Monday, February 10, 2014

Tournament Poker for Advanced Anglers

Over the weekend I had two different instances of people alerting me to references online to poker-related pieces I’d written, both of which had popped up in non-poker contexts.

That in and of itself was interesting -- both for vanity’s sake (who doesn’t find references to themselves noteworthy?) and because I’m always intrigued by talk of poker outside of our relatively cloistered community. But there was one other reason why the references intrigued me even further.

On Saturday Eric Ramsey let me know over Twitter that I’d been referenced on a fishing site, of all places, something called Advanced Angler. A short post discussing the rise of competitive fishing over recent years brings up poker as a parallel example, and the unnamed author makes reference to a Betfair poker post I’d written sharing what for us is common knowledge regarding the invention of the hole card camera.

Then yesterday Vera and I went out to dinner with another couple and the fellow told me he’d run across a reference to me appearing on what I believe is a somewhat popular physics blog called Preposterous Universe written by Sean Carroll, a physicist at Caltech.

The post -- “Poker is a Game of Skill” -- was written last fall and swiftly makes the case for the game’s skill component while referencing a sketchy academic study appearing in the Journal of Gambling Studies the year before. I’d written about the study here (pointing out its poor methodology), and Carroll had linked me up as he discussed it.

Like I say, who among us isn’t intrigued by others talking about us? And as I mention above, there’s always something to learn about poker when people who aren’t immersed in our subculture discuss it.

Sure, the non-poker people will make mistakes sometimes when discussing our favorite game, but in some cases they see things more clearly than we do, I think. For example, the Advanced Angler piece reiterates the importance of hole card cameras to those casually acquainted with poker (something we take for granted sometimes), and Carroll’s utter rejection of the idea that poker does not involve skill is refreshing in its clear-headedness.

But there’s another reason why I found these two references in particular interesting. I’ve mentioned before how my Dad is a physics professor, now retired. He also happens to be a lifelong fisherman, something else I remember writing about here once when discussing my friend Carlos Monti, the photographer on the LAPT.

I had to share both of these references with him, of course, suggesting that perhaps they proved some latent influence he’d had over me, as evidenced by fishermen and physicists being readers.

Or perhaps poker, fishing, and physics have some natural affinities I hadn’t previously appreciated? I guess all three groups do include people interested in angling.

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Blogger mercedes said...

so cute my friend !!
miss you

2/20/2014 7:58 AM  

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