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9 Across: One Who Avoids Others

Last night, tired from a tough work week, wifey Kim and I had dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant that we always passed but never entered, and then came home to watch a movie. We had rented Wordplay, a documentary about crossword puzzles and crossword enthusiasts, since wifey Kim has been playing the crosswords daily, thanks to a local free newspaper.

While watching the film, while wifey Kim quietly slept, leaning in the cruck of my arm on the couch (I eventually waved my hands in front of her eyes to verify her unconscious state), I saw an amazing parallel between poker and crossword puzzles. Mostly, it was the issue that I wrote about earlier this week, the solitary nature of the game.

Much like online poker, crosswords are done at home in relative anonymity, without anyone else's involvement. Granted, many a poker blogger or serious player has made online poker buddies who might railbird, but for the great unwashed masses, it is a solitary pursuit.

Every year, there is a crossword puzzle tournament held in Stamford, CT. The movie followed the tournament from the players' arrival to the big finale. Upon arrival, one of the regular patrons explained to the camera (and I paraphrase): "Crossword puzzles are such a solitary thing. When we have these tournaments, all of these people who are used to solving puzzles alone at home are suddenly surrounded by people with similar interests. It's like an instant family."

Therein lies the nexus between the loner-centric world of poker and the community-centric world of poker bloggers. We all started playing poker individually. We found a passion for the game. While it remains inherently a game that attracts loners (not everyone is a loner, though), the loners can come together every couple of months, be it in Vegas or Philadelphia or Oklahoma, and there is an instant comraderie. We share things in common that most people wouldn't understand. A passion for the game, and often, a passion for writing. Organization does not come naturally, but once we are together, a comraderie does. At least that's what I felt at the Bash at the Boathouse, and essentially what I read about everyone else's first experiences at blogger gatherings.

This is not so much just about blogging. I am sure the same can be said for 2+2'ers or BARGErs or whatever other subsect of the poker community you can come up with. I imagine that the WSOP is the essentially the parallel to the yearly crossword tournament, when a community of individuals come together to form a makeshift family, but I also expect that the money aspects of poker and attraction to degenerates makes ours a much more disfunctional family.

On that note, let me thank my blogger brother from another server, GCox, for his great post on his Loner personality. Ironically, I consider that loner one of the closest friends I met through this loner blog.

Loner on Poker.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:03 PM,


At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Philips stopped playing poker in favor of crossword puzzles.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

So what are you saying? Your quiting poker for Crosswords.. I think this is a very good decision on your part.


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