The obscenity of high stakes poker

Just in case you forgot, there is a recession on. Not that the players on these tables noticed; they can lose more in a minute than you earn in a month, and not bat an eyelid.

Ultra high stakes on PokerStars, and there are six players waiting to join in the madness.

In Britain, men and women are soon going to have to work until they are sixty-six or older; in Greece, the government is implementing austerity measures - read penalising the workers to pay the banksters. Itís a similar situation all over the world, and things have been this way longer than any of us can remember. Understandably, some people become envious of those better off than themselves. Some become worse than envious. Persons of a certain political persuasion rail against the Queen of England, although few if any royal-baiters would want to take on her workload. There are though people who are doing very nicely thank you, and they donít all work for the banks. Take a look at the screengrabs below. The first is from a tournament on PokerStars, the worldís biggest poker site where you can play for a dollar or even for free, but not here, where no fewer than 56 people from around the world (but excluding the USA after Black Friday) shelled out $530 a piece to enter.

That may sound like a lot of money if you have a mortgage to pay or a season ticket to buy, but the sums that are traded in the cash games put it to shame. William Hill is a much smaller site than PokerStars, but every Sunday it runs a free tournament with a £500 prize pool. It is though most unlikely any of the players on the next table would condescend to play the Facebook Freeroll, or any such cheapskate tournament. This is a $10/$20 Pot Limit game on the site. The guy in the bottom right has just cracked aces to win an $800+ pot. This sort of thing goes on 24/7, every day of the year including Christmas Day and Leap Year. Where do these people come from? More to the point, where do they get the money to play for these stakes all day and every day? And donít you wish you could trade places with them?

February 8, 2012: High stakes Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo on PokerStars with a $500 buy-in and a $30 registration fee.

February 8, 2012: A $10/$20 Pot Limit Omaha cash game on William Hill.

February 8, 2012: A high stakes 7 card stud game on William Hill.

[The above was published originally February 9, 2012; all four of the above screengrabs have now been deleted, which all but renders the article indecipherable. A couple of very minor corrections have been made to the original].

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