Friday, May 20, 2016

“Poker Twitter”

Spent the day taking care of the usual business while also readying the farm for a get-together tomorrow where we’ll be hosting a lot of family and friends. It’s kind of turned into an annual thing here every spring, a fun way to get everyone together, eat some barbecue, and just relax.

Had too much to do to spend that much time following the Twitter stuff today, but I noticed enough to see the some of the griping back and forth in anticipation of the World Series of Poker (which gets started in a little over a week). A lot of personal beefs being played out before an audience again, with the WSOP also getting in there and bothering people with some of its tweets, too (as they’ve done before).

You’ve probably heard our friend Kevmath has been hired by the WSOP to take over their Twitter account starting May 31, finally officially being awarded a job he’s been handling on his own for years. I don’t envy Kevmath the task he’s taken on, although I’ve no doubt he’s going to do it well.

I was thinking today about one of the conversations I was having with my buds at LAPT Panama about social media -- Twitter, specifically -- and how often those who interact on there misinterpret others’ meanings or intentions, fail to appreciate context (or irony/sarcasm), or otherwise misread each other, often leading to the spectacle-creating argument and vitriol we’re so used to seeing scroll past.

I made an observation -- perhaps insightful, perhaps not -- that since poker is a game full of misdirection and purposefully misleading plays, actions, and/or verbal exchanges, it’s only natural for “poker Twitter” (as it were) to be full of the same sort of challenges to clear, direct communication.

I’ve made that observation here on the blog before how some treat Twitter like a game, viewing others as like opponents with whom to battle over some unspecified prize. I guess this point is a slightly different one, as I don’t think everyone engaging in “poker Twitter” looks at it as a contest. Rather (I’m suggesting) I think it might be more likely than not that poker people are going to be less than direct with their communications in public (such as over Twitter), busy as they often are with building images and looking for edges.

Dunno if that point is clear or not, but I guess it can be summarized as a general recommendation to take pretty much everything you read over “poker Twitter” with a grain of salt, if you can, and not react too quickly without looking a little further into context and or intention. Also know you don’t always have to call or raise, even if you’re pretty sure someone’s probably bluffing.

I think Kevmath has good instincts in that regard, which’ll help him once the barrage of questions (and criticisms, probably) come his way starting at the end of the month.

Me? I’m just hoping it doesn’t rain tomorrow. That’s all. No, really... no hidden message or irony. Let’s just have some sunshine!

Image: “Twitter icon,” Jurgen Appelo. CC BY 2.0.

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