Monday, Apr 30, 2012 Poker Junkie Op-Ed: What We've Lost in Modern Poker
Amarillo Slim Preston passed away on Sunday at the age of 83 and with that, one of the last of a dying breed of gamblers moved on.
PokerJunkie blogger Compncards wrote in his blog about Slim being the stuff of legends and how the game has lost something special with his passing.
Today, he looks at three other things we've lost in the modernization of poker.
1) The Game's Not Quite as Fun Anymore
Something that I have often noticed about older poker players that play this game is how much fun they still have even after playing 30, 40, or even 50 years.
When I look at most players 30 years of age or younger, the newer players look like they may be having fun but those that have been playing for a couple of years of more by and large are way too serious.
Another thing I have noticed is the number of poker players that have "taken breaks," "retired," or otherwise significantly reduced their playing time and then come back because "they miss the competitiveness" or "they got the itch."
Something I almost never hear is "I'm coming back because the game is so much fun."
When you talk to online players, they come across as robots, antisocial, etc and the game seems like one giant math equation to them.
What happened to the fun in the game? Whatever happened to people trying to do everything they can to have fun while playing?
As much as I rag on Daniel Negreanu, I will give him credit for being someone that does try and have fun at the table a large portion of the time.
The modernization of poker, the move to online pokera nd the general "incorporation" of poker has seemed to result in some of the fun being sucked out of the game, and it's sad to see.
2) The Stuff of Legends
When many of us came into the game, we regularly heard stories about the old days of poker and the exploits of the road gamblers and the things that have happened at different casinos.
Some of us have lived through certain legendary events and have our own stories about certain players, venues, etc.
However, in the last few years how many legendary stories do we have? I don't count someone's run in a poker tournament as legendary.
Yes, we do have the occasional story regarding this or that prop bet, but they are few and far between and some have become mundane.
I am not saying we should go back to the way things were in the days of Johnny Moss and the like but we have lost some of that legendary status.
The stories we tell our grandkids about our heyday in the game are not going to be the same as what we were told.
We will have stories, but they will not be as legendary.
3) The Sense of Community
I came into the game as the old guard was on the way out and the new guard was firmly taking over.
The difference that I notice in the game, and part of that is due to its massive growth, is that the old guard had more of a sense of community and family than the new guard does.
Granted, the family was at times very disfunctional, but it was more of a tighter group than today's players.
Some of that is based on the sheer number of players. Some is based on the fact that the current generation seems much more selfish than the last.
TV, celebrity status and the potential money out there makes an impact. The money has always been a factor, but today some people are more interested in being famous than being a good person.
Poker is always evolving and the game 10 years from now will likely be very different than today.
Change happens, and sometimes it is not all good. I still wonder whether what we have gained in poker's evolution is worth what we have lost.