Some of you may know about my affinity for poker. I guess it’s fairly obvious, since my current blog design has a poker-like theme. What you’re not seeing there is my pocket deuces under there, but hey, that doesn’t really matter in this context, does it?
I’ve been meaning to post an entry about poker for a while now, but never got a round tuit. Earlier today, Wil posted an entry about his recent participation in an illegal poker tournament, which kinda lit the flame under my keester for me to write this entry you read tonight.
At a recent gathering of the South Bay Bloggers at Coffee Society, I found out that Buzz and Jonas have both been participating in some friendly local games.
Between sips of his hot cocoa, Buzz commented, “Poker is really big these days, isn’t it?”
I pondered this over my more caffeinated, but oversweetened Neopolitan. I didn’t really think too hard about this before, but yeah, poker has really become a greater phenomenon within the past few years.
With televisions shows such as WSOP, WPT, Celebrity Poker Showdown, as well as Late Night Poker taking center stage, the game has earned quite the high profile in the media. The movie business of late has been a bit slow in picking up the trend, with Rounders in 1998 and the remake of Ocean’s 11 in 2001 (both, I admit, I have not seen in their entirety). As I recall, there was a spike of poker/card-themed movies in the mid sixties-seventies that hasn’t really found its way back into films today. When many people think of a poker movie, they think old-tyme westerns or sixties lounges… maybe this is a stereotype that is on the verge of being shattered.
Back to the coffee talk. I realize that my Neopolitan has more syrup than espresso in it. I also realize that it’s pretty horrid, and put it back down on the table. But maybe a sugar high instead of a caffeine high isn’t so bad after all…
Where was I again? Ah yes…
Buzz says he’s somewhat new to the game, and points out that there is a tremendous amount of people in the Silicon Valley that play poker, and that these groups seem to have surfaced only recently.
“Funny,” I say, “I’ve been playing with the same group of friends for almost a decade now!”
This illicits some oohs and ahhs from the audience. Okay, maybe two.
But I take it in stride. I’m not an expert poker player… as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’m good at all. Although I have been playing for a long time, I am far from being the Big Weiner, especially since we play kitchen-table variety, low stakes poker. When it comes down to it, I play poker for one reason and one reason only… to spend time with the people I play with. To trade clever quips, jokes and insults. To eat Pocky and drink malt beverages (usually separately, but sometimes together, with gastronomical results). To use poor judgement when raising the bet with our pocket fours. Our poker game has always been about having that time set aside each week to enjoy the company of good friends.
That’s the best kind of poker game there is, really.
I have yet to discover the thrill of playing for big stakes at the casino tables, but I think I can wait. So can my money.
And that syrupy coffee drink that I left behind. That thing can wait forever.