Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ONLINE poker is good for you – not bad for you

ONLINE poker is good for you – not bad for you

I am 68.  20 years ago I couldn’t remember what movie I had in the bag on the way home from Blockbuster (mucho cortisol, not alcohol; both melt the “CPU” that accesses memories).  A few years back I couldn’t remember a phone number for long enough to switch web pages and type it down.  No problem either now – only explanation must be taking up online poker three years ago.

Most of this month I have been stuck in the house taking care of a mucho chores – do online poker first thing in the morning just to feel like I’m connecting with the outside world.  Makes me realize there must be a lot of old or disabled permanent shut-ins for whom internet play may be their only opportunity to feel they are getting out an about.

Online poker is not bad for you.  Out at the card room a compulsive gambler can lose the mortgage money (and even the house) in a hurry – the lowest live poker game going at $200 no limit.  That wont happen online because at online $200 no limit somebody who doesn’t know what they are doing will get killed almost every time – not like black jack or the horses; not very many good memories to fuel hope.

Online poker levels off players to their own level on (in?)competence.  A compulsive gambler is not likely to spend years of study and practice to move above the micros – which micros probably will probably not give enough of a gambling thrill anyway – all of which argues against compulsives choosing online poker to throw their money away in in the first place.

Looking up player records online the very few who have lost $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 generally have played good fraction of a million hands.  Say a player has lost $10,000 over 250,000 hands (typical) and he plays (single table) 100 hands an hour; that comes to a big $4 an hour (and he doesn’t even have to tip).  Scour the records and try to find anyone that fits a compulsive gambler profile – got to be rare.

Poker is the national indoor pastime – has been forever – but most people cannot get out to the card rooms or find a friendly game – sort of like chess which a lot more people are likely to find the opportunity to play online than in chess shops these days (like I use to see in Greenwich Village decades ago – are they all gone).  Most people want to play so very conveniently --- and most importantly so very cheaply, the micros – online.  The explosion of online poker once it became available supports this broad appeal of this very happy and reasonable play opportunity.

Where does one senator get off sneaking a virtual prohibition of the safest, cheapest and most convenient version of the national indoor pastime into a completely unrelated bill that most (or all) other senators had no ideas was there?  It is time -- especially that next elections are years away (for chickenhearted congresspersons -- if chickenhearts be their problem) -- to take a democratic second look (or is that really first look) at the revoking of the average person’s first practical internet opportunity to partake of the sport of congresspersons and presidents.

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