"You don't leave much, do you, fat man?" - Fast Eddie Felson
"That's what the game is all about." - Minnesota Fats
On a fundamental level, what exactly is poker "all about"?
For starters, poker is a game of incomplete information. Another way to say this is that it's a game of Information Management. The more information I can read and take in-- and the better I am at processing it--the more money I can make. This is the heart of the RED-i method, and why it's so fundamental to learning how to actually beat the game.
Poker is also a game of Edges. Again, the more edges I have over my competition, the more money I will make from them. Anyone reading this blog recently knows that I'm a little obsessed with the idea of exploiting edges.
Finally, poker is a so-called "minimax" game, which is a fancy way of saying you have to minimize your losses and maximize your profits. Lose Little, Win Big. If two people play long enough heads-up, they will each will be dealt the same number of aces and 7-2o hands. If one player is better at extracting value from the other with their big hands, and/or they're better at minimizing the amount lost with their weaker hands, they will end up with all the money at the table.
All-in for now...