Life USA

The team, the time…the playoffs

Oh, glorious October. The leaves are turning, the temps are dropping, and the Mets are kicking off their run at the league championship this Wednesday. Due to the lame excuses of work and class, I will be unable to attend Game 1, but I’ll be at Shea on Thursday night for what will be a pivotal game in a short series.

“What does this have to do with poker?” those purists out there will surely be asking.

Answer: lots.

Baseball is an American pastime – much like poker. It’s also a hobby that costs fans lots of money. If I add up all the money spent on tickets to ball games, Mets gear, travel to the stadium (in my pre-Brooklyn years), food at games, and yes even baseball cards (we’re talking about my middle school tomboy phase), all of those expenses would add up to a much larger amount than the initial few hundred bucks I invested in my online poker habit. All of the items I’ve mentioned (except for the food) can be purchased on the internet.

Maybe the government should ban online purchasing of all baseball related items?

Okay, this argument is admittedly specious. I suppose no one ever got addicted to buying ballgame tickets. And I suppose there are people out there who have gone bust again and again on poker sites and rebought with their paychecks, not their poker profits. I guess my point is that people dump their hard-earned money into whatever they want.

Would the government really rather a poker player take his money to a home game, where if he wins he is just as likely to pocket the money as he is to report it to the IRS? And perhaps more so? I and many players would rather pay the additional rake of taxes on online winnings than be banned completely from playing. The geniuses on Capitol Hill have already decided to tax the hell out of cigarettes instead of making them illegal. Why not poker as well?

I’ll leave the rehashing of these arguments to the thousands of websites that already published them. My anger at this point has subsided into a dull throbbing of disillusionment. Our government has turned the process of undemocratic lawmaking into a national pastime. It seems that trampling on the freedoms of U.S. citizens has become as American as major league baseball. Whether you think of this administration as puritanical or tyrannical, it’s a sad time for our country. Dot net.