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Politics is inevitable in a society ruled by governments. People disagree on political issues and actions, which often creates arguments and divisiveness between the members of those societies. But with the availability of social media providing a platform on which to debate those issues, which seem to be more conflict-ridden than in recent years, politics is everywhere.

Many poker players want their Twitter feeds back. They want to return to the days of tournament updates, bad beat stories, and harmless debates about blind structures, buy-ins, and rake. According to a wide spectrum of poker fans and players, it’s all poker all the time … with a few funny memes and pet photos thrown in for good measure. And sports tweets, obviously.

Why is poker better than politics? There are a number of reasons.

Bad Beat Stories are Easy to Ignore

When a poker player tweets out a bad beat story, you can scroll past it. It will not affect your life in any way. And by ignoring it, the player is likely to move on to another topic within minutes. Sure, he or she may retell that hand again in the future, but that, too, can be ignored.

But when something bad happens in the world of politics, it has a tendency to last. For example, if a political party votes to confirm a person for a cabinet position who has no experience, there will likely be a ripple effect that rears its head many times going forward. Mistakes will be made, decisions will affect families, and policy changes have the potential to impact entire communities and cities. It’s not as easy to scroll past that information.

Players Win Money at Poker Tables

When a poker player wins money in a cash game session, they can cash out and leave the table. There aren’t usually even any tax repercussions associated with cash game winnings. A big tournament win can lead to a notice from the government’s tax agency, but after the taxes are paid, the winnings are most often never mentioned again.

Sure, politicians receive donations and payoffs sometimes. But many of those instances come back to bite them in the butt. Donations can be traced, and favors done for donors can have consequences on a political career if revealed by the media. Rarely does money change hands in politics without those transactions garnering some type of attention in the future.

Structure Changes Don’t Require Complicated Votes

One of the favorite gripes of poker players is tournament structure. Whether they take issue with the blind levels or payout percentages, there is often something that will irritate a group of players. But in order to remedy that situation, a group of players can often get together to talk to the tournament director or poker room manager to encourage change. That executive can typically alter any part of the tournament schedule or structures without any formal voting process.

Changing a law, statute, or even a school board decision can be a daunting process, complete with votes and hearings and majority requirements and formal proceedings. It is a complicated and often very lengthy process.

Best Competitors Determined by Simple, Fast Voting Process

At the end of a tournament series, the best player is determined by the number of points based on a predefined system. The same goes for annual Player of the Year honors. And when players are nominated for awards or Hall of Fame inductions, there is a simple voting process that is usually open for no more than a few months. The winner is determined, and that is that.

Political elections are long and require a lot of campaigning, fundraising, and debating. There are laws that restrict voters and are different in many parts of the United States, and presidential elections are not determined by the popular vote but by an electoral college. It’s just complicated.

Game Variations Offer Choices

When a player tires of Hold’em, there are other poker options from which to choose, such as Omaha, Stud, Chinese Poker, and even Razz. Players can make up a variety of games and mixed offerings to spice up the action and keep players interested.

In politics, there is one system that is not easily altered. Of course, the politicians and laws can be changed over time, but it is not as easy as switching tables.

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.

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