Rick Salois, a hockey referee, is far enough along into the game to have acquired a nickname — a must-have for serious players. His is “hackey,” and it comes from a hackey-sack he fiddles with while playing. (Raymer’s comes from fossils he uses as card protectors.) His parents have grown used to his habit by now, and don’t mind it “as long as it doesn’t turn into a problem.”
Perhaps what is unusual about players like Salois, and his friend Adam Randall, a University of Maine at Augusta student, is that they do not fall to the lure of playing big.
“In college, we played quarter games, or dollar games,” Salois said. “Every once in while we play $5 to $10 games.” His biggest losses run up to about $30 or $40.
For Salois, who says he is “terrible at counting cards,” the point is to relieve tension and socialize.
“There’s a (online) sidebar with a chat tab, and for the most part, it’s pretty friendly,” he said.
Randall, 24, plays the game more often, Togel Hongkong logging on nearly every day, he said. He picked the game up three years ago, also in college. But the stakes stay low.
“You can play as big as $200 or $400, or as low as $5 or $10 or even 5 cents or 10 cents,” he said. “The (Web) sites don’t make money.”
Brian Lessels, a freshman at Colby College, said that he is an avid player, sometimes going through days on end of playing online. But he often plays for no money at all. “There are all kinds of free services,” Lessels said. “It’s just a lot of exhilaration.”
The Togel Hongkong game is not rampant at Colby, but it isn’t hard finding someone to play poker with, said Lessels, who picked the game up in high school with friends. Wednesday nights would sometimes be poker nights in his dining hall.
For those like Togel Hongkong Salois, the appeal of the game partly lies in its quirky traditions. Raymer wears glasses with hologram eye prints, Salois pointed out. The championship winner for 2003, Chris Moneymaker, sports Oakley sunglasses as his talisman.
But television broadcasters, quick to sense any youth trend, Togel Hongkong play a part. The Travel Channel runs the World Poker Tour, while Bravo shows Celebrity Poker. ESPN has taken to running the 2004 World Series of Poker and even old games from the early 1990s.