Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Buying My Loyalty

    Many different events have been cited as triggers for the poker boom. Chris Moneymaker winning the 2003 WSOP, the debut of the World Poker Tour and its hole-card cameras, the best-seller status of Jim McManus's Positively Fifth Street. Everyone has their own answer to that question. What got me seriously interested in poker was reading the review of Andy Bellin's book Poker Nation in the New Yorker. I believe the review was written by Joseph Epstein, and it was both a review and a brief essay about Epstein's poker experiences. The review got me jazzed enough that for a fwe days I wolfed down a quick lunch then headed to the Barnes & Noble on Smithfield Street to grab a copy of Poker Nation off the shelf and find a comfy chair. Yes, I know, I have a bad habit of reading books in bookstores instead of buying them.

    I blitzed through Bellin's book in about three hours. If you haven't read it you should, and I find it odd that this book isn't really talked about as much as it should. I don't know if anyone shares this opinion, and certainly the book was a popular as well as a critical success, but I wonder if Poker Nation was just a bit ahead of the poker popularity curve and got caught in the avalance of books that followed. If so, I heartily recommend you pick up a copy and read it.

    Which I did the other day. OK, I went to the library and checked it out for the 8th time. Sue me. Anyway, there's a part where he's talking about gamblers who, though they've just thrown away thousands at craps or blackjack or even poker, have their grey skies turned to blue just by a simple gift from the casino. You've just had your aces cracked for the sixth time tonight? Have a baseball cap. The guy with the weeping sores on his arms just raked in his tenth monster pot of the night while you're on your seventh buy-in? Here's a comp for a slice of pizza.

    I thought about this because of what just happened to me. I went to an orientation meeting for my new company, signing up for benefits and the like, and in addition to the folders and binders and foot-thick stacks of paper each of us was given a small canvas shoulder bag with the company name and logo on it. Now, I've worked for lots of large corporations in my time, and I know there's a reason that "warm and cuddly" isn't often used to describe them. But I must say, in all honesty, I would gladly commit a Class-1 felony for my company right now. Just because of that bag. Silly, I know. Stupid, perhaps. Crazy, yeah. But if my company looked at me, and raised its right eyebrow an eighth of an inch, and then looked at some blissfully unaware guy chattering away over his lunch, well, I'd be in the woods tonight digging a hole six feet deep, with the rear end of my car sagging under the weight of Mr. Chatterbox.

    I should say, it's a really nice bag. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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