It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Others: Poker??

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 03:58 PM
All right, what the heck is poker doing on the sports channels? In my neck of the woods (Ontario, Canada) there are three stations that broadcast sports, and poker has been shown on all three. Why? Poker is not a sport, unless it takes some exercise to hold up those cards.

posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 04:04 PM
Sport is part physical and part mental. This is where poker comes in. Have you played for a long period of time. It take fortitude AND mental powers.

BTW, is golf a sport?

posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 04:04 PM
While it may not be a sport, it is, to many, an enertaining thing to watch. Seeing these poeple bet more money than most of us have on us on one hand of cards makes it thrilling I guess. Many people enjoy gambling, so they would like to watch it. Many aspiring Poker Players would watch in hopes of picking up tips and tricks.

Because I know that I've enjoyed watching it. I only watch the World Series of Poker though, not the celebrity poker and all these other things that have come on.

posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 11:08 PM
Having successfully played it at low levels for my living and tuition, many decades ago, I can tell you this much about poker:

It's similar to sports in the sense that very few people can make a living--even the kind of VERY meager living I made--playing it. And only an exceptionally few can hit the big time playing it. I never kidded myself that I was one of those.

But nowadays? This televised poker nonsense is causing at least hundreds of thousands of people--probably millions of people--to think they can learn how to play poker by watching a lot of hours on TV. That is so untrue. The vast majority of people have exactly zero chance of ever being good enough at poker to pay the considerable house take (either hourly or rake-off) and still come out ahead, after several months of regular play. And coming out way ahead, so they make serious money? Har de har har.

How many of you were born to be professional singers? (And I don't mean rap.) Most women who know me think I have a terrific singing voice, but that's because it's a bass-baritone voice, and a lot of women love ANY male singing voice that's either bass or bass-baritone. In reality, 95% of all people cannot sing at all, and 4.9+% of all people can sing just well enough to be dangerous. I'm in the 4.9+%, except to hopelessly devoted fans of deep voices (or people with tin ears, lol).

Most of you probably agree that you can't sing, right? And you agree it's something you're either born with or you aren't, right? Well, poker isn't the perfect analogy, because you can do a lot more to develop your poker skills than you can to develop your singing skills, BUT you absolutely have to be born with certain talents and characteristics, or you will never become an accomplished poker player. The notion that mastering Mathematics and spending 200 hours studying Holdem will make you a star is an idea which appeals most to those who know the least about it.

And MY game, 5-Card Draw Poker, whether limit or no-limit, is strictly for real poker players. Suckers have zero chance, unlike in Holdem (the game of miracle river cards). Last, in any poker game, there is no substitute for judgment--something you cannot learn from a book or a computer.

But while I agree it's a "sport" in terms of how few people can do it, and in terms of how you have to be born with quite a bit of natural talent, I gotta say I find it really silly that it's on FoxSports, ESPN and ESPN2 (and the Travel Channel???). The only thing I can think of to explain it is that poker appeals to machismo... which is exactly the reason people who watch it should NOT play it.

If you think throwing around huge amounts of chips is a manly thing to do, you should make absolutely, positively sure you never play the game. Seriously. I've met a lot of guys who believed that, and they all lost fortunes playing the game. They were real men (!), but they lost fortunes.


posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 10:18 AM
I wouldn't call poker a "sport", in that there is no athletic component to it, unless you consider sitting on your arse for several hours to be athletic, lol.

However, poker is without question a competition, with definate iwnners and losers. And so far as the TV stations showing these tournaments, well, they draw ratings, and that's what the TV channels are looking for...

posted on Jul, 9 2006 @ 07:05 PM
The only other "sport" I was ever good at was shooting pool--especially "straight pool," a.k.a. "14-1 Continuous," because it's more about thinking than "having a great eye," which I never did. I've never believed Pool to be a sport, either, however, because it's 95+% mental, for sure, and what's left is physical only with regard to your eyes and coordination--two departments in which I'm not exactly gifted, lol.

But I'd guess most people consider Pool a sport. And just like many people seemingly consider Holdem', with its miracle river cards on hand after hand, to be the great form of poker, most people probably consider 9 Ball the ultimate form of Pool.

IMO, it's the least skilled form of Pool BY FAR, because there is no thinking about which ball to shoot at next, something which ordinarily is a huge part of the game. In 14-1 Continuous/Straight Pool, shot selection is the whole game. In "One Pocket", it's a huge part of the game. Even in the widely disparaged "Eight Ball," it's a real big part of the game. But in Nine Ball, you shoot at the 1, then at the 2, then at the 3....

I remember a day in 1987, when I was just starting to practice Law--and please understand you don't get paid immediately for working on Criminal Appeals--and I was scraping by on hustling Pool at the local university's games area (right after that terrible Tom Cruise movie about Pool, when all sorts of people wanted to gamble at the game) and on shilling at the local Poker house, making JUST enough to stay fed and sheltered. This kid had just gotten paid and came up to me all excited, asking if I wanted to play him for money on Friday night. He was excited because, although I was by no means a bigtime Pool player, I was the best in that student games area.

He was AWFUL. I said, "Sure. How about Straight Pool to 150, for a dollar a ball?" He said "Fine!"

I couldn't believe it. He had no clue of the difference between that and playing 9 Ball or 8 Ball for $5 a game. I beat him something like 150 to 17. I know it sounds like nothing, but when I was waiting for those checks to start coming in, $133 was NOT nothing.

What's more, after he paid me off in cash, he asked if I'd give him a "spot" if we played again. I offered to spot him 25 balls. He said YES. I beat him 150 to 44, but told him I'd settle for $50 (instead of $106), which he again paid in cash. I was feeling guilty... especially from the way his girlfriend was looking at me.

Y'all should have heard the s--- I took for that reaming from the other pool players for the next 2 weeks. But hey, it was his stupid idea, and $183 covered my utilities for the month, and when you're spending 3/4 of your waking moments worrying where the money will come from, having your utilities paid for is a very big thing....

Truth be told, I find it useful to reflect that I'm only 19 years removed from all of that. Nobody would have dreamed, at that time, that 9 years later I'd have won two nationally famous appeals cases covered by CNN, Dateline, etc. Least of all me.

I think it's best to remember one's humble past, lest one wind up getting humbled by circumstances once again. It surely could happen to me.


posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 06:02 AM
I agree that poker is a competition, but I wouldnt' call it a sport. It seems that nowadays anything can be shown on sports channels. What about tiddlywinks? That requires some skill and dexterity. How about crokinole (sp?) or maybe board game, like Monopoly or Clue?
And speaking of card games... I was going to mention some other card games, but I've decided to back off on those because no money is involved there like in Poker.
The money is the major factor in poker. Without it, the game would be pretty boring, wouldn't it.

posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 10:57 AM
The money is most likely the big draw that gets people to watch it on TV. Like alot of you i'm sure, a couple buddies of mine and I get together once a week for a poker game, we don't bet money though it's usually some kind of home improvement supplies. Last week we played for wire nuts, the week before it was nuts, bolts, nails and screws. Stuff that we have lying around and everyone can use. this week we are playing for electric outlets, light switches, and light bulbs.

I never got into the poker on tv craze for the same reasons that were mentioned by BHN, i have a personality type that makes me prone to addiction so i try to stay away from things that could cost me alot of money, and if i thought i could play poker for lots of money i'd be living under a bridge most likely. I've also heard that ESPN is going to televise a board game championship, i'm not sure if it was Monopoly or Scrabble. I believe ESPN will also be having a weekly program for the world Dart championships also. I throw alot of darts and aren't too bad either so i'll probably watch that.

[Edited on 7-10-2006 by aegis fang]

posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 05:15 PM

Originally posted by aegis fang
Last week we played for wire nuts, the week before it was nuts, bolts, nails and screws. Stuff that we have lying around and everyone can use. this week we are playing for electric outlets, light switches, and light bulbs.

Can't say I've ever got together with the guys to play poker for those stakes, but I would prefer that. My buddies always want to play Hold 'em, which frankly I get bored with. And very few end p taking anything home, too. Playring for screws and nuts just makes more sense.

posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 06:17 PM
If you play poker PROPERLY, it is a very boring game. If you get drunk and throw lots of chips around and make it exciting, well, you'll have lots of "fun," all right. But a good player who has anything close to good luck will come out well ahead. And a good player who has a seriously lucky night will make mincemeat out of you.

You apparently know that. You apparently play the game properly... and end up feeling bored to death. If I sent you an e-mail with a list of the top 5 groups of hands in Hold Em--and more important, with the 24 hands in Groups I through IV, listed from #1 to #24--and told you under what circumstances to see the flop with each of those groups, you could probably make a MODEST living playing in casinos, just using common sense after the flops. (You'd have to avoid no-limit games.)

But why try? Why fret over whether you'll pay next month's bills? Why hang out in a world where the best players are regarded as the best people, even if they are human trash like Phil Hellmuth? Why deal with the massive amounts of negative energy which poker generates in everyone who plays it... and that CERTAINLY included me, when I played long ago?

It is a very atavistic game and it brings out the most atavistic side in everyone who plays. If you want to learn to hate people, by all means play it.



posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 09:07 AM
I used to have some poker buddies I'd get together with a couple of times a month. Strictly nickel-dime and an excuse to drink some beers. We'd play dealer's choice. Toward the end of a lubricated evening, somebody'd always come up with some obscure "no peekee baseball" or "Indian" or something. Man, we'd laugh 'til we couldn't breathe. Maybe lose $10-$15 on a very bad night.

The two guys that organized the game were brothers and have since passed away, way too young. In their 40's! I really miss 'em. Real lunatics, in a good way.

Good times.

I used to shoot pool in college, just for kicks. I was in the "hit and hope" group. Just slam the balls and wait to hear if a pocket rattled.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 03:14 PM
Ohhh, to be someone like you, who can do things in a normal, healthy way, have fun at it, not have to do it for real money, not have to get all obsessive and intense about it....

But THAT is the way to play poker. And pool, for that matter, but especially poker.


posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 05:59 PM

Originally posted by BaseballHistoryNut

But THAT is the way to play poker. And pool, for that matter, but especially poker.


I'm with you dudes 101%, just wish my buds were, too. I prefer dealer's choice to Hold 'em, it's jst more interesting to change up the games. The fad will pass before long, I'm sure...

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 08:58 PM
Are your buds losing serious money, serious sleep, etc., and just generally derailing their lives? It could cost them their jobs, their marriages, custody of their kids, etc., and all for something they'll never be very good at or make any meaningful amount of money at.

Feel free to copy as many of my messages on this subject as you want, for their benefits. Not that they'll listen.

[Edited on 7/12/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 11:36 PM
I've watched some of the poker on TV, mostly at 3 or 4 in the morning. It's interesting to see the players squirm as they make a decision, but overall I find it pretty boring. I have heard that Texas Hold 'Em has taken over the card-playing circuit at casinos. Many find it virtually impossible to find a table for draw or stud poker. Now those I like to watch, because it relies more on strategy than on luck (with those "miracle" river cards).

I would say it is a sport. I mean, if competitive eating is a sport, poker must be as well.

posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 12:31 AM
In Draw Poker, if we're playing with a 52-card deck, and you call my raise to draw to AA against my 777(kicker), you are an enormous underdog. Of course, if I have a table full of idiots, and everyone calls my raise and I have five people drawing, respectively, to AA and QQ and JJ and 99 and a flush [and I don't get cute and keep the kicker, because I want to maximize my chances], someone is probably going to get lucky, and I'll need a miracle to deliver some REAL justice.

But you're right. It's very hard to find a Draw game anymore. But if you do, and if there are even 2 or 3 "idiots" in it, it's a turkey shoot. The other real players will stay out of my way and each others' ways, and I'll stay out of theirs. If we both get Aces Up or better before the draw on the same hand, then it can get messy.


posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:07 AM

Originally posted by truenorth
Sport is part physical and part mental. This is where poker comes in. Have you played for a long period of time. It take fortitude AND mental powers.

BTW, is golf a sport?

Have I played consecutively, for a long period of time?

In a word, YES. For about a year, during which those who knew me said I looked like I aged 5 years, I lived on 48-hour days. I routinely played poker (and infrequently attended my lectures) over an approximately 36-hour day, then slept for about 12 hours, then started all over again. If you define a "day" in terms of when you wake up, when you fall asleep and then get up for the next day, my "days" were between 36 and 60 hours long.

When I was 23 years old, I mentioned that fact to one of the biggest fish in my biggest fish pond card room, a drunk of about 50 years. He made it obvious he thought I was b.s.'ing. I showed him my driver's license. He got a sober look on his face and said, in a stern tone, "Mister, if you are 23 years old, you'd better slow down, because you're living way too hard."

And as horrible as my drinking had become, I don't think it was the main culprit at that point. The human body is not meant to live on a steady diet of 40+ hour days. I often stayed up for 40+ hours, then slept for as many as 16 hours. Somehow, I had no trouble keeping my mind in a great groove to play poker after 30 or 35 hours (don't ask me how), and opponents who knew how sleepless and drunk I was would chase my bets all over the table, even though I was playing as tight as ever--bless their souls.

So tell me, y'all:

This "life" I led back then enabled me, ever so barely, to pay my modest bills and get through college. But it aged me terribly, and the stress of playing poker for my monthly bills, and having bet my next month's rent a couple of times on bluffs, was horrible. Yeah, I got away with hit, but how'd you like THAT?

Does all of this sound glamorous? It enormously compounded both my alcoholism and the extent of my cigarette addiction. It aged me 10 years, easily, in the final three years I did it. Obviously the ravages of my huge alcoholism exacerbated it, but so did the inherent sicknesses in the life of a poker player. And I was one of the very few who could do it, long term, and consistently win at the end of the month, however modestly. Just imagine what my obsessive-compulsive gambling antics, which were like those of SO many others, would do to the lives, relationships, jobs, finances, health, emotional stability, etc., of those who lose big at the table.

Anybody here champing at the bit to take up this lifestyle? And I've been told that the stress, unhealthy lifestyle, development of contempt for other people, etc., etc., are even worse at the top levels (see, e.g., Hellmuth). I don't claim to know.

If any of you want those Top 4 levels of Holdem hands, in order from 1 to 24 or 28 (don't remember which, but I think it's 24), I'll give them to you. But you'll have to be out of your mind to want them. Want to have your sleep hours destroyed like mine were? Imagine what that could do for your job... or marriage.

OK. No more about what a cancer it is.

But TRUE NORTH, you have your answer. I played for over 35 hours literally 100's of times, and for over 40 hours at least 30 times. I don't believe I ever made it to over 48. I remember thinking I should try it, but unlike a lot of other imbecilic things I "had" to try when I was young, that was one I skipped.

You know, I'm not a religious zealot or anything. It's just that all of these things hit so close to home with me, and while poker and being in poker rooms did some pragmatically great things for me, they tore my life apart, too. If I can keep JUST ONE of you from the insanity I got into, and keep you away from that hideous subculture, then maybe what I did to myself way back then wasn't in vain. Maybe it was The Big Guy, educating me so I could save others from the same life drain.

If I do have that effect, I'd ask the person I've done it for to please send me a U2U and let me know it, because I'd sure enjoy realizing I kept someone else out of the abyss which I and so very many other poker players live(d) through. Or didn't.



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:03 PM
BHN sounds like you was into it big time.

I enjoy watching Poker (hold-em) on the TV, as for it being a sport i have no comment on that subject.

As i said i enjoy watching it, but dont really like playing. I have played it a few times and i have a hold-em set at home with all the chips ect and it wasnt cheap. We have a card school about once a month so it comes in handy if everyone wants a game of hold-em. Thats as far as my cards go now-a-days, i wasnt into it as hard as BHN but we did use to play for money when i was in my teens and upwards untill i was about 25. We played draw poker, 3 card brag, 7 card brag, Kalouki, crib, other types of poker and even played for money on the turn of a card.

But gambling is in my blood aswell as risk taking, but i learned not so much the hard way, it was family commitments that kept me off the path. I was what you might call a lucky person, jammy bstard, i could fall down a toilet full of crap and come up smelling of roses. I got into greyhound racing from a very early age due to my uncle owning lots of them. I lived alot of my childhood around race tracks and speedway tracks as my other uncle was a speedway rider. In between that was football and i was always over my beloved West Ham United watching them play most weeks.

I could work out any sort of bet by the time i was 9 years old and my uncle use to place bets for me all the time. Not sure if they was always winners but he was always putting money in my hand after races. So it became when i got older that gambling on the horses and greyhounds was to be my vice in life. I can honestly say that i enjoyed every minute of it and dont regret one bit of it. I never lost big and i never won huge amounts on a single bet but 9 times out of 10 i would always come away winning. I think the most i won on a single bet was around 3,800GBP, in dollars that would be around $6,500. I liked it more for the buzz than anything, rather than winning huge amounts and was more than happy just winning $30.

When i was much older i had the pleasure of owning a share in my own greyhound and what a cracker it was. We got it from Ireland and it didnt look much but man was it fast like the wind. It didnt cost that much to be honest but it ended up winning over 40 races before it got injured. It ran in some top races in the UK and won 2 big competitions. I have the pictures and i will post them if i manage to get them scanned, they are pictures at the track collecting the trophies.

But i stopped gambling heavy and daily when my kids came along and spent the money on them and my wife. I still had an occasional bet and still do, i went horse racing last weekend and had a great day and came away winning a fair amount. But i tend to keep away from the greyhound tracks now-a-days as i cant resist them. I tend to stick to just having a bet at the weekends, but i'll bet on most things now if the odds are good.

So i can safely say i never got the card bug, i do enjoy playing different card games but it just doesnt get me buzzing like the tracks...


log in