Sunday, April 10, 2005

Old thought about Star Trek: The Next Generation

Okay, this is something I've always wondered about. If you recall your STNG, particularly the later seasons, you'd periodically see a bunch of people sitting and playing poker: Worf, LaForge, Data, Troi, and Riker. Now, here's the deal:
  • Worf, being a Klingon, is a master of strategy and could bluff and feint with the best of them. Nobody would be able to fake him out at a poker table.
  • LaForge has that vision widget that (as was established early on in the series) lets him see all sorts of things not normally visible to the unaided human eye, including microscopic temperature changes in and around human skin. He can actually see the changes in perspiration and skin temperature in another person, making him a human polygraph.
  • Data doesn't just count cards, he can calculate odds for absolutely anything. Even more, with his total recall, he could analyze patterns of play for each player based on all their past games and even come up with percentages in different situations.
  • Troi (the perennial cutie) senses everyone's emotions around her. If someone's feeling anything about the hand they're playing, good or bad, she'll know it right away and be able to bet accordingly.
With all this going for these four, you'd think that no-one would stand a chance of beating any one of them and, at a table with all four, anyone without an edge of their own would get skinned alive and the only discussion left would be which of the four would get the lion's share of the proceeds.

So I always wondered why it was that, faced with all this skill, that Riker was always the big winner. Imagine that: a man with no special skills, no gadgets, and no significant training except for that which he got in Starfleet OCS to become their ranking officer, always took the table every time. It seemed to me that his loyal troops would be sitting there and going "Gawrshk, Mr. Riker, hyuk hyuk hyuk, how dew you do that so orf'n?!?!!?"

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1 comment:

Bozoette said...

The answer is simple. He's a hottie. And American. Hottie Americans always win at poker!