Some poker locales sadly can lead to sinful things. Bars can have alcohol and smoking (at least). Casinos can fuel gambling addictions. You can stay away from those places, to wean yourself off bad habits. But truly overcoming takes something else....
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. - I John 5:5
Sound simple - almost too simple? Well, let's back up a verse:
...For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. - I John 5:4
Faith in Jesus and being "born again" brings overcoming. But it comes by living out your faith every day. Back up a little more....
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome... - I John 5:3
Yes, God has "commands" for you to carry out. But He provides help in doing them:
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. - I John 4:4
Who is that "one.... in you"? Verse 2 indicates it's the Holy Spirit, which enters believers.
And here's the ironic thing: this section of the Bible indicates that poker player who asked why he should fear his Savior has a point....
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - I John 4:18
We've heard ministers put it this way: We should fear God and Jesus Christ because they hold the power of ultimate judgment, life and death. That's the idea of awe and respect. But those who obey God's commands don't need to fear every single move they make. They should love God for setting boundaries for right living and conduct.
It's easy to fear playing poker against a big winner with a championship reputation. (Maybe you shouldn't - but that's another blog post.) But the One everyone should fear is God - and we should live our lives accordingly.