. . . Tuesday February 22, 2005

I’m All In

Thanks to massive coverage by ESPN and Travel Channel, Texas Hold’em poker has swept the country.

The problem is that some people (among them, law enforcement officials) still see poker as a form of illegal gambling.

But when it poker gambling and when is it just a friendly and social game? What if there is no buy-in but the winner gets a free t-shirt or a round of drinks at a bar?

And does it make sense to allow hundreds of Indian Casinos (where real, pure luck, I blew my paycheck gambling takes place) to be erected across the country, and state lotto games to be worth millions and Church group bingo games to feature cash and prizes but then to pretend that poker (which is played in houses and online from sea to shining sea) is somehow different?

Well, we know that legislation doesn’t necessarily have to make sense.

So what’s the future for bar-based poker games, etc? I’d say when things shake-out, there will be more legal poker games, not fewer.

Why? Because a lot of powerful people love to play poker and most of them don’t think of poker as gambling.

Of course, using that logic, I guess just about everything would be legal.

Concentration is important!