Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Question of Morality, a Question of Karma

I realize that I am too nice of a guy, and knowing is half the battle. I also know a fair share of players that shouldn't participate in games of risk because they don't fit either one of my parameters for safe gambling. They are neither winning players, nor do they have disposable income. Their personalities range from irresponsible to compulsive.

I know both these things. As a result, I am sure to only play soft, social games with these friends. After all, I don't want to take their money. But what of the unnamed masses I play on-line? The strangers across the table? There is my crisis of conscious. How do I justify winning the cash needed for someone's hospital payment or kid's tuition?

I have thought about this, but don't worry, I don't play everyone soft. If I was that nice I'd be nice and broke. I have found another way to set straight my moral compass: philanthropy. During a winning streak, I set some aside to give to charity. I recommend you pick a charity to call your own as well. I know the fish bring it upon themselves, but if you are going to steal from the rich (or not so rich,) you should at least give to the poor.


  1. OK well I'm all for charity, but you are not taking hospital money or tuition money. You are taking poker money. Either they have horrible saving/spending habits and would blow the money on something else (or someone else if it were still poker) or else it's just like any other money. I look at it like work. The general public sits down and plays poker for fun, not working at all to profit. I work a lot on getting better, plugging holes, and then of course there's always the grind of actually playing and staying disciplined and mentally tough. So I figure I'm working, they're getting provided entertainment, and their money comes to me, and I have no obligation to give any of that away any more than I would a salary.

    Now that said, I do donate money to charities just as I will when I get a real job. I'm all for helping out those less fortunate then ourselves, but to think that just because we took it playing poker means we're obligated to give some away (other than taxes) is wrong imo. But as mentioned, I would encourage anyone who has enough money to put food on the table and a roof over their head to think about all the people who don't have that, the people who have 2 legs, can walk, can talk, can see, can hear, and are perfectly healthy. Think of the people who don't have what you have. Think of how lucky you are just to have a computer and internet connection to read what I'm writing here, and that is the reason I would donate to charity, not because I feel bad about taking another poker player's money.

  2. To each his own, Zach. I stand by that income earned through poker is still somewhat dirtier than money earned through a "real" job that contributes to society.

    That being said, I love poker and don't want to discourage anyone from playing. Quite the opposite. I'm not saying my view is right, just mine. I'd be interested in what other people have to say as well.

  3. [...] may remember my possibly overly generous urge to contribute to charity as a poker player in a past post. If you pleasure in taking other people’s money, as we all do, giving back is a good balance. [...]