Is poker losing its rakish image?

Hard to believe but the image of poker is becoming, how shall we say it, respectable! Once the game of crooks, gangsters and US Presidents is now a game for teenagers, computer geeks and suburban housewives. With online poker you are more likely to be playing a robot than a human and if you are playing a human they are just as likely to be a up-standing citizen than a low life denizen.

Even the live games are so full of conventions and procedures that it is a mine field of political correctness. I am just as guilty for this trend, I have told people off for using their mobiles to text during a game. Now in the UK with the no smoking ban in public places, it is becoming a pursuit in line with bridge and teacakes than whiskey and purple hearts.

I was talking with a well known bookmaking firm and they were put off by the subject matter on my website because it contained material on sex and mind altering substance (alcohol by the way)! A bookie with censorious moral attitude – how times have changed!

I suppose that in the end being a mass pass time pursuit, that poker is becoming, will always tend to the middle ground and with that, a view that celebrating the dark side of human nature is not acceptable. Just look at the furore over Strictly Come Dancing, a program about ball room dancing. While everyone was getting hot under the collar about the effects of voting for their favourite dancers they were unwittingly celebrating the dances of whores and pimps that salsa and the tango originated from.

It’s a bit like those Lords and Ladies who inhabit the House of Lords in the British Parliament by hereditary rights, they got there because their great grandfathers were crooks and their great great grandmothers were concubines. Yet to look at the way they behave you wouldn’t know it, Hence poker slowly goes the way of all folk games and become domesticated into the world of parlour games and pass times.