What We Talk About When We Talk About Poker

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What do you talk about?

As poker writers, players, pros, watchers and fans we all talk about poker - a lot.

We talk about hands. We talk about bad beats. We talk about run good. We talk HU4rollz.

But no matter how much we speak to one specific part of the game when we do, when we talk about poker we always speak to something more than just the turns of the cards.

What are we (really) talking about when we talk about poker?

The Human Condition

We are talking about the game.

Bracelet Money
It's chips, cards and money. But more.

We are talking about chips, cards and money; the need to have fun; competition and the inner drive to recapture those moments when we played soldiers with our friends.

We are talking about family.

We are talking about the nine people sat around the table as if they are our brothers and sisters. We look at them with nails bitten down, jitterbug state, wearing the biggest smile and we love them.

We are talking about support.

We are talking about the times in our lives when we don't know what to do. We are talking about those nine people riding towards us on horseback with an outstretched arm waiting to scoop us up and rescue us from ourselves.

We are talking about a lesson in personal finance.

We are talking about money; that piece of paper that makes us act in the most heinous and giving ways - the wonder of the human condition.

We are talking about the loan from your friend because you have just lost the lot and yet the game is so great.

We are talking about making that same loan when you are in a sea surrounded by sharks. We are talking about teaching this thing in school to liven up math class.

gruissem uganda
We're talking about Giving.

We are talking about service. 

We are talking about giving to others. We are talking about Robin Hood. We are talking about organizations like Raising For Effective Giving (REG) and determining what's more important - your 5% donation or cable.

We are talking about the One Drop, The WPT Foundation and all the other poker charities that help reduce suffering in the world.

We are talking about fitting in.

We are talking about how great it would be if David Bowie were a poker player. We are talking about Ziggy Stardust and the way he plays the guitar.

We are talking about lesbians, gays, transgender, armless, legless, Pavarotti-size fat and Kate Moss-size skinny.

We are talking about skins of all the colors of the gasoline rainbows. We are talking about the agoraphobic and the voyeur, the mess and the lawyer. We are talking about the atheist and the nun and the man with the head like a currant bun.

We are talking about the shadow.

We are talking about the dark side. Do we want to know why it's there? We are talking about the need for MORE.

Dan "Jungleman" Swims with Dolphins
We're talking adventure.

We are talking about the shadow and how he only comes out when he hears the sound of the riffling chips. We talk about running away. We talk about keeping it all. We talk about never paying it back.

We are talking about love.

We are talking about that moment you saw her. We are talking about values and beliefs. We are talking about the love of the game.

We speak of fur-lined gloves from Venice and a beautiful game of tennis. We are talking about only one of the suits; it's red, and without which we would be dead.

We are talking about adventure.

We are talking about becoming a vagabond. We are talking about the sights. We speak of experience. We are talking about breaking out of the claustrophobic bubble and finding another flower to pollinate.

We are talking about Vitamin D; the way life should be. We are talking about sitting in front of an ocean with friends we never would have met had it not been for the deck.

We are talking about education.

We are talking about IQ. We are talking about EQ. We are talking about the search for mentors, Skype groups, and obnoxious forums.

We are talking about photographic memory. We are talking about a constant state of learning, of bettering ourselves, and of becoming a greater human being.

United Chips of Phil
We're talking past and future.

We are talking about how it saved our lives.

We are talking about the past. We are talking about a life containing nothing but stigma, bleedy-looking eyes, and needing a surgeon to reach deep inside and give that heart a squeeze.

We are talking about societal conditioning, Plato's Cave and the need to fit in. We are talking about the flock.

We are talking about being a golf club carried wherever the Caddie wants to take us. We are talking about mushy peas, pie and chips; IV drips and cracked lips.

This is what I talk about when I talk about poker. What do you talk about?

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