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Poker and Pets

After CC's great series on Poker and Relationships, and his recent series on Poker and Children, I became inspired. How does poker affect our pets?

In order to understand this issue greater, I spoke to players far and wide to discover the negative effects poker has had on many a family pet. For the sake of privacy, all of the players have remained anonymous.

One poker player wrote:

For me, personally, poker has greatly affected my life with "Sparky" [the anonymous player's dog's name has been changed to protect the innocent]. I found that when I played, Sparky would sulk off into a corner. Before I discovered online poker, Sparky and I used to sit and watch TV while I petted or combed his coat. Now, most of the TV time has become online poker time. As a result, Sparky's beautiful mane has looked somewhat scraggily. He doesn't seem to mind, or so I tell myself, but when I take him to the dog park, most of the other dogs are so better kempt. I worry that I might make Sparky the trailer-park trash of the dog hierarchy. I already see that he has become one of the pack followers, rather than the leader he once was. I plan on cutting down on online poker in the future, but right now, I just can't seem to pull myself away, no matter how sad Sparky is.

Wow. What a bold statement. Poker can sometimes distract us from the more important things in life. Neglect is a terrible thing for anyone to suffer. Luckily, Sparky seems to be a strong dog, and appears to be understanding of his owner. I also received an update, and Sparky is now on prozac and doing well. Let's hear from someone else.

When I first got my kitten "Fluffy", we spent lots of time together. There is nothing cuter than a little gray cat playing with a ball of string. Unfortunately, Fluffy got some bad habits, and in the end, they have come into conflict with my poker game. I like to have homegames about once a week. Mostly, it was just friends from work who came over to gab, drink some wine and play some cards. Fluffy was generally very cautious at first, but then she started getting into the game. The problem occurred when she got a bit too into the game. Fluffy started climbing on the table. Then she'd go after players' cards if they moved them around too much. In the end, she'd splash the pot, expose cards, and cause a ruckus. That's when I let Fluffy out to roam free on the streets. At least there, she can find a pick-up game with the other alley cats.

It is truly sad what poker can do to an otherwise well behaved pet. I don't know if I would've left the cat out in an alley. I'd like to think that my humanitarian self would've been kind enough to sell the cat or at least dump him at the dog pound, or wherever cats go. Finally, one last letter.

Hey Jordan! I heard about your article on Poker and Pets and thought I'd add my two cents. When I started playing poker, it was mostly live. I found myself out for days at a time, since the nearest poker room was several hours away. My goldfish, "Sanford", took the brunt of it. I wouldn't be around to feed him for days on end, and I noticed him looking sickly. I had just moved to town and didn't know many people, so I didn't have anyone to look after him. I knew what I was doing was wrong, so when I found out about online poker, I found the solution to my problem. I started playing online, and actually set up my comp right by Sanford. It was fun at first. I'd notice that he would swim closer to the screen when I was playing. I found a good job and was out of the house more, but I still found time to play poker. Meanwhile, I noticed, here and there, that my account online would fluctuate. I mean, I didn't notice it directly. But I wouldn't play for a few days and then when I returned it was off by a couple of bucks. I then noticed that my harddrive had filled up. I took a look around and found several other poker sites downloaded. I figured it was damn spyware or something, so I erased them, but they kept coming back. Then I got this email from Party Poker: "Dear Mr. 'Sanford': It has come to our attention that you have opened several accounts with Party Poker, which is against our policy. As a result, we are confiscating all funds, totalling $104,000 from your accounts." I was shocked, but then I noticed that my mouse was wet! Sanford had been secretly playing on my account, and eventually ran up my credit cards starting 6 different party poker accounts. I was shocked, and flushed Sanford that night. So, poker and pets don't mix! Signed, ZeeJustin."

Whoops! Forgot to edit the end of that last one.

But as you can see, poker can have a very harmful effect on your pets. So treat them well, and remember, pets and poker don't mix!

posted by Jordan @ 1:32 PM,


At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic Jordan post. Capital job sir.

You need to do what CC did and allow the pets to respond and give their commentary.

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post!

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well played, sir.

I hadn't noticed before I read this, but my cat has been looking at me funny the past few weeks. Must be the poker.

At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my keyboard fried from the tears rolling out of my eyes. Beautiful! I'll be back after re-reading it fifteen times tomorrow.

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the fish. Funny how he turned out to be the playa.

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I love Texas Hold'em Poker to, so much I started my own blog... Cool cool cool, vary nice blog you have here! Stop by and post, Thanks :)

From Rochester NY
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