Monday, July 18, 2011

World Series of Poker Sucks -- but I watch, anyway.

For some reason, I get hooked by the World Series of Poker every year. An enormous waste of time. I dvr it, and fast-forward a lot.

The conversations at the tables aren't all that interesting; in fact, they're kind of inane. The players are usually anything but good looking. The ego and status displays are pretty basic low level animal kingdom behavior. The plethora of "Bracelets" seems bogus.

I think it's just the sheer size of the thing -- both the attendance and the prizes. Winning that kind of money for playing a game -- that anyone could win with a lot of luck and some skill.
You can imagine yourself laying down those cards, Edward G. Robinson style, with an all-knowing stare.

I don't watch poker the rest of the year; I'm not interested in playing myself.

In fact, for some reason, I have a gut disapproval of gambling. I think it leads to addiction and lost lives.

I read recently that people lose nine times more money gambling than they spend at the movies. I think our society made a mistake letting this genie out of the bottle.

It runs in my family -- I questioned my brothers and sisters, and they had a similar antipathy.

And yet I watch.


Duncan McGeary said...

And yes, Buster, I watch too much damn T.V.

Leitmotiv said...

yeah, it's gambling... but it takes a lot more than luck. You need to read a person's moves (pre-flop/post-flop) as well as determine card outcomes and your percentages. And THEN, it's all luck.

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, I know. Like I said, it's a bit of an illusion. In fact, the more I learn the arcane betting rules (spoken and unspoken) and all the math, my head hurts.

Leitmotiv said...

what amazes me is some of the episodes where they show the pros guessing people's pocket cards. Daniel Negreanu is pretty good in this vid:

jared said...

...says the guy who "invests" in the stock market ;-)

If that ain't gambling, I don't know what is.

And I am not trying to pick on anyone, just point out that all of us small fish can only place our bets and hope they pay off when playing with the big boys.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I think our society made a mistake letting this genie out of the bottle."

What are we gonna do? Human beings have gambled since the beginning of time (or longer). You can either legalize it and try to control it, or have it flourish illegally and uncontrolled.

I do think Oregon made a big mistake with video poker, though. That's highly addictive, because the player gets many "hits" in a short span of time.

I'm not much of a gambler myself, though I like to play a little blackjack now and then. I can't see myself becoming addicted -- I hate to lose too much.

Anonymous said...

There's way more skill to playing winning poker than you give credit. If it was mostly luck then the same people (almost always "pros") would not almost always be at the top. Even with friendly "Friday Night" poker gatherings among friends the same people consistently come away winners over time. I paid my way through college playing poker and know full well that my net winnings (I occasionally lost to superior players) didn't happen through simply "luck".

Duncan McGeary said...

I get that. I think when the field is so large (as the announcers repeat ad naseum), a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck can take you all the way. You just have to be lucky for a week or so -- the way it used to be.

That's what they are trying to make you believe, anyway. More fish for the frying.

Anonymous said...

One last thing to be said about 'playing' poker real, its essentially a nickle&dime game.

I guess watching 2 great chess-masters, ... or 2 great poker people. Could be entertaining. But in my mind much of this is all designed to fill the air-space of TV, ... It's all entertainment. I'm personally fond of self entertainment, where I don't have to sit through god damn fucking commercials.

Keep them glued to their TV, keep them glued to their twitter or facebook... Keep them glued.

Or you can UN-GLUE yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hell yes the 'stock market' is gambling. I hate it when they call it 'investing'.

In my mind 'investing' is no or little risk.

Most of what 'traders' do is pass money to the house.

'Investing' means little to no risk. What most people do is loose their money. Their money always goes to the house (brokerage firm).

Anonymous said...

Good think to mention that HBM, I have always felt that ALL ORYGUN lotto is a tax on morons, ... the government loves this thing.

Be it lotto, or poker machines,... its all designed to fleece the most vulnerable. Such is the way.

Of course as you might know the LOTTO building in SALEM is the richest and most profitable ORG in SALEM, nothing quite like gubmint monopoly of vice.