Monday, May 01, 2006

Does Poker Need More Ass?

I've seen far too much butt crack at the tables to think that more is better. Granted, the quality of Paris Hilton's derriere rivals most of the poker fare. Recent threads suggest we'll be hearing more about heiress escapades on the felt. She purportedly lost her Bentley in a game a few weeks ago. A rumor on rgp also eludes to an alliance with Bluff Magazine. The post went on to say that Bluff would be lucky to get "someone of such stature as Ms. Hilton to work for them." 'Scuse me? Is poker so underexposed that we are hoping that any celeb will pull down their pants for us? Check the TV line-up. Underexposure is hardly our issue. If I had to pick who was riding who's gravy train here, I'd put Hilton on top (which I'm sure is where many readers would put her also). If brain surgery becomes the rage, will the AMA rejoice when Hilton takes up the scalpel? Maybe she should consider baseball. They could use a little diversion from their current steroid fueled coverage.

Poker's rising popularity was built on the alignment of two planets; the hole camera, giving us a strategic view of the professional game, and Chris Moneymaker's WSOP victory, assuring an amateur's lottery chance at the big one. Isn't it better for the game that our best players become celebrities because of their skill, than skilless celebrities getting ink for dallying with the fad du jour? I don't necessarily want to see the likes of Howard Lederer or Doyle Brunson in a thong, but they sure as hell did a lot more for this game than the Johnny and Janie cum latelys. We have had some positive celebrity involvement in the game. Toby McGuire, James Woods, and Jennifer Tilly have brought name recognition to, and coverage of, our sport. But their involvement is rooted in their love of the game, not in the love of their celebrity.

I will also admit that tits and ass sells when marketing online poker to its major demographic - either that or the online sites are developing a sideline in the skimpy bikini market. Pamela Anderson is apparently becoming a hot commodity among the online poker sites and is getting passed around like a [fill in the blank]. But what entices hormone raging, underage players to online sites isn't necessarily what's best for the continued growth and credibility of our game. And that probably sums it up for today's rant.

And speaking of online poker, I was navigating my way through a multi-table tournament pretty nicely yesterday. I was also watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Both activities were being pursued at the expense of working on any number of writing projects, now hanging precariously above my head. They also prevented me from putting the bathroom sink back together again after I ripped it apart in search of a wayward contact lens. (Yes, I lead a glamorous life) Just as our movie heroes engaged their improbability drive, I busted to a three outer. Ok. It was no pot of petunias - and in poker it seldom is. Don't Panic. The odds are never that overwhelmingly in your favor. Sometimes I have to remind myself that poker makes for poor procrastination fodder. My opponent's improbability drive had me back to work far quicker than I had hoped. The sink is repaired and some progress was made on the writing front.

I also spent much of the weekend reflecting on the life of John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith died on Saturday after an incredibly productive 97 years. Optimistically I hope that economists will revisit his many contributions, centered on the premise that economics is the study of a decidedly human condition. Too many economic programs these days stress tidy formulas, mathematical gymnastics and a theoretical individual over wisdom and the financial and economic improvement of real people. Rest in Peace.


Blogger CarmenSinCity said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Paris Hilton has no talent and I would rather stick needles in my eyes than have her represent poker. Give me a break! Better yet - I would love to have her at my table for a few hours. Maybe I'll end up with a Casino of my very own. hehe

11:39 PM  
Blogger cc said...

Glad to see you back, and this looks super great. Count me in.

10:51 AM  
Blogger peacecorn said...

My favorite Galbraith quote about economics:

"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists."

12:38 PM  

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