Friday, September 01, 2006

Good Hand or Bad, Always Optimistic

During his time at Kana, Anuj was known as many different things - a brilliant software architect, an inspiring and effective leader, the level-headed go-to guy in tough situations, a trustworthy friend. However, some of his colleagues also knew him as a regular participant in the periodic break room poker game.

Anuj developed an interest in this game of strategy and luck because for him it was a great way to spend quality time with friends while satisfying his desire for competition. He not only played poker at Kana but also hosted occasional Saturday night games at his apartment. These gatherings involved good food (sometimes cooked by Anuj), entertaining conversation, and decidedly low stakes.

Anuj playing cards with friends in college.
As any avid poker observer will attest, in addition to luck, success requires two key skills: bluffing and the anticipation of opponents' moves. Anuj was great at the latter but, as any of his friends would guess, not very good at the bluffing part. This made for a poker player who was a master at the strategy necessary to win but not so great at the deception required to execute on that strategy. This was just fine for Anuj since he played mostly for fun. However, his competitive side made sure that he won his fair share of games as well. Given the low stakes, at Kana that often just meant a free lunch.

What his poker companions remember most is that whether he was dealt a good hand or bad, Anuj was always smiling and optimistic. This of course is also how he lived every day of his life.

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