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19, August 2019

Brexit made easy: explained as a game of cards

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The EU extends the hand of fair play to all Fish* who sit at the table

The EU extends the hand of fair play to all Fish* who sit at the table

On top of the overall complexity of Brexit itself, MPs have split into several factions, there’s talk of a vote of no confidence and Jeremy Corbyn taking over as a caretaker PM.

It can seem very confusing.

So we’ve simplified matters for you and explain the situation as a game of poker (which it sort of is).

Don’t worry if you’re not a poker player, all the terms are explained at the end.

Bear in mind – the UK is the Fish*.

The EU and the UK have two Hole* cards which no one sees (but see later) and the Flop* and Turn* have been dealt.

Theresa May had so many people playing her hand no one knew what the strategy was.

They played a weak hand like a Calling Station*, hoping to catch a card on the River*. UK MPs told her to Fold* but it still hasn’t hit the Muck*.

Boris Johnson has sat down at the table.

He doesn’t want to play May’s hand and has called for a miss-deal but the EU won’t have it so he’s threatening to get up and leave the table and take his money with him.

However, most MPs are jumping up and down telling him not to leave the table and urging him to get a new hand. Which the EU doesn’t want to deal.

The MPs don’t want him to play May’s hand but if the EU won’t deal a new hand, he can only play May’s hand or get up and leave.

So the EU knows the MPs won’t let Boris leave without playing May’s hand or getting a new hand. Which they don’t want to deal.

The EU is betting the MPs will force Boris to play May’s hand.

Meanwhile, back at JC’s ranch…

(This is Labour-speak for Jeremy Corbyn which is apt as his supporters see him as the second coming, although his credentials as a poker player are equally suspect.)

JC thinks he can play poker better than Boris and suggested he take over. His plan is to insist the EU deals a new hand. Which they don’t want to do.

The Tories are against this arguing that they are better poker players.

The Lib Dems agree.

Scotland thinks JC will be better than Boris but really wants whoever’s playing to Fold the hand completely.

Leader of the Free People of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, doesn’t care who plays the hand and would pass the cards to Putin if it helped her become Nicola, Queen of Scots.

The Green Party also doesn’t care who plays the cards as long as everyone uses eco-transport to get to the game and it takes place in a smoke-free environment.

The DUP will support whoever gives them the most money.

The Independent Group said they have seen JC play cards and he has as much chance of winning as he has of walking on water.

Gina Miller isn’t an MP or a poker player but likes to make sure the game is fair particularly from the EU’s point of view.

So the UK is playing with all its cards face up on the table and its strategy revealed.

The UK is the Fish*.


* Explanation of poker terms:

  • Hole cards: Each player gets two Hole cards face down which the other players should not see
  • Flop: Three community cards dealt face up after all players have their Hole cards
  • Turn: A single community card dealt face up after the Flop
  • River: a fifth and final community card dealt face up after the Turn. It’s often difficult to know who has won until the River, but good players will have a good idea
  • Calling station: Someone who calls (matches) every bet even though they have a poor hand
  • Fold: Admit defeat and throw in your hand. You are now out of the game
  • Muck: The discard pile. Once cards hit the Muck they are out of play
  • Fish: The really bad player at the poker table who continually loses. If you can’t spot the Fish in the game, you’re the Fish

Ref: BBC News Brexit: Tory MP Oliver Letwin rejects Corbyn as caretaker PM


Can you describe poker as a game of politics?
Would you rather be a world class politician or a world class poker player?
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