Saturday, August 12, 2006

Show Me The Money: Maybe Poker is a Sport

I was wrong. Poker is a sport. That is if you based it on championship winnings.

Jamie Gold, a talkative former Hollywood talent agent, won $12 million dollars at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. And he gets to keep all of it to himself. No splitting it with coaches, sponsors, owners, agents, or investors. Now that's a true Champion.

Jamie won the $12 Million (boy I like how that sounds) in a 12-day marathon of no-limit Texas Hold'em that began with 8,773 players. They say by eleminating seven of the final eight players single-handedly that Jamie re-wrote Championship Poker history. I don't know much about Poker except that there's plenty of bluffing going on. I guess that makes Jamie one helluva bluffer and now a rich one.

Actually Poker is not a sport but a game or contest. Some may even refer to it as an addiction. But I bet if a top athlete was as good as Jamie at playing Poker he'd rather play in the High stakes World Series of Poker than risk bodily injury in a major contact sport. Hell, if Jamie wants he can buy in on a major sports franchise rather than play for one.

I only hope our Poker Champion doesn't turn out to be a flash in the pan with an addiction that leaves him penniless and just another Vegas story. After all, Poker is for gamblers and what else would a gambler with $12 million dollars do but stare at it for awhile then think of ways to win more. In other words gamblers gamble, and with winnings like this you can bet the champ will want to gamble with some of it. In the infamous words of Charles Barkley, "I don't have a gambling problem, as long as I have the money to do it there's no problem". Thanks Charles, spoken like a truely addictive gambler.

You gotta like Jamie though. Who do you think was the first person he called once he'd won the championship? His Dad who suffers from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Jamie my boy, addictive gambler or not, you are a Champion in my book. Congratulations!

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