Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ante Up

My name is Travis, and I am a gambler.

I don't wager away my mortgage payment.

I don't take food from my kids mouths to bet.

I don't steal at work to feed my habit.

But I do love that feel, the rush of adrenaline that comes to me while gambling.

Does this make me a criminal? Am I more dangerous than the guy who likes to get his blood pumping by jumping from a perfectly functioning airplane? Is my hobby more detrimental than the guy who spends two hundred bucks on running shoes and travels all over the country running marathons? So I spend a little extra cash here and there. Truth be told, I tend to win more than I lose. Most people consider me lucky. I prefer to think I am simply a consciousness gambler who bets when the odds are more in my favor. But even with that, I said I only wager what I can afford to lose. 

I love gambling in all it's forms. Horses, sports, and yes cards. Especially cards. I am a solid poker player that has won tournaments both here in Texas and in Vegas. One of my goals is to have an extraneous ten grand to play in the World Series of Poker main event, but until that happens I play the games I can afford.

However, the FBI has now seized and shutdown the online poker sites. I can no longer simply log in and satisfy my gambling urges.

I understand there are some with a problem. But guess what, there are people with alcohol problems, sex addictions, and who can't step away from a Big Mac. I don't see the FBI shutting down McDonalds, confiscating every Penthouse in America, or closing the millions of bars and liquor stores in this country.

Yeah, this country was stupid enough to give prohibition a try back in the day and all it did was give rise the organized crime.

The FBI info says they shut down these sites not for the protection of the addicted but for illegal gaming, tax evasion, money laundering and various other crimes. I get that, but what I don't get is why playing poker is a crime, but wagering your life savings in the stock market is not. I have more faith in my card sense than I do a bunch of damn CEO's. I got two words for you that disagree.

Bailout Money!

Given the fact that we have wasted billions if not trillions on corporate America and this country has a national debt bigger than the police records of all the members of congress I say the FBI and Gov't should keep the poker sites open. If the proprietors weren't paying their taxes fine, let the Gov't run the sites. They could use the profits to whittle down the deficit.

Of course, neither party would go with that idea. The Republicans will claim gambling is a sin and in no way can they condone the further moral degradation of this country, and the Democrats will tell you gambling only makes the rich richer, or that the emissions from all those computers creates too many green house gases.

Meanwhile, I'll just be a good Catholic boy and go play my local, not-exactly-legal- but-it's-for-charity-so-we-won't arrest-you poker tournament.  


Rocketstar said...

Here, here, Amen brother. Where is the Tea Party and Republican party now, bithcing about BIG government!

I could have written this post exactly as you have it (minus the 'great player' and "Catholic" part of course) as I too love to play poker (small stakes) online and now the bastards have taken it away.

So much for personal freedom in this country.

Melissa Amateis said...

Ah yes. More govt. intrusion. That is what we need in our lives! (not)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's much better that your gambling money go to a local charity anyway than to line some rich fraudster's pockets. You can help build your community. Plus it gets you out of the house.

the walking man said...

And this smaller government, that will equal less regulation and intrusion is coming from where and when again?

Like you said of they are afraid there is too much money slipping out of their hands let them start an online casino with the full monty run by Elizabeth Warren.

Want to whittle the deficit down? Start a national lottery...the deficit will be gone in 4 years

Eric said...

I'm not a gambler at all, but I am a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I don't care if people want to give in to their vices. Heaven help the guy who tries to take away my Diet Coke with Lime (yeah, it's a vice when you drink as much as I do LOL). I'm sorry to hear those idiots in Washington are cramping your style, Travis.

Charles Gramlich said...

I suspect the main factor was that so many of these sites were outside the US, in areas completely uncontrolled or controllable. Thus, no taxes paid. Who knows though. I've actually never done any online gambling. I hate to lose money.

Old Kitty said...

I think you should start a petition going:

"We the undersigned believe Lettuce is the Devil, not Gambling". :-)

Take care

sybil law said...

Amen, Travis.

WordVixen said...

Dude- is Tavern Poker legal in TX? My brother in law came in 2nd last year and got an invite to Vegas to qualify for WSoP. He came in first this year, so we're expecting him to get invited again. (Maybe this time he'll make it!)