Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The following is a tip from a poker strategy article:

When it comes down to it, poker is always going to be about making the best out of situations that present themselves, and not about forcibly creating profitable situations where they otherwise would not likely exist.

What does present mean in this context? From OALD, there are four definitions I think that could be related, but I'm not quite sure which one is the most appropriate. They are:

Def. #2: to show or offer something for other people to look at or consider

  • present something (to somebody) The committee will present its final report to Parliament in June.

  • present something (for something) Eight options were presented for consideration.

  • Are you presenting a paper at the conference?

  • He presents a convincing case.

  • The banks will begin to present their arguments today.

Def. #3: to show or describe something/somebody in a particular way

  • present something The company has decided it must present a more modern image.

  • It is essential that we present a united front (= show that we all agree).

  • present yourself + adverb/preposition You need to present yourself better.

  • present something/somebody/yourself as something He likes to present himself as a radical politician.

  • The press presents this as a kind of victory.

  • The article presents these proposals as misguided.

Def. #4: to cause something to happen or be experienced

  • present somebody with something Your request shouldn't present us with any problems.
  • present something Use of these chemicals may present a fire risk.

  • Irradiation presents environmental dangers

Def. #5: (of an opportunity, a solution, etc.) to suddenly happen or become available

  • Synonym: arise

  • present itself One major problem did present itself, though.

  • As soon as the opportunity presented itself, she would get another job.

  • present itself to somebody Thankfully, a solution presented itself to him surprisingly soon.

Or does present here mean something else that's not included in this dictionary?

share|improve this question
2  
#5 - note the reflexive pronoun, which also occurs in your passage. –  StoneyB Apr 21 '13 at 14:47
    
Present may involve volition, a decision to put something forward ( (eg sense 2 and partly sense 3 above) or just something arising (sense 5, and partly senses 3 and 4). Obviously, situations are non-sentient, so the 'arise' sense is being used here. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 21 '13 at 15:12
    
The usage in the given context is intransitive. Eliminate all transitive usages and simplify. There is an example with the phrase present itself in your list, which should be helpful. –  Kris Apr 25 '13 at 6:22
add comment

closed as general reference by MετάEd, Matt Эллен, tchrist, FumbleFingers, Kris Apr 25 '13 at 6:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

A couple of the definitions you provided can fit your example. The situation that "presents itself" in a poker game both shows (Def. #2) a scenario in the form of a flop or other subsequent shown card that the players have to evaluate given their current hand

and

(Def. #5) represent an opportunity to act on the current situation which is a combination of the shown cards, the player's hand, their current chip status and their knowledge of the strengths, weaknesses and propensities of the other players.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.