The end is here today as this will be the last blog post from Capt Pappy on Fenn’s treasure.
Poker is a game of luck and without it your money soon becomes your opponent’s chips. Skill on the other hand increases the pay off when Lady Luck plays along and keeps you from going home early. The best players balance playing the odds with playing the player. The hand you hold is as good as the hand your challenger thinks it is. Reading others at the table makes or breaks those trying to be a winner.
Did Forrest Fenn hide a treasure with special meaning or is he on a bluff? What are the tells? His history, suggests many. One is the trickster. Tricksters never show their cards unless it is to mislead or taunt other players. They use the traits we all possess, both good and bad, to their advantage. They make great deals even with poor cards. They bluff, sand bag, over bet, under bet, pass, call and raise all while reading everyone at the table. Fenn is said to be a master of promotion. Is His treasure part of something being promoted?
If he did hide the treasure what does it promote? The book about his life sold out with sales soaring. Fenn says he does not “profit” from the sales. Money isn’t everything and with death looking him in the eye money loses its appeal. Behavioral psychology studies human behavior, yet science plays catch up to seasoned poke champs. They have models for why we do what we do. They think man does what he does to gain a positive reward or avoid a negative one.
Historically we see a pattern; first money, then power and at the end philanthropy. Most people won’t get to a level were they can play in such a high stakes game and for the majority just having something to leave their kids is enough. Those with more than enough look to leaving a legacy, a mark in history– a treasure perhaps.
Fenn’s left hand knows what his right hand is doing. He is making his move public and he worked hard to get on the national news scene. That isn’t easy and those who know how it’s done know it’s not done cheap. The treasure is not central to Fenn’s plan what is important is his memoirs. His history. We all want to know we “done good.” This is his statement to the world: “I done good.”
Fenn’s father was a principal in Lubbock, TX. Education was likely important to his father. In Fenn’s latest book Fenn’s lament leaks out for him not having more formal education is bothersome. He is wrong to believe the only good schools exist behind ivy covered walls. Fenn is educated far beyond the norm. Just the same its there and so it maybe the motivator to the chase a chance to be part of the history he missed in one of those jail cells keeping him from being in the game called the classroom.
With this in mind, now consider the following. Who would go out and make an impression inside a hollow at the bottom of a cottonwood tree about 8 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ with something heavy enough to imprint the soil to about 3″ deep? Who would go all the way to Yellowstone stop and walk into a valley of bison, wolves and bear then cross two streams in hopes to find a hollow at the bottom of a cottonwood just to leave an imprint? What are the odds of that? What are the chances of someone following their interpretation of a treasure poem being led to that very tree and finding the impression “in the wood”? What are the odds the three would be just down from Gary Brown’s home not too far from Mammoth Hot Springs and Soda Butte? What are the chances that the river the tree is on would be famous for fly fishing and where Forrest made money as a fishing guide? Millions to one by now but there’s more much more.
So here we are at the table. Fenn bets with a treasure and I call with my money, time and effort. He walks. Is he afraid he will give away his hiding place? Let’s follow out that possibility and see were it leads. I get a message saying no it was not hidden there but good try. So what’s the give away? Anyone? This is why a friend says he can’t tell me. How slow does he hope we are?
Fenn, I call! Are you bluffing or is the treasure gone? You said it was there in April it’s nearly June. Rules of poker say put up or dealer passes the pot. Its okay to let the public know what is the status on the treasure. You just might need to do it again… maybe much less bounty and a poem with more general clues. For me I have to walk now. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me.
There are as many realities as people and in mine the treasure is real and it has been found. The chase ended in April and one or more of the “within 500 footers” are in the gold.
To the hunters everywhere, and to those who have come here, good luck may the next rainbow land in your front yard.
The end is ever drawing nigh but I am on to the next Great Chase.