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America’s Obsession With Risk And The WSOP Colossus Event
America's Obsession With Risk And The WSOP Colossus Event

America’s Obsession With Risk And The WSOP Colossus Event

The statue, built to honor Helios, the Greek god of sunlight, showcased not only the dedication of the Greeks for their gods, but also represented the endurance and might of the culture.

In the USA, there is another type of colossus occurring: a poker tournament. Produced as a new event in the yearly World collection of Poker (WSOP), the record-breaking (and aptly named) “Colossus Event” showcased 22,374 players, who compensated US$565 apiece to take part in the biggest live poker tournament ever.

If analyzing the Colossus of Rhodes gave historians insight into the mindset of those of early Greece, what exactly does this new “colossus” say about Americans?

Finally, it shows a contemporary America that’s shunned a traditional ethos of hard work, and it has become more prepared to take part in risky financial behaviours.

Betting’s Growing Grip

Betting is not anything new in America. A current archaeological discovery discovered that Native Americans engaged in games of chance and betting as far back as 800 decades back.

But for the majority of the 20th century, gambling was legal only in tiny pockets of the USA. Then state and local authorities recognized that, through legalized gaming, they can increase earnings without raising taxes. Nowadays, there are now 60 casinos at the Northeast alone. In 1989, the proportion of Americans who’d seen a casino in their own life was just 33 percent. Nowadays, the percent that have seen a casino in the previous year is 34 percent.

Can it be any wonder, then, a recent poll from the American Gaming Association discovered that 87 percent of Americans currently see gaming as an acceptable action?

The Danger Society

Legalization assisted to earn gambling accessible, but changes in American culture have made it suitable.

German sociologist Ulrich Beck coined the expression “risk society” to be able to describe modern society’s preoccupation with the future and theories of danger.

The 2008 monetary meltdown exemplified the volatile nature of the contemporary financial system along with the powerlessness of the typical American to fight its own forces. Now, most Americans confront a grim fact. Their retirement savings may vanish overnight. Mortgages could be defaulted on. Perpetual occupation is not a given. And many are not able to ascertain how vulnerable they really are to danger, while it’s being put off from a project or unmanageable hospital invoices via an unforeseen health issue.

Beck has contended that “Risk vulnerability is substituting course since the main inequality of contemporary society” Such a worldview maintains that it is not enough to have wealth or assets you also have to have the ability to control just how much vulnerability to risk your resources have.

According to Beck, the really powerful from the new threat society aren’t simply individuals with enormous financial resources, but individuals having the capability to shield them, such as the big banks which obtained billion-dollar bailouts in the aftermath of the financial meltdown.

The volatility of the market can induce us to danger. This has led individuals to invest in Silicon Valley start-ups and partake in day-trading stocks, which provide excellent financial upside down but also incredibly quantities of danger.

In the long run, a focus on reward and risk has changed our collective priorities. Psychotherapist Allen Kanner clarified in the 1970s, when he asked children what they wanted to become when they grew upthey picked professions such as nurse and astronaut. Now, when he inquires children exactly the exact same question, they respond, “I wish to be wealthy. I would like to create a good deal of cash”.

For all these reasons, it is not surprising that gaming and poker are becoming increasingly more mainstream. Look no farther than the incredible popularity of this World Collection of Poker.

The championship event of the WSOP has been regarded as a bellwether for the nation of poker. Back in 1988, the event brought 167 players, largely professionals that were ready to ante up the $10,000 had to go into the championship and compete for the $700,000 first place prize. The remarkable size of the season’s colossus event just further shows that the growing willingness of Americans to pin their stocks on the turn of a card.

The incidence of poker in modern American culture is reflected in our daily use of poker vocabulary. Poker terms such as “putting your cards onto the desk”, “holding your cards near your chest”, “maintaining a poker face”, “moving all in”, “gambling”, “bluffing” and “going bust” are omnipresent in our speech. Football coaches now inspire their players “increasing the ante” and pushing their chips”to the center”.

A brand new American Dream In ways, it reflects a combination of the older “American Dream” story that is suspended from the Protestant work ethic and illustrated in tales of “self-made guys” such as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin and contemporary realities of the risk-based society.
Successful poker players are critical, tactical and analytical. But the best admit there is always a level of chance involved. The incontrovertible luck factor within the sport functions to mimic the uncontrollable threat that a lot of men and women believe that they confront on daily basis.

Poker, subsequently, is a middle ground, a game which contrasts between the randomness of this lottery and conventional proverbs extolling the merits of hard labour.

The Colossus of Rhodes stood for 56 years until it dropped, while the World collection of Poker’s Colossus tournament lasted for just a couple of days.
However, both inform a durable story about the societies that created them.