Sunday, December 17, 2006

Spectator Sports

David Sklansky has his own forum on twoplustwo and he started a thread about golf recently.

You might find it interesting, I don't know, I didn't find it interesting. But that's just me.

What struck me about is something more about society than about golf or Sklansky.

He starts out by saying
In order to answer it accurately, one would have to have a pretty good idea about both the subject of golf and the subject of probability and statistics


Well, I know something about subject of probability and statistics, and I at least know how to play golf. I havn't played it in a while, and aren't really interested in it much, but I know something about it.

He then presents on his typical obtuse riddles and it made not sense to me at all. Then I realized why. It's because I know something about playing golf, but I"ve never watched a PGA competition and have idea how they go about qualifiying players.

His riddle isn't about golf. It's about the PGA.

And that's what's happening in poker. Poker isn't about playing poker anymore. It's about watching TV.

Last year, at the WSOP, I was in line at the Starbucks in the RIO and this real cute young woman in line in front of me saw my press pass and started asking me about Phil Hellmuth. It turns out she's the female lead in that TV show Prison Break. But I've never watched the show and had no idea who she was. She said she'd heard he'd been winning a lot of money in side games or something and asked what I knew about it.

I just told her I didn't know anything about it but doubted he's won any significant money unless it was some tournament prize money or something.

I thought I was just responding to her in a fairly matter of fact way but she seemed taken aback.

The next day I played in the journalist/celibrity event and she was pointed out to me at the table next to me. Then I understood why she'd been taken aback. I hadn't recognized her and that startled her.

After all, she's on TV every week. How could I not recognize her.

It's almost like things that aren't on TV aren't real. Golf doesn't mean golf anymore. It means PGA. Poker isn't poker anymore. It's WSOP.

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