Poker. The poker I know most of is the long metal thing you poke into a fire. The card game’s almost totally lost on me. I can play, and each few years have played, a basic form of it. But with almost no understanding of the rules and tactics. I’ve never been a fan of card games. And neither have I wanted to learn. Perhaps because the significant others in my early life were neither card players – though my maternal grandparents played gin rummy or something – nor interested in card games. Due to this and/or the media’s depiction of card games and players, I came to see card games in general, and poker especially, as seedy and disreputable. You know the image: dingy darkish room, smoke-filled, earnest men, darkly attired, five o’clock shadowed, sitting around a table, chips stacked before them, shielding their cards, speaking in whispers. That’s a stereotype. And apparently outdated. For these days poker’s a sport. A globalised sport. With big prizemoney. Last Sunday in Melbourne 68-year-old grandfather David Gorr (pictured) defeated a field of 721 to win A$2M in the world’s second-richest poker tournament, the Crown Aussie Millions [1, 2]. Though this tournament was probably seedy – in the corporate sense – apparently Mr Gorr’s far from the stereotypical poker player. Rather he’s a nice guy: friendly, humble, with well-developed senses of proportion and humour. I congratulate him on his win. But I remain unmotivated to learn more about poker – let alone to be a player. Ho hum.
3 days ago