The World Series of Poker has come to a close – and the competition was as fierce as ever. Multi-million dollar pots were being played like there was no tomorrow, with $7.5 Million guaranteed to the first place winner. (Not to mention the gold and diamond bracelet thrown in as a partying gift).
The winner, an Australian of Lebanese descent, Joseph Hachem, made it to the final four in the last day of the tournament feeling pretty confident, although at earlier times in the competition he felt anything but victorious. The final rounds carried on through the night at the Binion in downtown Las Vegas – and at one point in the game, Hachem was holding less chips than any other player at the table. However, this utterly composed player remained calm throughout, bouncing back to win with the turn of a card.
The competition could not have been more fierce, as well as eclectic. Some of the other players included a twenty-something law student, a magician, convicted drug dealer, and a Buddhist Monk. If that doesn’t sound like a scene right out of a movie, I don’t know what does.
Hachem will be heading back to Melbourne for the time being (Surely he will be picked up in numerous marketing and sponsorship deals that will send him traveling around the world). An ex-chiropractor, Hachem is a family man, married with two children. As for his parents – They don’t even know their son plays poker, out of fear they will not approve or understand. Hachem agrees that now would be as good a time as ever to tell them about his secret life.
Casinos in Surrey and Langley, Canada, Not a “Problem”
In British Columbia, Canada, Surrey and Langley are considered to be two of Canada’s largest inhabitants of casino gamblers. This is precisely why the provincial government commissioned the Blue Thorn Research and Analysis Group to undertake a study to gauge an apparent increase in casino gambling by local residents of secret romance online slots. Spanning two years, the study was geared towards the socio-economic impact of casino gambling in Surrey and Langley.
Following the opening of the Langley Cascades Casino, two gambling facilities in Vancouver and the introduction of slot machines at the Fraser Downs racetrack, Blue Thorn was given the task of doing statistical research before the introduction of the new gaming services in 2004, tabulating percentage figures, and then comparing these findings to statistics of the same kind for the remainder of 2005. Included in this research, were extensive interviews with nine different counselors who help problem gamblers cope with casino gambling addiction.
According the sentiments of the counselors, the opening of Langley Cascades Casino, with its close proximity to low income housing and residents not in possession of viable transportation, was believed to have been a cause in the increase of problem gamblers there. However, the statistics show that cases of gambling addiction in Langley fell from 4% in 2004 to 2.6% in 2005.
Surrey was not so lucky, for the numbers showed an increase in problem gambling cases, albeit a small one. Recorded cases showed a .4% increase from 2004, to 6% in 2005. The study’s summary of the casinos impact on socio-economic activity and problem gambling addictions cite it to be a relatively small one since early 2005.