You call this gambling?

October 12, 2008

You know, a lot of people look down on poker. 

Is it because of the critical thinking involved? No, they don’t know anything about that. 

Is it because of the skills it teaches and/or hones, like reading a person, patience, etc…  No, and you can read it all over their judgmental faces.

So what is it?  I’m sure you already know the answer.  It’s gambling.  Why?  Because it’s immoral, didn’t you know?  It doesn’t benefit society.  You know, the one where you could make better use of your money giving it to a church, or a community center.

And now we have a monumental mini-collapse of world markets, including the big 3 in the U.S. (Dow, NASDAQ, S&P), and it just begs the question…what is gambling, really?

Is gambling winning or losing $50, $100, $200 once a month or so?  Is gambling exchanging small bills over beer and chips on a Saturday night?  Are you kidding me?

How about dumping half your fortune into a stock that just dropped faster than Mizzou’s chances of getting to a BCS game (humor me, I went to Mizzou).  THAT’s gambling.

How about dropping a good $300K-$400K on a house you don’t even plan to live in?  That’s gambling.

Or, for arguments sake, how about saying “I do” to someone without having them sign a pre-nup.  That’s definitely gambling.  (For the record, I am not in any way, shape or form speaking from personal experience :).

Now, aside from flipping houses, nothing I just mentioned above is frowned upon by the greater fabric of society.  Why not?  Surely the immense fluctuation or finances serves as an eye-opener that there is much more large-scale “gambling” going on in this country.  Why is poker the “bad boy?”

Doesn’t make sense.  Even with it’s recent explosion of popularity in this country in the last 5, 6 years, the rights of a poker player are still far more limited than any other form of legalized “gambling.”

I can buy a house anywhere in the country, I can buy stock from my computer 20 times a day.  Why can’t I legally play poker on my computer now? 

Eh, I guess I’m just venting.  I’m not even really in a bad mood, either.  I’m probably one of the few people left in this country that has very little, if anything, invested in these tumbling markets.  Of course, the instability in general affects everyone, but as far as tangible net value decrease, it hasn’t hit me like it’s hit many others.

I guess the economic turmoil has just pushed the unfair classification that poker receives by many back to the front of my mind.   And I know the fair treatment of poker is probably the furthest thing from important conversation these days, what with a presidential circus…I mean election….and gas prices up and down $1 a gallon every month. 

Even so, I won’t be “folding” the issue anytime soon.   Wow, that was really bad.  :)