Foxwoods Resort Casino Poker Tournament Schedule -- Poker
2020 Foxwoods Poker Classic Schedule - Poker Tournaments
What are your thoughts of Asians and their culture of gambling?
Let me preface by saying that I've gotten heavily interested in "western" card games called NHLE/PLO (respectively, No Limit Hold 'Em, Pot-limit Omaha...with basic understanding of PLO8/Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-lo) for the past 8 months or so when my friend (who is non-Asian if that matters) got me comp'd into a charity poker event for his town's community youth organization/center. I've learned Chinese poker from him, but I don't know how to play any Chinese/Asian card games or Mahjong, nor do I really care or have an interest to learn. On the whim, being tired of playing casual heads-up/short-handed home poker games with friends, pub poker tournaments, and online, I decided to make a trek by myself to play 1-2 NLHE down at Foxwoods, the largest casino in the eastern hemisphere located in Connecticut, or a ~two-hour bus ride from Boston for me. For those who aren't familiar, up in the Northeast there are "Chinatown buses" from Boston and NYC area that shuttle folks to Foxwoods, which was my first choice because of the lower fare cost (~$15 round-trip which includes a meal voucher and $45 match-play coupon) but unfortunately was sold out to a casino in RI, was constricted to a five-hour playing window, and I didn't want to wait two hours for one departing for Mohegan Sun (another adjacent casino to Foxwoods in CT, a 20 minute drive away). I booked a last-minute one-way ticket with Greyhound instead leaving me with an open window for my return trip instead. After I busted two bullets (poker term for or two buy-ins), I had a lot of reflections and introspection about my game-play, but more specifically, I had more the culture of gambling with Asians. As for family, for which we are of Chinese heritage, and gambling, my father plays Chinese card games and baccarat and my dad's obsession with gambling was a catalyst for my mom's divorce against him; my mother would scold him for taking me to the Chinatown gambling parlors when I was a kid. For my community, I grew up in a large population ethnic immigrant Chinese folks, and it's not uncommon to see grandma's playing Mahjong for pennies, to seeing my neighbor's mom in Chinatown going to the gambling parlor. My grandpa gambles everyday at his family association. My uncle before becoming half-paralyzed played OTB, and his wife's, my aunt by marriage, parents work at one of the aforementioned casinos. My aunt in the PNW is a blackjack dealer. Now a while back, when I played in a pub poker league tournament, after busting-out, I got into a chat an old lady where we talked about our respective lives and why we played, me playing online, why she didn't, and what stakes we won't play. I talked about how Chinese/Asians love to play big games (Pai Gow poker) against the bankehouse, while contrasting my reasons for liking Hold 'Em. The conversation at one point shifted towards her essentially asking, "why do Asians love to gamble so much?" An innocent but genuinely question out of curiosity that struck and made a lasting impression on me since then. Being of Chinese heritage, and in an enivornment of relevency, I suppose I was a person to answer such question. My recollected thoughts... I answered with the encounter I had with a Fasten driver (an ride-share underdog to UbeLyft) around that time earlier. In that conversation for which we both spoke Cantonese, we talked about mutual Chinese heritage and what my parent's did for a living, where we both lived, but more specifically, I told him about my parent's divorce and how gambling was a catalyst for divorce. Hearing me out, he address the "issue" with grace by speaking on the collective behalf of blue-collar immigrants who work in restaurants and whatnot, for which he did and my father did, that there wasn't much of an outlet for entertainment/socializing after work, especially working erratic hours and schedules. He made the comparison that they can't go to the local cinema/theater and enjoy an American movie, referencing the cultural differences that confine them into their ethnic enclaves. During that Fasten ride with the middle-aged Chinese father-driver (about my dad's age), who also tried to recruit my father to drive for the company, opened up my worldview about the possible reasons why a majority Chinese, with our particular interest, why immigrant Chinese in America, like to gamble. I amassed more empathetic and compassion for the plight of Chinese immigrants and their lack of post-work social outlets. I loosened up to having animosity toward my dad for gambling so much when I was younger, which I was influenced by my mother's inappropriate complaints at the dinner-table of just us about my father. And of course, now that I've recently got interested in card games on my initiative, I am less (hypo)critical about my dad's gambling. With respects Asian gamblers in my observation, for Texas Hold 'Em, I've noticed at my recent trip to Foxwoods and before that the handful of trips to New Hampshire card-rooms (there are no legal card-rooms in the Commonwealth of MA) that I see a lot of Asian players make blatantly "gamble-y" plays. With coach buses departing at various hours of the day from Chinatown and Chinese enclave towns/communities, there's opportunity and demand to from Asians to gamble. My Caucasian friend who re-introduced me to poker made a stereotypical joke about Asians and how they like love to gamble, nonetheless the lady from pub poker who were curious about the why of Chinese and their gambling habits. It is recognized as a fact that there is a disproportionate amount of Asian gamblers relative to their American counterparts with pathological gambling addictions,, but many do not seek help for gambling addictions. And I believe the resources and mental health professionals are far and few for Asian gamblers. Anyways, I have never seen much, if any at all, discussion or articles about Asians and gambling on this sub but I believe it's an important topic worthy of discussion. I do wonder about the other fathers, mothers, relatives, or even yourself, who has an interest in gambling. Has it been a catalyst for familial dis-harmonies as it did for mine? Did it spur you to get interested in gambling yourself? What are y'alls thoughts on the cultural factors for Asians and gambling? How was your childhood shaped by a family member who was severely addicted to gambling, or was it a casual affair? All and any discussions relevant to Asians and gambling are welcomed. So let's discuss.
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