Poker is America

New York Times, February 24, 2013.


Let’s start by getting this straight: poker is about money. If you took the money out of it, I wouldn’t play. But even when I lose, I’ve had a good time. I love playing poker as an escape from the world I usually live in, and I especially love playing at Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va., where you can find me about two afternoons a week.

A poker table is America the way that television commercials portray it but it seldom is. A normal table of 10 at Charles Town has at least two or three Asians, one or two blacks, maybe a Latino, another one or two players who hail from some other part of the world, and maybe four or five plain-vanilla whites like me. Age is distributed from young guns in their 20s who raise relentlessly to geezers like me who are too tight and passive.

New York Times