Sunday, February 05, 2006

Poker

A post by Alex

There's two sides to this one, and it can get deeper than any of us want it to if we really dug into it, so I'm gonna try and keep it light.

I'm a huge fan of playing poker, and poker I'm sure was a huge fan of the NHL lockout seeing as it's popularity multiplied by about 3000% in that time. Surprisingly enough though the popularity has not gone down all that much since NHL is back on, I'm sure in a couple of years it won't have the same draw it has right now, but think about the people manufacturing these products who just picked up a whole generation of new poker players (the high-school kid). I was having an all-nighter with a group of gr.10 guys, and after the XBOX and the food they brought out the poker chips, 4 of them had these nice and shiny silver cases, each with about 600-1000 poker chips clay of course. We all sat around a big table and they picked their favourite character from the "World Poker Tour" then we got started. No real money is involved by the way. We played for about an hour, and interest slowly died. A couple of times guys would say, we should play for a little bit of real money, just to see how much more interesting it gets, but we stayed far away from that.

When seen as simply a form of entertainment, and a chance for a bunch of guys (and s if they choose) to gather round a table and laugh, and get upset, and excited, Poker is a great thing. However, like any other thing that can, and most likely will, lead to some sort of addiction, one must be extremely wary when playing with something of value. My brother plays every Sunday night, everyone throws $10 in a pot, and the winner takes 75% of it, second place gets the rest. He's invited me down numerous times, and I can't tell you how tempted I am, just to add that extra element of danger, but then I realize that a)I worked for this money and to lose it so easily is stupid and b)this money actually belongs to God.

Moving to the other side, I have heard kids say, "I'm gonna spend $10 to see a movie and not talk to my friends, OR I could spend $10 to play poker for 3 hours and talk to everyone, what's the deal." I say to them, ask me that again when you're 45 and have wasted your money away every weekend, sure you win sometimes, but you've probably lost more.

To finish off I guess I just want to say that it can be extremely fun with the right group of people, so why not keep it that way. I've never heard of anyone playing Monopoly with real money but that's still fun.

1 Comments:

Blogger blair said...

The Youth For Christ publication Understanding Today's Youth came across my desk this week with its cover talking about a Poker Pup's Potential Problems. Besides the needless alliteration, it contains some thought provoking information, especially as it relates to encouraging potentially harmful behaviours. You can find it at http://www.paulrobertson.ca/PDF/UTY-Fall05.pdf

It comes just after a discussion I had with some organizers of a youth conference. On one of the evenings they have some 'down' time planned with low key activities as an option. Since the event happens in summer the kids are outside around picnic tables. Cards are usually around but should the conference provide chips? On the one hand it seems strange to think that the conference would provide tools to gamble but if they don't, won't kids use something else? What if that something else is money or items the kids brought with them? The consequences are quite a bit higher in that case, consequences that could have been avoided.

Would it be better to have responsible s around, talking about their experiences with gambling? For instance, guys I lived with played high stakes poker at one time (long before Texas Hold 'em was a fad) with pots with values in the thousands. As university students they could hardly afford to lose but once they were in, they could hardly afford to not try. More than one of them was paying debts back well into their working years. There are other stories, from large guys getting beat up to ladies spending so much at the casino that they had to steal to pay, that make you wonder how smart it is to promote any form of gambling.

7:18 PM, February 12, 2006  

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