Exchanging cards and dollars

There’s not too much pressing news, so I’m posting a link to this article about why poker players might be good at playing the currency exchange game:

Poker is arguably the most popular game of chance in modern gambling. Its popularity has seen unprecedented heights over the last decade with tournaments frequently broadcast on major cable channels such as ESPN. Many people have become familiar with the famous poker stars of today, who have become household names.

What makes these well known poker players great? Would these talents translate to other ventures? We think so. In fact we think that we’ve found the perfect alternative occupation for skilled poker players. The answer is Forex trading.

Forex is the trading of different countries’ currencies in order to gain profits. Poker players possess many of the same attributes of a good Forex Trader. Don’t believe us? Well, we’ve created a list of the top 11 Reasons why poker players make great Forex traders:

11 Reasons Poker Players Make Great Forex Traders | Currency Trading.net

I’m getting more and more requests to post things. I bring a lot of it on myself. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that less than 24 hours after posting on the coincidental naming of a Las Vegas master-planned community after part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I got an email from a site called “Free Geekery.”

More poker on TV

When I saw this news, I groaned inwardly…ESPN is showing even more televised poker next year. I know this gem of knowledge because I got the press release straight from Harrah’s, along with a 2005-6 poker season schedule. Yeah, I just typed “2005-6 poker season” with a straight face.
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NCAA troubled by betting

In case you missed ESPN’s hyperbolic exposition of “bracketology” this weekend, the berths for the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament have been announced, beginning one of bookies’ favorite times of the year, March Madness. And the NCAA is shocked, yes, shocked that people gamble on the tournament, and suggests that the best way to end this national rite is to usurp the right of the people of Nevada to decide whether or not their state should offer legal sports betting.
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Ranting about ESPN

Watching that ESPN series on sports and gambling, something struck me as odd, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, until I read this, from John Schwarb of the St. Pete Times:

Not to pile on too much against ESPN (in this space last week we questioned its anchors being advertising pitchmen), but we could have lived without the five-part SportsCenter series “Gambling in Sports: The National Pastime” last week.

For one thing, the packaging of it with the ballyhooed Hustle movie was far too cute. We’re not stupid, we could see the network trying to work us into a degenerate gambling froth, preferably one that would end Saturday night on the couch with their latest foray into original programming.

Parts of the SportsCenter series were laughable, others lazy and less informative than they should have been. A segment on the point-shaving scandal with the 1993-94 Arizona State men’s basketball team relied on old interviews with all parties, failing to show what the guilty are doing now.

A segment on poker’s underbelly – young people spending countless hours and money playing online – rang hollow considering how much ESPN promotes this foolishness. The network is not to blame for an individual’s decision to mortgage the future on card games, but after glorifying poker for hours every week, showing a few minutes on its dark side seems trite.

On the whole, it is hilarious to watch SportsCenter turn into 60 Minutes when “investigating” gambling. The undertones of betting on an all-sports network are constant, either in subtle forms (the never-ending ticker) or in your face (“Hammerin”‘ Hank Goldberg’s Sunday morning football picks).

Perhaps any investigations could start within the Bristol, Conn., offices, where Mike Freeman reported in his 2000 book ESPN: The Uncensored History that gambling was rampant.

Instead, we’re subjected to a five-part series ending in a Pete Rose movie. Oh, well, we watched it all, so you win, ESPN. Again.

Rant: ESPN gambling series comical

Now I remember what was so odd: the channel that ran a countdown clock on their bottom line that ticked off the seconds until the next episode of the WSOP being a little sanctimonious about gambling. It’s great when people and organizations contradict themselves so blatantly that this transcends hypocrisy.

Not all TV is bad–a new episode of The Wire aired last night. It’s honestly the only show that I regularly watch, and it just keeps getting better.