NOTE FROM JAMES: The following is a guest post contributed by Angela Stevens, who has become the first author on this site other than myself in its history. All views expressed are her own and do necessarily reflect my opinion, nor that of The Pursuit of Excitement. That said, I am a big fan of poker, so it gives me great pleasure to present the following post to you
Take it away, Angela!
When people think of poker, they usually imagine stone-faced gamblers putting their intuition, skill, and mental training all into play. While poker pros engage their fertile brains by going through every hand and analyzing every beat, their faces are usually the epitome of ice-cold calm – their eyes, in particular, staring holes into the table, their cards, and maybe even their opponents’ eyes.
It certainly doesn’t take a grizzled veteran of the poker tables to recognize that poker is truly a complex mind sport; a deceptively simple, decidedly serious game of skill that requires and demands finely honed mental toughness, resilience, and a fair bit of craftiness. Much like board games such as chess and Go, poker has a devoted international following, thus ensuring a consistently high level of true world-class competition on practically every age group and skill level.
Going all in all over the world
The growing popularity of the World Poker Tour (WPT) circuit in locales as diverse as Morocco, South Korea, and Cyprus coupled with the European, African, and Asia-Pacific expansion of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments has resulted in an increasingly global talent pool that runs the gamut from serious national contenders to amateur poker players and everything in between.
For the elite, cream-of-the-crop poker pros, this means fantastic opportunities to explore the many wondrous attractions on this planet – before (and after) participating in highly stacked poker tournaments, of course. As one of the most widely recognizable faces and voices in the poker universe, Kara Scott is a stunningly fine example of the constantly jet-setting professional poker player.
In 2013 alone, the peripatetic Partypoker ambassador – who has had memorable stints as an ESPN sideline reporter on WSOP Main Events – played in and/or hosted at numerous poker tournaments all over the world. Some of these include WPT National events in Italy, Cyprus, Prague, Denmark, Austria, and France; interviewing football and poker legends for the Road to Old Trafford event in Manchester and the 44th Annual WSOP in Las Vegas. The brunette Alberta native also hosted the 12th edition of the European Poker Awards in Paris, where she won the Poker Personality of the Year award for 2012.
Poker has even taken on the form of organized adventure-style events aptly called “poker runs”. Participants in these organized events use various forms of transportation, including (but definitely not limited to) snowmobiles, motorcycles, longboards, boats, and mountain bikes.
Solo or group participants must draw a playing card at each of the assigned checkpoints in the official course; the primary goal is to possess the best poker hand at the end of the run.
Clearly, poker is a worldwide sensation that caters to millions of diehard fans across the globe.