September 29, 2008

Play in Russian Style

The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
—Joseph Stalin

This Georgian Soviet-Union leader had coined many similar stunning quotes which are known to be gallant while merciless. While I don't think he would never dream that two former states under his reign would confront each other more than half a century later, and that's all I can talk about the Russia-Georgia conflict lately.
In fact, as one of world powers, Russia easily catches world's attention in as many ways as you can imagine, intentionally or not.

Russia is "hoping" for global warming to allow for further exploration. They are already attempting to "claim" part of the arctic. To give its initiative some justification, Canada and Scandinavian countries make the same prayer.

Russia is the unparalleled leader in arms exports. And this will continue to be extremely lucrative for them financially and relations-wise with semi-rogues like Venezuela and Sudan.

Seeming to make this topic distracted away from the politics, I also find: in 2006, a gaming zoning bill was passed in Duma by a vote of 440-0. It aimed to control gambling by banishing it to four specific zones; two to be set in European Russia, one in Siberia and one in the Far East.
Fast-forward to 2007. Thanks to a convincing argument by Dmitry Lesnoy, president of the Sport Federation of Russia, on poker being an "intellectual game", and a decision by the Russian Federation's Federal Agency of Physical Culture and Sports, poker tournaments were finally classified as official sport competitions in the nation of Russia. But to some poker players, the sprouting poker rooms and highly publicized legislation could possibly just be a flash in the pan. They are always worried that a change in the leader's mind, and then of the law, could banish poker to the four gambling sectors, like a simple slot machine or Baccarat table.

So, if I am allowed to implant poker rules to make a comparison, Russia has way too many cards to play at this moment, and we hope it will play fair and "by the book".

It may seems I only focus on the negative side (pessimist's bad habit), but I don't deny there is always a silver lining in the cloud (lots of online poker sites are available in Russian). Anyway, I have no intention of messing with Russian people. So if any Russian hackers happen to be here, please don't piss off.

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