February 16, 2011

The poker "community"?

Warning - incoherent train of thought following...

As everybody, I was fascinated reading about the Ashman prop bet, of course mainly because of the blog reaction by internetpoker, Haseeb Qureshi (Part 1 and Part 2). It actually involved the element of somebody from the outside (the parents) actually making at least Haseeb realize how screwed up the bet was. So the blog was what set this thing apart from all the other crazy prop bets that have been made in the past. I mean just take a look at this list: 10 craziest prop bets every made.

But meh, I was pretty indifferent to the whole thing until I heard the reaction from the other camp - Ashton Griffin's camp. He appeared on the Poker News podcast, where at least he contained his cockiness a bit by only saying he was a lock on the bet. But on the Leggo Podcast it was almost as if they were making fun of Haseeb for being such a prop bet fish. They wanted to come off as these cool famous kids on the podcast and it just seemed, almost like trying too hard to invalidate the statement that Ashton had made about being depressed as reported in the blog.

It was then when I downloaded the Leggo Podcast and started listening to them yesterday - you know, while folding clothes, driving, doing some work. I listened to like 6 of them, but the story is always the same - look at us, we're so cool. We're buying Aston Martin's because girls are too dumb to recognize the value of an Audi. We're losing thousands of dollars in the pit. We're randomly staking good2cu in a 40k tourney because we're hungover and had a great time partying with him last night. We bang chicks in random trucks and are high all the time. The Rhino tax. The other Ashman prop bet, where he ran 15 miles in less than 3 hours having eaten a gallon of ice-cream. Mix in lots of swear words and you have the LeggoCast.

I felt so old when listening to the podcasts. I feel old when listening to rootbone radio (Poker Static), I feel old when listening to 3 Gentlemen (the Cardrunner's version). I don't mean to give sweeping generalizations and discussing random sports events and prop betting smallish amounts on them is fine. I just feel old, when my first urge is to yell at the guys that they are going down a bad path, either healthwise or mentally.

It is not my place, of course. I did extremely dumb stuff when I was young. I remember it like it was yesterday, I'm in Sweden at some random beach, hanging, grabbing on to a side of a cliff, 20 meters above me - wall, 20 meters below wall and the crashing waves. Me thinking - how the hell did I get into this mess? All to prove I was brave, that I could climb this stupid cliff wall? Well, I made it out alive, but I tell you that was some shaking my legs did, some yelling I did for help and some learning my little mind did. It makes me sad that the guys in the poker community will have to do that learning at much higher stakes, with lots of predators circling because of the large swaths of money they throw around. But also because it is so public. When I was 19 I could just screw up by myself and nobody would notice (hell, still nobody notices), they are in the poker "limelight" trying to keep up some weird appearance of coolness.

I think it was last year that Dr Pauly wrote a something about Kathy Liebert, maybe it was 2009. It was just a few lines, actually, but they still reverberate in my mind the whole time until today. She had just scored big, 4th in the 10k PLHE event. Yet, she carried a homemade meal a few days later or maybe even the next day to the next poker tourney - it was something boring like meat and potatoes, which she warmed up during the break. Dr Pauly gave her some props in those lines and she received my respect ever since then. Super small detail, but something so grounded as to bring your own cooked meal to "work" instead of having the menu of Naked Fish memorized. Not the Dom or Crystal parties (ew, I don't even like champagne). No, sweat the small stuff, the big will follow! Yes, you can be a normal person without being a life nit!

And why do you have to act like you are happy or high all the time? Why do you insist on throwing around the dollars like there's no tomorrow? I do understand the parties and hanging out with your friends. I was always happier hanging out with guys playing videogames and munching on pizza when I was younger than going out shopping. But I find that during WSOP time, some people try to force fun, as if it HAS to happen, so high expectations riding during those months about how everything is going to work out and they are going to have this magical summer. And yes, lots of great experiences are had, but it seems fake when it's forced (paid).

Anyway, ramblings from an old lady to a young poker community, oh boy! :P Maybe next week I should just stick to "Embracing the variance" again. Oh, speaking of that, tomorrow is the next Rush LHE FTOPs tourney. Will try to see if I can put some of my observations to work there. Or just luckbox. Ideally both! Wish me luck!

Posted By bellatrix at 12:21 AM


Tags: introspection


dayoldhater posted on February 16, 2011 at 00:44 AM


So true about leggocast, I'm their age and I can't listen to it. It's funny how people who are so successful can be so insecure.

inavacuum posted on February 16, 2011 at 09:46 AM


I've never listened to any of those podcasts, but I think if I did I would also feel old and probably a little embarrassed for them. I think what it's important to remember, especially when it comes to how these kids are approaching girls, is that it is likely that they've just had very few opportunities to interact with the opposite sex in any kind of meaningful way until they became extremely rich. At which point the kind of women they attract are of a certain... genre. Which then only goes on to perpetuate the behavioural idiom.

callipygian posted on February 16, 2011 at 22:37 PM


The same phenomenon happened in the SF Bay Area during the tech boom when all of a sudden there were a slew of millionaires between the ages of 20 and 25.

Some of my distant friends were cocky enough to even prop bet on which of them were to be the first to do it. To my knowledge, nobody has won the bet yet.

richbrown posted on February 18, 2011 at 17:42 PM


I'm not an old man but i can totally see your point of view on this.
I have met many many different poker players from all over the world of different ages. Each person is very different but not everyone is like this, i mean the younger guys as well.

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