Responding to Tom’s question, I recall starting off with an “I don’t know,” then murmuring some applesauce about participating in the “community” or the like. I remember thinking afterwards I had a much more articulate, interesting answer to that question to share, but something had gotten in between me and that part of my brain. Could have been the sight of Shannon Elizabeth at the next table.
During those Vegas posts, the first birthday of Hard-Boiled Poker happened past. And this here is the two hundredth post. Ran a quick count at the end of April and found I’d written something like 180,000 words altogether. A couple of hefty novels’ worth of prose, that. Or four of five of those penny dreadfuls I like. Having devoted so much time and energy to this here enterprise, you can imagine how the “I don’t know” response would tend to dissatisfy yr humble servant.
I’ve written the “what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here” post before, of course. More than once, actually. In fact, during the first few months of the blog I often consciously had to resist that self-reflexive, lookee-what-I-found-here-in-my-navel urge.
Had a few decent efforts along those lines, though. In “An Existential Pause” (marking the three-month anniversary), I wrote about a conversation between Cincinnati Sean (of Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio) and Iggy, the “Blogfather,” about poker blogs and their purpose. (Speaking of anniversaries . . . happy birthday, Ignatius!) In “Milestones” (the 100th post), I tried again, relating the whole blogging thing to a kind of existential record-keeping. And that post about the Beyond the Table discussion -- “Who Wants to Write About Poker?” -- also tried to tackle the question in a different way. (Some terrific, insightful comments from other bloggers on that latter post, by the way -- check ’em out.)
So I won’t reiterate those thoughts here. But I will try again to answer the question Tom asked me. And against form, I’m gonna be succinct.
First started the blog with an idea that doing so might help me improve as a player. Soon realized that was only a small part of what the blog was about. A few months in, I saw the posts naturally segregate themselves into those sections that run along the right-column, with the “On the Street” posts (about hands) and those “Shots in the Dark” (about theory) being the only ones specifically related to the original purpose. Nearly a third of the 200 posts have been responses to “The Rumble” or how poker is discussed and debated in sundry locales (e.g., mainstream news, websites, blogs, podcasts, senate floors, what have you).
Haven’t had too much occasion lately to discuss poker pros and celebs (or “High Society”), although that will probably change once the WSOP cranks up again next month. And I’d like to try to write more about what I’m reading (“By the Book”) -- both poker-wise and hard-boiled-wise -- but that often takes special effort.
What I like most about keeping the blog -- I’ve mentioned this before, too -- is the way it helps me link up (literally and figuratively) with others similarly fascinated by poker and all it touches. Aside from the flurry of posts here over the last couple of weeks, I’ve basically followed an every-other-day routine whereby I’ll write one day, then read what others are saying the next.
As I said a couple of months ago in “Community Watch,” “This here is a complicated, overlapping set of communities where (one might argue) we all eventually get around to hearing from each other. Unlike the world of print media, we ain’t so bound by time and space -- or even other factors that make it hard or even impossible for us otherwise to communicate with others. Here the interaction seems more alive (if that makes sense), and usually more meaningful.”
Now that I think about it, I suppose my response to Tom was somewhat accurate after all. I don’t know exactly what the blog is for, but I do know it puts me in contact with a lot of folks whose company I very much enjoy. So thanks for reading . . . and keep writing yrselves.
And we’ll all make sense of it eventually.
Labels: *the rumble