Online Poker

Redemption Through Poker

by Poker Team

Particularly to the older generation, poker and gambling are seen as vices for the weak and foolish. They see it as a painful path taken by lowlife degenerates, plagued by addiction and oblivious to the pleas from friends and relatives to stop. Despite assurances that poker CAN be beatable and indeed profitable, with a sound strategy, mentality, and mathematical awareness, the anti-gambling ensemble are a tough bunch to convince.

Poker as a Saving Grace

But what about the other side of the story – can poker actually be a saving grace? An intriguing post on the twoplustwo forums would suggest so. Rather than pointing to pot-odds, sharkscope graphs and hand databases for evidence of poker’s skill and intricacy, perhaps we should appeal to the emotions of the anti-gambler.

‘Thomas S’ of Sweden makes the case in point. This is no obnoxious brag or attention seeking life story post, it is a genuine account of how poker restored order to his turbulent life. Having been incarcerated for over two years for gangster related crimes, he sought a way out of a destructive lifestyle. Inside, he became determined to support his family by poker, reading copious amounts of literature and practicing with fellow inmates. On his release, he set about using the little money he had obtained from criminal activities for a bankroll – around the $1000 mark. Through disciplined grinding, he managed to support his fiancé and young daughter, as he moved to Thailand where the standard of living is significantly cheaper.

Ultimately, poker plucked ‘Thomas S’ from the turmoil of his previous life. He notes how the majority of his former friends are either dead, or in prison. It would be naïve to brand poker as a universal life saver – for some people in can be very destructive. Former Counter Strike ‘professional’ gamer, Swede Christian Sellergren tragically committed suicide in 2007 when he accumulated $13,000 in poker debts. If not approached correctly, the short-term luck factor in poker can be crushing for the individual. However, as Thomas explains, careful study of the game can be rewarding financially and mentally. Studying poker offers the same kind of self-satisfaction associated with developing a new skill, and also offers a sense of direction in life. To put it bluntly, it is time consuming, and can distract would-be wrongdoers. At least we can all agree, it’s better to see money handed over on the green felt than to drug barons. Poker will always have its addicts, but it will always offer a way out from a sordid criminal underworld.

If you wish to take a look at the thread yourself, which kind of digresses into a discussion on the nature of Swedish gang crime, this is the link:

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