My friends and I play every week, sometimes many times a week. A revolving cast of (young, male) characters show up at the games. We are all terrible. Everybody adopts a different persona. I am nearly silent during the game, hoping to project an image of cool rival examination and categorization of everyone else’s Situs Judi QQOnline Terpercayareactions — a masterful command of the art of the “read.” The reality is rather different. Usually I’m just thinking about how hungry I am, or I’m distracted by the TV. But the reality doesn’t matter.
One guy, Jesse, is known for buying in, busting out and repeating the cycle multiple times in the course of one night’s action, without giving the matter a second thought. He cheerfully admits that he is down several hundred dollars since he began playing, and he never seems too out of sorts about it, but sometimes I picture him alone, at home, having crises of conscience, staring mournfully at his empty wallet and shaking his head wordlessly.
A few of us have higher ambitions for our game, partly stirred by an increased diet of televised poker. Although my friend Jake Collins Situs Judi QQOnline Terpercayahad only rarely played before this summer, he is now set on becoming a professional player. I spent several weeks with him this summer in and out of various West Coast motels, where the only consistent televised entertainment we could find was poker tournaments. Thus stoked, Collins is taking a scientific approach to his play, keeping detailed charts and notebooks on his play patterns; despite real progress, he knows he’s got a long way to go before he can shoot with the big guns. He speaks with hushed admiration of professional players’ Svengali-like ability to get inside other players’ heads: “Those guys are so good.”
Another cult film on college campuses, the recent remake of Ocean’s Eleven , pokes fun at the desire of young people like my friends and me to be cool poker players. The opening scene has Brad Pitt’s character, a been-around poker hand, coaching a series of Hollywood pretty boys in the finer aspects of the game. Part of the joke is that the actors playing the pretty boys are themselves Hollywood pretty boys (a pre-Punk’d Ashton Kutcher, Joshua Jackson) who don’t know much about the game — upon Situs Judi QQOnline Terpercayabeing dealt a hand, Topher Grace gleefully blurts “Fellas! Fellas! Check this! All … reds!” Pitt just shakes his head.
You know something is a trend when it’s not only being advanced by popular culture, but satirized by it.
Neophytes like me imagine that the best players possess the qualities we saw or wanted to see in our father figures: mental toughness, boldness, steadfastness. Plus, the game requires no muscle tone, physical stamina or quick reflexes — making it a perfect match for a generation that grew up blasting away video-game monsters with the twitch of a thumb and now workdays parked in front of a computer screen. We may not have pecs, but we have the “read.”