An Ode to r/poker

Published in Poker and Gambling - 2 mins to read

Sometimes I hate the internet. I think a lot of people feel the same. Sometimes I hate Reddit, especially. Sometimes I hate poker - if you have spent any meaningful amount of time playing the game and have never hated it at any point, then I gravely concerned about your soundness of mind.

However when these things collide, in the form of the poker subreddit, they form something almost indescribably beautiful, although I shall try regardless. I have never once, not even for a single second, hated r/poker. It is really, truly, a masterpiece co-authored by thousands, and for that I believe it should be cherished.

In our modern era, where our lives are so dominated by social media, satire is easy. It is not the art form it once was, it requires far less skill than it did just twenty years ago; often one can simply repurpose the actual truth as satirical with no editing or embellishing necessary. It’s dull.

What occurs on r/poker is a revival of this lost art form, and one of the few places I have found where it can still be enjoyed in its rawest, most untainted form. Why is this satirical safe haven so unique, I hear you ask? Well let me tell you. It is genuinely impossible to discern whether or not a single post or comment on r/poker is satire or genuine. Clearly some of it is genuine, due to poker’s delightful capacity for allowing its players to display the Dunning-Kurger effect in full force. Some of it must also be satire; it follows logically that if you have a community of pure ignorance, eventually some of its members would acquire the sacred knowledge and subsequently use it mock their fellows, even if it was in a manner so subtle as to be imperceptible.

The two opposing forces are in a complete balance - a Nash equilibrium if you will - on r/poker. The whole thing is a practical demonstration of the Scheinberg Ungenuiness Principle - Schr√∂dinger’s Bad Beat Story if you will. It brings me unadulterated joy.

Case in point. Enjoy.