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CMP
10-05-2004, 06:41 PM
This was on the 10pm news Sunday night -- did I miss a thread on this already? ABC 7 in Chicago...

Poker Explosion
October 3, 2004 The game of Texas Hold 'Em Poker has taken over the airwaves, the internet, and is being played in casinos and homes all over America. It's a game where a relative newcomer can out duel a wily poker veteran to become world champion. But there can be a darker side, too. It's all part of the poker explosion.

This isn't your father's poker game of five card draw or seven card stud. This is Texas Hold 'Em Poker. Two cards down, then a round of betting, then the flop, the turn and the river, with betting after each round.

At Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas last spring nearly 2,600 players paid $10,000 entry fees, for a chance to win the $5 million first prize. This year's winner was Greg Raymer, a patent attorney from Connecticut who once lived in Chicago.

With his unusual shades and ice water in his veins, nicknamed Fossilman because of the fossils brings to the table to protect his cards.

"Anyone can do it. Anyone can enter the world series of poker and come away the winner," said Greg Raymer.

Poker's become so popular Trump Casino in Gary, IN installed a poker room last December. Aside from the continuous live games, the casino hosts a poker tournament every Wednesday. It's a $100 buy in but the winner usually walks away with just under $10,000.

That brings in all kinds, from Kirk Fallah who went from the internet to his first live tournament.

"Yeah, I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm hoping I an put on my poker face, I've got my glasses so hopefully I can do good today," said Fallah.

To longtime player Clifford Sago.

"I guess I'm one of those risk takers. Texas Hold 'Em has a little suspense in it," said Sago.

To Marla Grapsas, one of the few female players.

"I think women are on an equal level of men," said Grapsas.

Some bring their sunglasses or good luck charms, fidgeting, bluffing, and sometimes blowing off steam.

"The house doesn't have the advantage, you're playing against another player, another human being, the odds aren't against you," said Dactelides.

From the casinos to the internet. Many like Brad Belden log onto to sites with names like Paradise Poker, Poker Stars and Pacific Poker to hone their game.

"I could see a thousand hands in one day of playing that it would take you in a couple of weeks of live games," said Belden.

But if there is a cautionary tale to be told, it's that of recovering gambler Christopher Box.

"It was love at first site," said Box.

A dozen years ago Christopher played Texas Hold 'Em. He says lost plenty of money, constantly lied to his now ex-wife. He sought help after leaving his wife and newborn son at the hospital to fulfill his insatiably craving for action.

"What was I thinking, you know, it was that important for me rather than being with my first born son, at that moment I had to get to the casino," said Box.

Poker has taken off. From casual private games in homes to the internet, to the live tournament. It's the one activity where, with a little luck, you can beat the best in the business.

"If you're a huge basketball fan or golf fan, you can't play with Tiger Woods in golf or Kobe Bryant in basketball, but you can certainly go down to Vegas and play the best in the world," said Belden.

Sales of poker paraphernalia have skyrocketed. And the game has even grown strength with the younger generation with teenagers playing with friends on a Friday night, but with that come potential pitfalls. Christopher Box, recovering gambler, while not wanting to moralize, believes poker is fine as an activity as long as you don't get out of control. If you do, he believes you should seek help.

Stork
10-05-2004, 09:10 PM
That's an $hitty article.

ChrisCo
10-05-2004, 09:26 PM
This article sounds like it was written like a 8th grader with a severe case of ADD. The author just keeps on bouncing around, never staying on one aspect of the article. One sentence he is describing the horror story of a degenerate gamble then goes on to talk about how poker products have skyrocketed.

Two thumbs down /images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Nate tha' Great
10-06-2004, 12:40 AM
Compare this story to the Tribune story that was posted here on Sunday and you'll get a clue as to why the American public is so much less well-informed than it used to be.

nolanfan34
10-06-2004, 11:46 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Compare this story to the Tribune story that was posted here on Sunday and you'll get a clue as to why the American public is so much less well-informed than it used to be.

[/ QUOTE ]

TV web site stories are always disjointed like this, because they're taking the actual script and editing it into print form for the web. As a result something that was written for a visual medium just doesn't translate as well without the video and sound that was meant to go along with it.

Of course it's still a crappy, half-ass story, because that's what TV news is often about.

For those who don't know how the TV story process goes for something like this, here's how it usually works:

1. News Director/Executive Producer/Producer reads poker story in Chicago Tribune.
2. ND/EP/P decides it would be a good story for TV.
3. Assignment editor gives story to reporter, with no direction/potential interviews/original angle.
4. Reporter checks national feed, finds Raymer/gambling problem guy clips.
5. Reporter goes to college campus to find "young internet player".
6. Editor finds random stock footage of "gambling" (which is why most of the time these stories have footage of blackjack, slots, etc.) to cover gaps in story.
7. Story airs, no new ground broken.

Rinse and repeat, formula works for any story in the newspaper! /images/graemlins/grin.gif