Maybe you’ve flipped through the channels and stopped on a poker game now and then, only to see a pretty face amongst a table filled with eccentric looking middle-aged males.
9 times out of 10 you’ve probably seen Annie Duke, a female poker phenomenon also known as the “Duchess of Poker” who is the proud owner of the coveted World Series of Poker bracelet as well as having amassed 35 money finishes throughout her storied career.
Duke is more than just a pretty face when it comes to betting and she certainly knows a thing or two in order to have amassed over $2 million in tournament winnings, so when Fox did a spot on gambling addiction, trying to paint poker in a negative light, Miss Duke came to its defence.
Fox started off with quips from Congressman and other political officials, stating that gambling and poker were essentially negative influences on society, yet all of these statements seemed to be nothing more than opinionated remarks without much basis, if any.
Introduced as a “former professional poker player” Duke sounded off, squarely debunking many of the myths surrounding the game such as the notion that poker is generally harmful to society.
Annie Duke said,
Less than 1 percent of the people who engage in any kind of gambling activity have a gambling problem and that’s compared to alcohol, where 7 to 9 percent have issues.
Even if those people are having problems, they’re making those choices for themselves as consensual adults, they’re not hurting anybody, and I don’t think we’re supposed to legislate to protect a small minority from their own bad decisions.
Candidly the anchor on Fox New Business stated regarding their attempt to bring people in opposition of her arguments onto the segment, “We tried to get opponents, and they didn’t want to come.”
Duke summed up the argument and simplified the entire debate in terms that should have put this issue to rest a long time ago.
Are you doing direct harm and is it consensual?
The fact of the matter, is that poker is much like any other hobby, in which too much of anything can become a bad thing. Just because there are individuals with eating addictions and are dangerously overweight, does not provide any basis for outlawing donuts and Twinkies.
It’s good to see people like Duke bringing the absurdity of such anecdotal arguments against poker out into the open, so that more of the public (and hopefully more public officials) begin to see that there is nothing to hide here.