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TV Poker's A Joker
Rick Reilly
October 25, 2004
I am clueless. I am about as plugged in as an Amish toaster. Not only do I not know what's up, I would need a GPS and two sherpas to find up.
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October 25, 2004

Tv Poker's A Joker

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Hey, at least the guy gets out of his chair. Everybody else just sits. These people spend more time on their butts than FDR did. And now you, too, can get the entire 2003 World Series of Poker on DVD, featuring all that sitting! (Comes with an ice pick to insert into your brain.)

The dullness is built right into the game. The way to win at Texas Hold 'Em is to be as expressionless as drywall and fold a lot. Whoo-ee! You talk about exciting! What's ESPN going to put on next, the World Hairline-Receding Championships?

Is all this a good thing for teenagers? Is this what we want--kids who used to be outside on perfect fall afternoons suddenly hunched in the basement like Nathan Detroit's floating crap game? Is it a good thing that my son's buddies are all wearing green eyeshades and taking one another's busboy tips for hours on end while their muscles turn to linguini?

Betty George of the North American Training Institute, which runs youth gambling-prevention programs, doesn't think so. She says that a teenager who gambles is two to three times more likely than an adult to become addicted to gambling. "We get a call every day from another teenager who's trying to figure out how to tell his parents he lost the car insurance money," she says.

What really sucks is that the kids are losing their own cash while the poker stars sort of aren't. Do you realize that Moneymaker won his World Series of Poker stake in a $40 Internet contest? He might as well be your grandmother betting buttons.

Hey, I play poker with my buddies. But it's four times a year and comes with the requisite bad meatballs, cold beer and dirty jokes. Poker isn't a sport, it isn't for kids, and it sure as hell shouldn't be on my damn sports channels.

Sorry, I'm all out.

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