The World Series of Poker and the New Jim Crow

Every year the best poker players in the world gather in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, the largest and most prestigious tournament series there is.  I look forward to playing at least one WSOP event each June, and have three cash finishes to my credit.  This year the series was moved back from June until October, so I was planning to head out to Vegas for a few tournaments, and had already won a $1,500 seat into the “Monster Stack” event.  Then the discrimination began. 

On August 27 the WSOP announced that they would be requiring all entrants into this year’s tournaments to show proof of vaccinationReactions from the poker world were divided.  2003 WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker, who gave hope to millions and started the poker boom by winning without being a very good player, previously had planned to sit out the series because he doesn’t understand odds and was afraid to play, but now is thanking the WSOP for their intrusive decision.  On the other side of the coin, 2009 WSOP main event champ and four-time bracelet winner Joe Cada says he will now be staying home this year because of the rule.  Can you guess which one the media portrays more positively?

Remember that the left uses a playbook to make it seem like their position is the norm and any people who disagree with them are on the fringe.  They want you to feel like you are crazy if you don’t think the way they tell you to.  Because of this, I am going to predict the narrative that the media will push about the WSOP this year.  There will undoubtedly be smaller fields in the tournaments than normal and the media is going to lie to us about the reason.  My prediction is that we will soon see stories about how there are fewer entrants this year because people are worried about playing poker due to coronavirus fears and restrictions on international travel.  While there will surely be some players who do not play because they overestimate the odds of dying from Covid (the odds are nearly 100 times less likely than randomly drawing the 4 of clubs from a deck of cards), this will not be the main reason for the lower participation.  The real reason is actually the exact opposite.  People will not play because they are not living in fear like the left wants them to be.  A large number of would-be participants will not attend because they think that people should have the freedom to assess their own risks and make decisions without being bullied.

If it was just the World Series of Poker doing this, it would be a major problem, but this vaccine mandate situation is a lot bigger than that.  Somebody who I respect told me that she does not see vaccine mandates as a hill to die on.  She has been vaccinated so the mandates do not really affect her.  Here is the problem with that thinking.  This is not about the vaccine.  It is about government power and overreach.  Do you think that a tax on tea would be a hill to die on?  I’ll go out on a limb and guess that at least one of those people who threw tea into Boston Harbor didn’t even like tea.  This has as much to do with our opinions on the vaccine as the Boston Tea Party had to do with their opinions on tea.

There are only two directions this can possibly go.  We can choose liberty and allow people to decide for themselves whether or not to get vaccinated, or we can relegate anybody who will not do exactly as they are told by the bullies on the left into a permanent, Jim Crow style underclass.  These tyrants do not want unvaccinated people to be allowed to work, shop, enjoy entertainment, eat, or socialize.  They claim to care about people but are perfectly fine with firing millions of Americans who are willing and able to work.  These good, hardworking citizens will be pushed into poverty or into a growing black-market economy.  Is it strange that the left says they are doing all of this to save lives but seem to have no problem if you die of starvation because they forced your job to fire you?

You may be wondering what I plan to do about the WSOP.  Honestly, I considered pretty much every possible option, but ultimately decided that I do not want the WSOP to profit from me until they stand up for freedom and change this policy.  Not only is it invasive, but it is illogical.  If the vaccine works, then nobody in the building should be worried.  The people who would be scared are vaccinated, and the people who are not vaccinated would not be there if they were scared.  Neither the unvaccinated nor the vaccinated should play if they believe in liberty. 

Instead, I plan to take my $1,500 over to a tournament series at The Wynn and play an $1,100 buy-in event on the same day that the WSOP Monster Stack event is taking place, then go over to The Golden Nugget the next two days for $200 events.  I encourage any other poker players to join me.  Organizations or businesses that discriminate based on vaccine status should be treated the same way as you would treat places discriminating based on race.  In other words, they should not receive a penny from any of us.

Let’s Make a Deal to Save Lives

America is divided and we all know it.  Many people talk about us coming together and finding common ground, but in general, I don’t think that is possible because we no longer share the same values.  There is, however, something that both the left and the right claim to want right now that makes for a great compromise.  Both sides say that they want to save lives. 

Now, a fair compromise gives both sides something that they want.  We should all agree that saving lives is a worthy cause, even if we do not agree on how to do it.  If both sides are sincere about their desire to save lives, they will agree that this is a compromise worth agreeing to.  If not, they never really cared about saving lives and just wanted power and control.

So, how does the left say we can save lives?  They want everybody to get vaccinated from Covid.  For full disclosure, let me explain my position on the vaccinations.  I am not vaccinated.  I am not an anti-vaxxer.  I believe that each individual should have the freedom to choose whether they get vaccinated without having to disclose their vaccination status to anybody.  Some people on my side might not agree with this, but I do not think the vaccine is likely to kill you.  We have to be honest about that.  It likely kills some people, but the odds of that are pretty slim.  If we say that the media should stop exaggerating the dangers of Covid, we should not turn around and exaggerate the dangers of the vaccine. 

That being said, there are two main reasons why I have not partaken.  First, it is a solution in search of a problem.  There is literally a 0.0% chance that Covid will kill me.  You have to go another decimal point for it to even register as a cause of death, and that is using the inflated numbers from the government.  The risk of me dying in a car accident on the way to get the shot is likely higher than the odds of me dying of Covid.  I do not want to take an experimental vaccine if I am fine without it.  Second, it is far too much fun listening to angry leftists flip out because there are people who won’t fall in line and do what they command us to do. 

My thoughts aside, the left says that they want everybody vaccinated because it will save countless lives.  Whether it will or not, they are pulling out all the stops.  They are trying to guilt-trip people into compliance. They are vilifying and shaming people who choose not to get vaccinated.  They are bribing people to get the shot with cash and contest entries.  They want vaccine passports so that they can shun and banish unvaccinated people from society.  They would like vaccinations to be mandated for all Americans.

Here is where my compromise comes in.  Conservatives also claim that they want to save lives.  While the net number of people saved or lost by the Covid vaccines is debatable, conservatives can document how many lives their tradeoff would save.  The number is approximately 62 million lives in the past 48 years.  In fact, since the left supposedly cares about black lives, this compromise would end the leading cause of death among blacks in America.  My proposal is this:  I would gladly volunteer to get the vaccine, and even support mandatory Covid vaccines in exchange for the immediate and irreversible ban of abortions in the United States. 

When you think about it, it’s the perfect compromise.  Both sides claim that the problem they would be solving is a major, existential crisis.  Both sides are even giving up what they perceive to be the same thing; choice in a healthcare decision.  If they truly believe that what they are fighting for will save myriad lives, this would be an easy and heroic deal to make.  If they will not make this tradeoff, they must not really believe that their respective cause will actually save many lives. 

We are not likely to agree on which action actually works, but whether you are on the left or the right, you can be sure that this deal will save lives one way or another.  My sleeve is rolled up and ready.  If you honestly believe that lives will be saved, agree to the compromise.  Otherwise, you know it’s not that important to you.