Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Face of All Your Fears

I'd have to go back and check some old posts, but I would imagine that I've been playing in some of the local underground cardrooms for over a year now. My initial fears in playing at some of these places were quelled with time and a desensitization that naturally occurs with repeated visits. The more conservative folks I told about the games always said, "The cops are gonna bust that place up" or "That game will get robbed." Deep down, I shared those thoughts, but of course looked past them with the eyes of someone blinded by a desire to play cards.

On Sunday, my daughter's 4pm soccer game got rained out by a passing thunderstorm. As I walked back into my house that day, an idea popped into my head ever so briefly that maybe I'd go play some Sunday afternoon cards. I'd done it only once before, back in May when the family was out of town for the long weekend. The Black Stallion game ran that day and easily filled two tables.

For whatever reason, the thought left my mind as easily as it entered. Which was a real good thing. Up for Poker has already linked to this story and now so will I.


Of the two evils (getting arrested or robbed), this is obviously the worse. I've played in four locations here in G-Vegas. Of those four, I'd have to say that two were in locations with little to no options for security. Thankfully, The Depot has the tightest security, and is of course where I play most frequently. The setup is not perfect, but it's orders of magnitude better than anything the other rooms have. And of course, it will get better based on the events of this weekend.

I'm both sad and disappointed. Sad for the people involved who had to go through that experience. And disappointed that the environment for playing cards has to be so potentially dangerous.

There's a middle ground somewhere for a game's popularity and size. If it gets too big, it attracts unwanted attention. If it remains too small, it becomes unsustainable. Reality has sunk in and it's not pretty. I'm not sure what the future holds. But I do know that business was down last night at The Depot, most likely based on news from the previous evening.

Poker junkies don't really think rationally when there's a chance to play cards, so I imagine that within weeks, it will be business as usual. My kids' seasonal sports have just started back up and as such I wouldn't have been able to play in the Black Stallion game for months anyway. But my kids' future depends on my health and my continued ability to earn a living.

Home game anyone?

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