On the day after Australia’s biggest horse race, the Melbourne Cup, I saw the need to comment on the different forms of gambling and debate on… is poker gambling?I enjoy the odd flutter on the Gee Gees once a year on the first Tuesday of November for the race that stops the nation and yesterday was no exception. I do it because I enjoy catching up with mates and having a laugh over a few beers. However, I value my money and don’t see the need to risk my hard earned cash on the gamble of horse racing on a regular basis. I believe there is more control when you are holding all the cards and you can possibly dictate the outcome. And horse racing is simply too unpredictable.I spent the day watching friends and strangers part with their dollars, some with enjoyment and others with sheer hope. You hear the mutter of “a sure thing” and “I like the colors” or “it runs well in the wet”. However none of them ever really know.So You Think was the name of the shortest favorite in many, many years. And you guessed it, it didn’t win. There were suggestions of this horse being the best thing since Pharlap. With the weight of the nation on its back, it simply couldn’t deliver and fell short to run a tiring third.The punters gambled and most of the punters lost.Then what about Roulette, Craps, Black Jack and all the other Casino games are they considered gambling?ABSOLUTELYSome will tell you they have systems and they can count cards, but at the end of the day there is risk and gambling.I even consider share trading as gambling!So is poker Gambling?Well it depends on your ability, your knowledge and your experience. You have the option to reduce the risk. Reduce the element of gambling by learning your craft. There will always be the elements of luck involved in the cards you receive, but knowing your opponents, bluffing and reading people is not a gamble, it’s a profession. It’s a skill and an art form. Like anything, the better you are the more successful you will be.So is poker gambling… I believe not if you do your homework and study this wonderful game, you will reap the rewards. The power is in your hands and so is the option to gamble. Remove the element of gambling in poker and you will see the results. By the way, I did manage to back the winner, Americain, so I came home with the money I went with and had a great day. I can’t wait to get back to the poker tables though. Till then, deal yourself hands and not too many feet.
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