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Norman Chad Article

, 2005-08-16, by TwoGun

The poker boom on television has produced a wide variety of new TV poker personalities, such as Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patton. One such personality is Norman Chad, an analyst for ESPN's World Series of Poker show.

In a recent article, "Online poker players need a life," Chad wrote that many online poker promotes isolation and has the potential to cause a wave of gambling problems. You can find his article here.

I personally found this article to be quite poor and hypocritical. Chad only talks about how online poker can be bad in extreme doses. The convenience of online poker may pose as a danger for some people who could develop a gambling problem, but it is also what makes online poker so special. Chad ignores the fact that online poker allows many people to play for short periods of times if they wish and that people can play online poker for very low stakes. Very few sources of entertainment allow a person to play for about ten minutes at a time if he or she so desired.

Most people who play online poker play during their downtime. Instead of watching television, playing computer games, or what not, they play internet poker. I hardly see how any of those other activities are much more socializing or mentally rewarding. While playing too much online poker can become a problem for some people, this is the case with almost any vice activity, whether it be drinking, gambling, or whatnot.

To think that brick and mortar poker is a much more social game compared to online poker is ludicrous. A trip to the casino often takes a lot of time, and people who play in brick and mortar poker games tend to play for longer periods of time than when people play online. While there are physical people at a brick and mortar casino, I personally believe that the amount of time spent going to and playing in a brick and mortar casino is a lot isolates a person a lot more than playing online for a couple of hours.

Online poker is also a heck of a lot less threatening for most people than brick and mortar poker. They can play for a lot less money, a lot less time, and without sitting next to some four hundred pound guy that smells like cigarette butts. There is obviously the potential to create gambling problems, but at least people are much less likely to play casino games, such as craps, when playing online. Not only is it impossible for a person to win at the long run at these games, these games are much more addictive in the "gambling" sense than poker is since they have a lot more action.

The hypocrisy article probably speaks for itself. Chad probably has personally benefited a lot from online poker. Many players watch poker on TV because they play online, and many of the people he interviews and talks to at tournaments are online players. His claim that people do not hear about online poker losers is even more laughable considering the way televized poker works. All viewers see are people winning hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars. At least with online poker, the media coverage does not talk about people becoming multi-millionaires from a couple of days work.

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