2013 Produce Poker

Ante up your equity

Published in the August 2012 Issue Published online: Aug 12, 2012 Jerry P. Wright
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Poker originated as a strictly American game. The first written record of it being played was published in New Orleans in 1829. Riverboat gamblers soon spread the game up the Mississippi. The gold rush migration swept poker across the West like a wildfire. From its frontier beginning, poker went on to become-and even describe-part of America's unique ethos, an ethos others find difficult to understand. America's poker ethos even mystifies Americans themselves at times.

While the game reflects deeply rooted pieces of American culture, the jargon of poker has contributed significantly to the everyday American. Consider such familiar phrases as ace in the hole, ace up one's sleeve, double down, call one's bluff, high roller, poker face, up the ante, wild card, playing the odds and so many more. How many of these descriptive words have you used without acknowledging their origin at the poker table? How many traits described in poker lingo do you possess? How many do you wish that, perhaps, you didn't possess, especially when the time comes to repay the operating line?

The potato grower-among other vegetable producers-displays a real attraction to what could be called Produce Poker. Just prior to planting, an ace appears up his sleeve; he knows something no one else has thought of that will give him the inside track. So he ups the ante with additional production and looks forward to a high-roller's future. A stern poker face hides the clever plan.

Then wild cards appear on every side: Curiously, his neighbors also upped production. Weather, too, has changed the odds. The buyer he had firmly in his camp switched suppliers. Now, the chips are down. Then comes the biggest wild card of all.the market calls his bluff. It always calls everyone's bluff. That is its nature.

The difference between Produce Poker and real poker is that in real poker, at least one guy still wins. When things go bad in Produce Poker, everyone loses. How about a scenario where everyone at the table wins, and wins big? Winning at the produce game, like poker, requires a clear understanding of both the cards and the odds! In Produce Poker, that means cards like balancing supply with demand, market analysis, and your best card, a comprehensive business plan.

Potato growers do not have to play five-card stud with the family fortune. Quite the contrary; a fortune lays in wait to be harvested by the potato grower when he follows a sound business strategy, where he understands the market and then produces what the market needs. Pear growers in California went from a proven business plan to doubling down. Then they folded. Not one among them could call the bet. They all lost. big time. Google "The Pear Growers' Dilemma" and watch a bit of history, or visit www.PersuasionUnderPressure.com/pgd-video.html.

It's cheaper education than doubling down in 2013 with increased production.