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.
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.