After around two hours of play, I was doing alright. I'd just won a hand with an ace-high flush, drawing two suckers in and draining them dry. I could smell the fear around the table. Then she comes in and puts her chips on the table.
"Hi guys", she says.
The mood of the table changes, but the silent dealer continues to deal silently. I had an ace and an eight, and there was an ace, a king and a three on the table. - all hearts. Was the flush out there? I worked up my skull-piercing gaze and looked around the table.
Then she spoke.
"I'm so hot right now."
Did she have the flush?
"Does anyone want to see photos of me? My picture's on www.webcamgirls.com."
"lol, ur hot", says the man in the hat, Bringyogame223.
I'm sure that it'll comfort the founders of Deadwood to know that, a hundred and thirty years later, you can still go into a poker room and have a girl flash her boobs at you.
But like that Wild West, the law is coming to town on the internet. Earlier this month, Bush signed the SAFE Port Act, which increased border security at ports and, oh, by the way, banned banks and credit card companies from sending money to online gambling sites, effectively banning online gambling in America. According to Reuters, this has wiped US$6.5 billion from the value of the online gambling industry.
That's not to say Americans will stop gambling online, of course. The level of knowhow and intellect required to launder money on the internet (via Pay-"I'm using it to purchase educational books"-Pal, etc) is already pretty low, and it will no doubt get lower.
One site, PokerStars, is planning to argue that the law doesn't cover poker, as poker is a game of skill, not chance. Good luck, pal.
Apart from the fact that I've just been watching Deadwood and loving it (especially this shining example of cross-cultural communcations), I really do take the parallels seriously. The pioneering days of the internet are over - commerce is thriving, but lawlessness is still abound, and now the government is trying, for better or worse, to muscle in.
Who's going to get fed to the pigs?
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