the optimal strategies for.” but what the comparison really is here is, “How can two parties play poker in such a way that they solve the game (optimally).”  It SEEMS like if all players could see all players strategies we might find a solution faster, however, the practical reality proves different.  Poker the way it is setup today, in terms of the players (but not the over raking site models!) and there IN-ability to see each others strategies, plus the incentive (gambling), creates a perfect forum for discovering the optimal strategy.  That is what poker is, ultimately, or seen as in the future.  Today we see it different, and so socially we distrust the very privacy, opaqueness, lack of transparency, etc. that is required to come to an optimal solution in the bargaining process.

That isn’t to say anything more than it means though.  It doesn’t suggest that governments should have free reign over such things. However it seems quite obvious to the author that complete transparency (or lack of ability to bluff!) would destroy the effectiveness of the bargaining process.


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