Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Maybe Poker Is Going Mainstream After All ...

I was wearing my WSOP 2004 jacket at the football yesterday (I know, I am a terrible poser). It's not the first time I've worn it there, but it is the first time someone has tapped me on the shoulder and asked me about whether I was there, do I play, etc. etc. And it happened twice ! Two perfectly normal looking guys started telling me how they nearly qualified for this, how they used to play and now it's gone mad, etc. I have always thought that we who are immersed in the poker world over-estimate how much interest there is outside it. But maybe it is picking up after all !

While I'm here a couple of other points caught my eye over the weekend. In Luton on Friday we were on a self-deal table (hooray !). One guy threw his cards into the muck and starting raking the pot, not realising he had been called. Naturally I expected a 10 minute scream-up which would, of course, go on well after the ruling had been given. But no, he just said "Oh, my mistake", and gave the chips up. Full marks to him. I can see why people do it I suppose, but it's a pet hate of mine in poker all the people who would argue the toss for as long as they possibly could, and of course if they were the caller, argue the other side just as vociferously.

So we have good behaviour at the lowest level, what do you think of this at the highest. From Daniel Negreanu's blog :

"I headed over to the poker room to schmooze for a while and then played a friend of mine's chips in the 10-20 blind no limit hold'em game.

He had about $5000 in front of him, and since I was feeling frisky I decided to play in the dark- never looking at my hand unless I was faced with a huge bet."

Negreanu has the grace to admit that this "sounds sick". IMO it is sick. Sick in the head. With friends like that, eh ? I mean I don't know the deal, maybe $5K is chump change and the other guy would just laugh about it. I know you have to have a disregard for your own money at whatever level you play, but someone else's ... I don't know. Maybe we all aspire to play at that level but would you want to end up like that ? And don't even ask me how he can reconcile with his faith because I just don't know. Can you imagine telling a single mother on income support about how you played £3,000 of someone else's money in the dark, yuk yuk yuk, what about us gamblers eh ? Maybe we're better off out of this world, I often think.


Blogger chaos said...

Re Negreano - I agree. Though I can see some positives, it could be an approach that would see you home in on your skills. In fact it would be great to have the facility to play that way for a few months with someone else's money in a series of purely indepedent games. You sure would develope an interesting skilset.

But that isn't what it is about with Negreano, it's pure arrogance - too much Rounders for him. From what BDD has said from a comment or two on stars when I played him in cash a couple of years ago, I suspect there lurks a very fragile ego. Getting involved for $1.5 million, playing blind with 5k of someone else's money serves to reinforce his ego.

Of the top pro's he is one that I suspect may run into problems - I think he would rather borrow big to get out of trouble than humble himself by rebuilding.

5:30 PM  
Blogger chaos said...

btw I agree that it is distasteful given the context of the problems that people have, but resentment isn't always forthcoming because he is 'living the dream'. But, gee, Andy, you are starting to lecture! Perhaps your nickname could be 'The Preacher'... not a bad image, beats 'the owl'. Didn't Clint Eastwood play the role of a preacher once?


6:24 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Anything would beat calling yourself "The Wise Owl". That's bent. But yes, it is a tendency of mine. I might as well vent on here it's harmless enough. I am making an effort not to preach at everyone while writing elsewhere so it's bound to spill out here a little bit. I could see myself as a Clint Eastwood or even a Johnny Cash type preacher with big black robes. Thou shalt not shoot angles !


6:58 PM  
Blogger chaos said...

The preacher works for me (well not FOR me), lots of dark, anti-hero characters have been called 'The preacher' in films: I think it's a great name for a poker player - it instills fear.
(think of all those poker players who went to sunday school)

12:48 AM  

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