For all of y’all that ain’t know I be making mad paper through online gambling. While it’s certainly true that I embody telly, the telly lives only through me and can only be found through me I have other interests and chief among them is betting. Like all bettors I never think I’m wrong. Unlike most bettors I rarely am. That’s just how it is.
"Smoky rooms filled with fat men who look like they raided Bobby George’s wardrobe and Andy Fordham’s fridge."
I have recently taken the decision to teach myself the game of Poker. Now personally I’d rather drink my own piss than learn to play Poker. It’s always looked so desperately dreary. Smoky rooms filled with fat men who look like they raided Bobby George‘s wardrobe and Andy Fordham’s fridge.
"If I’m going to be playing cards it’s Strip Gin Rummy with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Cameron Diaz and a marked deck."
I’ll be honest, watching grizzled old Americans with pickled livers, mathematician geeks lost in their algorithms and Scandinavians with ill-advised pony tails – it’s not the kind of action I’m after. If I’m going to be playing cards it’s Strip Gin Rummy with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Cameron Diaz and a marked deck as the Santa Ana breeze plays in our hair.
But I heard there was money to be made. So Channel 5‘s Poker Night is a welcome insight into the world of professional tournament play for a neophyte like myself. The breathless commentary from "Voice of Poker" Jesse May creates terrific tension as the cards fall and the bluffs and double bluffs are recounted with glee from the commentary box.
Poker Night’s coverage is accessible for the new player. Games take place over a glass table with cameras underneath so we can view the pocket cards of the players. There’s quite an exciting voyeurism to this dominant specularity.
Knowing my inclinations, friends and acquaintances will often introduce me as someone who bets. Upon hearing this information the person I’m being introduced to will often smile indulgently and talk to me like I’m a handicapped child. "Awwww. Does Aerial Telly give all his munny to the bookmakers?" is the general tone I’ve come to expect.
Being patronised by fools goes with the territory. You bet, therefore you’re a degenerate – no problem. But an interesting assumption they often make is that I spend my life in a Casino, shaking the ivories on the craps table, going all in on red at the roulette wheel and facing down the Sharks at the poker tables.
"I’ve spent my life avoiding difficult decisions and avoiding hard graft. "
So can you really call yourself a bettor if you’ve never played cards for cash? Even a Renaissance man like Aerial Telly? Well, I like to think so. Learning poker looks hard work. As discussed previously, I’ve spent my life avoiding difficult decisions and avoiding hard graft.
But my poker-playing contacts assure me I’ve made the right decision in learning the game. The message is clear. Someone, somewhere is making cash through this carry on. and I’m ALL about the ducats.
"While I play an important role in remineralising organic material down the water column, I have a tendency to overplay my hands and frequently misread the flop."
Although I’m obviously going to be brilliant at this one day, right about now it feels like a lot of hard work for little reward. In the ocean of online poker there are sharks and fishes. I’m a fish. Well, at the moment I’m plankton. This means that while I play an important role in remineralising organic material down the water column, I have a tendency to overplay my hands and frequently misread the flop.
But marine life forms evolve. Even if it takes a few million years. By hitting the books, immersing myself in the theory, playing as many hands as possible and avoiding the choppier waters early on I hope to gradually progress my play until I’m consistently winning on the online tables.
And just maybe then poker will become a pleasure and not a chore. Poker Night is becoming one of the more enjoyable aspects of my extra most special new hobby.
The best thing about it: The infectious enthusiasm of the on the fly commentary and analysis.
The worst thing about it: Bad teeth, bad hair and jewellery.
The verdict on Poker Night : Dealing from a full deck.
Marks out of 10: 7