Poker Playing – thank you Great Great Grandmother!

Posted: October 14, 2013 in CPD
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PokerShe would command an audience on a Sunday night! Smoking her clay pipe and sitting at an old farm table, Great Great Granny McMannus would be the centre of the local community for at least 3 hours. There she would play ‘old style’ poker, usually against the local farmers who ‘should know better’. Playing both straight and stud poker, she rarely lost and (according to my Grandfather) knew when to hold them and knew when to fold them.

This tradition of card playing on a Sunday night was certainly part of my childhood. Although we rarely played for money (and then only pennies), Newmarket, 21 and poker were games we played as a whole family and particularly when the Irish side of the family visited.

What I learnt about those times was priceless. The sense of family tradition was clear and even as a boy, I felt so proud to be part of it. Looking back, it wasn’t really about the cards – it was about the family being together. The TV was long forgotten, the table was cleared and I would sit with my grandfather as he had sat with his grandmother and the game would continue.

Of course now you don’t need anything but a computer and you can be completely on your own playing with strangers from every continent! I’m not sure my Great Great Grandmother would have approved! Remote Gambling is defined as “Gambling in which persons participate by the use of remote communication”. This would be using the internet, the telephone, radio, television of any other device used for communication. (Wikipedia – (46)

In terms of revenue, there has been a phenomenal increase in online poker playing , with casino betting taking £347.87 million between 2010-2011. (Wikipedia – (48) but linked to this there has also been an increase in ‘problem gambling’ and money laundering through online casino sites.

This is part of the poker game that I dislike the most. Gone is the community spirit, gone is the competitor that you can look in the eye and try to read their body language. Gone are the discussions and debates throughout the evening, the comradely and community spirit that my Great Great Grandmother thought so important.

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Comments
  1. sherryl wilson says:

    Ahh, I get it now. This so explains your attachment to poker, and perhaps the club that you run is a way of re-engaging with that sense of community. Did that happen?

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