Posts Tagged ‘t-licious’

Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Texas A&M WOW! is all we can say about the Texas A&M win over South Carolina, beating the Gamecocks 52- 28. Outstanding, beyond belief  performance by the Aggies on defense, offense and special teams.  Kenny Hill was phenomenal and hit at least ten different receivers to obliterate the Gamecocks in their own house, something that has not been done for the last 18 of their home games.

Copag Poker CardsAnd we have a winner too. T-Licious came the closest to predicting the final score when he predicted 45-42 Ags. No one else even came close to him. Much the same as South Carolina not even coming close to touching the Texas A&M Fighting Aggies. T-licious wins the professional set of Copag Peek-Index Poker Cards.  Congratulations Mr. T-Licious! Your poker cards are on their way.

This is gonna be one helluva football season!!

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T-LiciousBy: T-Licious

Continuing our discussion of the public’s attitude towards poker, and how the tide overall appears to be turning from traditionally strong opposition to broad acceptance, we focus on one American-born institution that cannot seem to face its fear of poker: baseball.

As a sociology major in college I remember learning the concept of a ‘social fact’ as originally defined by Emile Durkheim, the father of sociology.  There may be perceptions about a social group or community, but the way you know if they really exist…if they are indeed social facts…is if you cross that invisible boundary causing a reaction.  For example, Don Imus learned a social fact of American racial boundaries when advertisers pulled the plug on his show after he called Rutgers female basketball players, all African American, nappy headed ho’s.

A-Rod from Radar Online

A-Rod – Radar Online

Major league baseball appears to have a strong social fact related to gambling which extends to poker.  We all know that people bet on sports.  We also know that there have always been big heavyweight betters with ties to organized crime whose wagering can have an influence on the outcome of the game itself.  The 1919 “Black Sox Scandal” involving the fixing of the World Series led to the creation of the first commissioner of baseball. And then we have Pete Rose’s betting on baseball scandal of the late 80s where he broke baseball’s rule 21 whereby anyone associated with on-field play (players, coaches, umpires, etc.) is prohibited from betting on baseball games.  These events and their backlashes are understandable.  However, in 2011 we heard stories reported in the tabloids about Yankee’s franchise player Alex Rodriguez being involved in a home poker game held by a record producer.  The Commissioner’s office said that A-Rod could face a suspension if it was proven he had been at the games.

To me this is way different than betting on baseball where he has a chance to affect the outcome of the game.  He was playing in a high stakes game with poker pros, Hollywood stars, and big money executives.  I wouldn’t expect him to play in a local $20 buy-in game…what would be the point?  Why is baseball putting all gambling off limits?  The way the stories read in ESPN, New York papers and magazines, etc., was as if playing high stakes was the alleged violation…as if A-Rod would feel the sting of a $10,000 bet on his 10-year contract worth $275 million.  The story also mentioned that drugs were used by a few people hanging out (not A-Rod).  Welcome to Hollywood my friends.  It’s not Disneyland.  Finally someone attempted to explain that where there is poker there are people who are likely to bet on sports.  Again, no surprise here.  You will also find people who bet on sports may also smoke, drink, and stay out past ten on weeknights.

Does Major League Baseball have the right to restrict its players from anything a sports better might be involved in?  The sad thing is I did not see anyone jump to A-Rod’s defense.  So the end result is baseball is not helping poker’s image even though poker seems to have gained widespread public acceptance over the past 10 years.  Perhaps baseball’s top brass should sit back, relax in a comfy chair at a nice poker table, and take in a friendly poker game the next time one of their friends hosts at their baseball-themed man cave.  Maybe they will see that players deserve to do the same without fear of a lifetime suspension hanging over their heads.

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T-LiciousBy T-Licious

As we continue breaking down poker’s public image, we have to look at why that image is better today than it was 20, 30, or more years ago.  The reason is largely credited to the fact that poker has joined the ranks of the sporting world covered by ESPN.  This four-letter acronym might as well be a four-letter word followed by an exclamation point for the vital role it has played.  The cable giant that began as a quirky basketball satellite channel in the late 70s before most people knew what cable was, let alone satellite dish technology, now holds the Midas touch for legitimizing any activity that can be considered under the broadest sense of the word ‘sport’.  

ESPN Set of 500 poker chipsESPN’s coverage of the 2003 World Series of Poker showed the world that poker was not just something to do in smoky casino card rooms.  ‘Lipstick’ cameras were used to show the hole cards which piqued the interest of viewers who now watched, with inside information, as each hand with all its strategy played out.  The game itself, Texas Hold ‘Em, was new to most viewers and further engaged the new audience who took on the challenge of learning about blinds, flops, turns, and rivers with less concern of negative social stigmas now that this game was on prime time TV.  Viewers could also associate with amateur winners like online gamer Chris Moneymaker who showed us, as he raked in a massive amount of poker chips,  that you could strike it rich with a relatively small investment.  ESPN expanded poker’s popularity beyond the casino into home game rooms and drew in couples as well, which broke through the traditional guys card night for couples now seeking to host tournaments and cash games with friends, neighbors, coworkers, and charitable foundations.  Commercials for online poker sites aired during WSOP broadcasts further fueled the budding online poker phenomenon.  

Admittedly poker, and in particular Texas Hold ‘Em, was becoming more popular before ESPN made its big splash, as evidenced on the big screen with the 1998 hit Rounders.  However, ESPN changed poker in a very fundamental way. Just as Harley Davidson expanded its market beyond Hell’s Angels biker gangs to working stiffs who wanted to pretend to be bad boys and girls on the weekends, ESPN made poker cool and accessible to everyone.  At the height of the ESPN-sparked poker renaissance was the 2006 update of the James Bond classic Casino Royale which supplanted the original game of baccarat with Texas Hold ‘Em in what has become the consummate positive poker image still referenced today.

So with these recent positive events in poker’s history, why do some still seek to vilify it?  Find out next as we explore what makes America different from the rest of the poker world.

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From All Of Us at the Texas Poker Store – Chief Dealer, Pocket Bullets Paris, Vinny The Grinder, T-Licious, Queen of Diamonds Paris and the rest of the staff!

happy-new-year2014

May 2014 be your best year and may you get just the right cards every time. Defend and protect your poker chips and you’ll be a winner!

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