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Poker is booming!

Poker is booming!Poker TV ratings are way up and climbing. Poker playing on the Internet has more than doubled in less than a year. Casinos everywhere are adding tables to their poker rooms. We know that many more people in the hinterlands are playing poker (especially hold’em) in their social gatherings than ever before. And a lot of smart money is now jumping on the poker bandwagon.

Is this just a random phenomenon? Not really. The population of the world is growing, people are living longer, and modern technology continually reduces the demand for human labor. As this new century progresses, more people will have more leisure time. Sports and gaming will probably continue to surge in popularity.

Increasing popularity and expanding global communications will probably increase the demand for international competitions. For more than 50 years, there has been an annual international contract bridge world championship, and a World Bridge Olympiad every four years. Should “intellectual games” such as poker, contract bridge, and chess become Olympic games? Or, are the Olympics for “physical sports” only? Are curling and rifle shooting physical sports? Maybe the Olympics should evolve to reflect the increasing dominance of mental over physical in our society.

In what direction is our world going? Hopefully, we have seen the last of world wars, since it seems clear that the next world war would probably be the last! Mankind, with no natural enemies, has flourished on this planet; now, it finally has a natural enemy — itself. Nuclear weapons are still threatening our existence. We have already passed our first major tests — but there probably will be others. There are still lots of crazies in the world.

Actually, we have been very lucky so far that the leaders who control nuclear weapons have been sensible enough not …