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Poker and Prostitution Do NOT Go Together!
by Timmor L. White

I love poker. So, I am always taken aback when I realize that most people do not feel the same way. A great many people actually dislike the game and think it is evil. They believe, to varying degrees, that poker represents the moral downfall of society. Amazing, huh?

If you are like me, you play poker regularly, and you enjoy the game, and you recognize that poker is a brilliant competitive challenge. You might easily conclude that everyone likes poker, because you do, and the people you know do. You might figure that even those who do not play acknowledge poker's intrinsic value.

But you are way off. Many people, in their heart of hearts, think poker is immoral and sinful. You don't normally encounter these people, so you are not exposed to this sentiment. Allow me to give you a cold, hard shot of reality. The truth is that most people who inhabit this world feel nothing positive about poker.

Even though poker is currently experiencing a massive upsurge in popularity and acceptance, this newfound acclaim has failed to shake the erroneous beliefs of stubborn people. They still view poker as decadent. They conjure up images of addicted gamblers tied to crime, drugs and prostitution. This viewpoint persists, even today, among the ignorant. To them, the connection between poker and sleaziness is strong and undeniable. And these lemmings do not want to hear anything favorable about poker. They do not want to risk listening to reason, which might threaten their desperately held belief system.

Senator Bill Frist, the Republican leader of the United States Senate, recently stood on the floor of Congress and verbalized this ridiculous viewpoint for all to hear: "Poker is a serious addiction that undermines the family, dashes dreams and frays the fabric of society." But hey, don't laugh only at Senator Frist. He speaks for millions of people when he utters this stupidity. There are no shortage of lackeys who stand ready to join his crusade to stomp out what they perceive as the evil menace of poker.

Allow me to set the record straight. I say this loudly and deliberately: Poker and the moral decay of society do NOT go together! Neither do poker and prostitution. Nor poker and drugs. Nor poker and public drunkenness.

Nor poker and addiction. Let me say more about this matter of addiction, since it is a primary reason why poker is held in low regard. Sure, some people struggle with addiction. People are addicted to food, sex, television and a thousand other things. But that does not make those things bad. The same goes for poker. A tiny percentage of players are addicted to poker; there are those with an addictive personality and a propensity to lose. But we should not blame poker itself for their problems any more than we should blame the neighborhood bakery for those with eating disorders.

The truth is that poker represents a pleasurable and challenging activity for a great many good and decent individuals. People of all faiths, all cultures and all economic strata play poker for fun and betterment. Poker is a dynamic testament to the fundamental concepts of freedom and consensual competition. The game features the finest aspects of human interaction and calls into play the most honorable of human qualities, such as courage, sound reasoning and self-control. Poker is, in fact, a supreme way to build character.

So then, what sort of things DO go together with poker? How about intelligence. How about discipline. How about passion for competition. How about relish for the challenges of life. These are good things, are they not? It follows, then, that poker must also be good thing.

The next time you hear some moron equating poker with crime, drugs, prostitution and the deeds of Satan, do me a favor. Stand up to that babbling nincompoop and impart the truth. Please. I, for one, am sick of hearing this nonsense pass for intelligent discourse. Tell those who spew this garbage that poker is the most exquisite game ever to grace planet Earth. Tell them that poker is raw, real and beautiful, and that it holds the most powerful secrets of the universe beneath its humble exterior. Tell them that if they had any sense, they would bow down and give thanks for the precious gift of poker, which comes to us straight from the hand of God. Say it loudly, okay? Put them in their place for me, would you? I'd appreciate it.

Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online Poker Systems. He is active in the study and reporting of online-poker playing strategies. He has also developed a system to Cheat at Online Poker.

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