Not knowing what outcome to root for, I’ve followed the news on the Greek debt as if it were a poker game – something like the climactic hand at the end of The Cincinnati Kid. Greece is Steve McQueen, “The Kid;” Europe is Edward G. Robinson, “The Man.” The poker variant they are playing is Euro Lose ‘Em. What’s in the pot is not money to be won, but money to be lost. When the hand is over, the debts are exchanged and the winner is the player who loses the least.
When Tsipras called for a public referendum, my poker hand analogy seemed to come apart. What would be the corresponding move in a poker game? The best I could come up with was that it was as if The Kid had turned to someone nearby and said, “Would you go find my wife?” The effect of this callow and amateurish behavior was to discombobulate The Man, break his concentration and make him angry and less likely to fold. Was this The Kid’s intention, or has The Kid really lost his nerve and genuinely needs his wife’s moral support and advice?