THE NEW BREED OF PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYERS ARE SURPRISINGLY POLITICALLY CORRECT
ED MILLER, expert poker player and author of three poker books, has recently caught some slack for his choice of pronouns in his latest book, No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice, co-authored with David Sklansky. Some of Miller’s readers are calling the book “contrived political correctness.” They are a small, but vocal minority, and they think poker is a man’s game. While the majority of reviewers ignore this so-called pervasive use of “she,” all agree the book is chocked full of solid poker content, even going as far as Bernard Chapin did, to say that “such superficial annoyances in no way detract from the book’s tremendous substance and merit.” The book is doing well and has sold over 20,000 copies in its first month.
The poker world has changed in other ways, too. Poker has stepped out of the smokey backrooms once filled with shady mobsters. In their place, a new kind of card shark surfaces. This shark is more like Bruce from Finding Nemo than Jaws. Not only are more women playing cards now than ever before, but the new breed of professional card player is a young, non-smoking intellectual who may even be vegetarian. Most card rooms are now non-smoking. The World Series of Poker is non-smoking and they wouldn’t have it any other way. How else would thousands of players vie for the chance to win a bracelet? Yes, a bracelet.
The new breed may soon be taking over the card rooms, but not without a fight. Some old timers, set in their politically incorrect ways, have attacked Miller for appearing on Bravo TV’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy television makeover show. They’ve suggested that Miller, who is happily married, is homosexual.
But poker proves it will persevere regardless of some players’ resistance to change. Bravo TV’s Celebrity Poker Showdown, a show where celebrities such as Jennifer Tilly, Brett Butler, Macy Gray, and Andy Dick, play poker for charity, is hotter than ever. The 2006 World Series of Poker is shaping up to be the largest in history.
Ed Miller’s poker books include the beginner-level Getting Started in Hold ’em, the intermediate-level Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play, co-authored by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth, and the newest and most advanced book, No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice, co-authored by David Sklansky. Miller has also completed four instructional poker DVDs, entitled, Reading Hands, Adjusting Your Play, Advanced Pre-Flop Concepts, and Protecting Your Hand (Expert Hold $Em).