Jason Alexander posted an essay on TwitLonger in response to yesterday's mass shooting in Colorado. Among his concerns was the hyperbolic tone of those who disagreed with him. (I don't blame him. I've spent a WHOLE lot of time around gun-rights advocates, and many of them really are alarmingly immoderate in tone, not to mention embarrassingly simple-minded in analysis. And I say that even though I mostly agree with them in substance.) So I whipped off a partial reply that I hope he will think sufficiently thoughtful and respectful to be worth reading. I think he's a person who can be reasoned with.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
I had a horrible night of poker at the Stratosphere last night, the kind that was bad enough that I knew that I would not feel like going out to play today, which meant that I could instead dink around with the online stuff. I told Josie this, asked her when she might want to play, and she said, "Now." OK.
Josie: where are you?
Josie: are you still in the game?
Grump: it just ended
Grump: I winz it
Grump: you did not see.
Grump: so sad
Josie: i wouldve loved to watch you
Josie: damn i just missed it
Josie: see what i mean?
Josie: these are the games to make money
Josie: you played 2 and cashed in one
[Editorial note: When we get together to chat and play, we always disagree on what event to pick. I always prefer SNGs for the shorter time commitment and higher likelihood of cashing. She prefers MTTs for the chance at a bigger score. She usually defers to my wishes, but today I deferred to hers.]
Grump: takes a long time though
Josie: so what
Josie: i wish i stayed
Josie: i thought you were out
Grump: 1st place $179, plus I picked up about 8 bounties, $5 each
Josie: ohh and dont think i didnt notice
Grump: didn't notice what?
Josie: i take 2nd...and you MUST take first
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I played in another of the occasional unofficial AVP home-game tournaments on PokerStars tonight. It was an eight-game mix (HORSE plus 2-7 triple draw, no-limit hold'em, and pot-limit Omaha). I conquered a simply MASSIVE field of eight players, taking home every last bit of the valuable prize money:
Matt Matros, in Card Player magazine interview, July 11, 2012 (vol. 25, #14), page 34. Deep into a World Series of Poker event earlier this summer, he got all in with K-K versus an opponent's A-K, and lost the massive pot when an ace fell on the river.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I see that the final nine of the WSOP Main Event have been determined since I went to bed. Every news story I have seen so far--and, I predict, every one I will see in the future--prominently mentions that two women were eliminated just short of the final table, in 11th and 10th places.
Yes, women are statistically under-represented at poker tables generally and in big poker tournaments specifically. But that is true of black people, too, so that fact does not constitute a rational justification for paying attention to one group but not the other.I think it should be noted that nobody either in or out of the poker media took me up on the challenge to explain why the sex of a poker player was newsworthy but race was not. I'm still listening, should anybody care to try.
If you privately are glad to see that a black person will not win the Main Event this year, then you are obviously a racist. Of course, if you are upset about the fact that a black person will not win the Main Event this year, then that makes you a racist, too. Similarly, if you hope that Michelle is eliminated because for whatever reason you can't stand the idea of a woman winning, you are sexist. And, in parallel, if you were rooting for her to win solely because of her gender, that, too, makes you sexist. It's all the same. If you favor or disfavor a person because of race, you're a racist. If you favor or disfavor a person because of sex, you're a sexist. You're a bigot either way.
One of the great things about poker is that it simply doesn't matter whether you're male or female, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian, young or old, tall or short, skinny or fat, physically handicapped or a perfect specimen of humanity. Not only is the game equally open to all, but none of those characteristics intrinsically impact one's ability to learn and succeed at the game.
Frankly, I find the attention heaped on female players in the spotlight demeaning to women. Every time there is attention lavished on a female player specifically because she is female, there is at least a vague undertone that she merits the attention because she's doing something one would tend to think she shouldn't be able to do, like a pig learning to play a Brahms piano concerto.
What would be most genuinely respectful of women, in my never-humble opinion, is silently accepting, as a simple matter of fact--so obvious that it's not even worth mentioning, let alone dwelling on--that women are just as capable of playing the game as men are.
To the media outlets and bloggers who focus on the Last Woman Standing, but completely disregard the Last Black Standing, I ask you to justify why you deem one worthy of your attention but not the other. Can you do it?
Sunday, July 15, 2012
People, people, people--when will you ever learn? Do not muck what you believe to be the winning hand until the dealer pushes you the pot. This is not that difficult a concept. You gain nothing by trying to jump the gun and muck them the first instant you think the hand is over, and once in a while you'll lose a great deal, as illustrated by a story from yesterday at the WSOP: