Doing Interesting Things with Poker

By: dtools22
Published: Nov 11th, 2011
So recently I’ve been spending some time trolling around the local poker establishments to see who has the best action and when. What I’ve been looking for is what I’ve been calling the “JV circuit.” I don’t mean this as a slight to those that play in these events on a regular basis or to challenge the validity of the tournaments themselves. What I mean is these are events that will have first place prizes hovering from $20,000 up to $70,000 and there will be a week or two where these size events will take place. You won’t see TV cameras or big name pros, but you will find plenty of action and plenty of money up for grabs. In my search I trolled over on the Trump Taj Mahal website and clicked on their “special events” section for their poker room. It was there I found something very unique. It was the NDPT, National Deaf Poker Tour.

From what I can gather from their website, the NDPT is an organization founded in 2006 to give the deaf community a chance to play poker. My initial reaction to this was similar to what I’m sure most people thought, “Why can’t deaf people just play poker? You don’t really need to hear what’s going on to play in any casino ring game or tournament.” The more I thought about it though the more I thought this idea has some merit. Think about it, deaf people have a whole culture that is very different. There is a natural barricade between deaf people and hearing people, and that particular wall can be so great that it becomes overwhelming and discourages people who are deaf from playing poker in general. Similar logic as to why the ladies only events are important in the WSOP and other tournament stops, but not exactly the same. Rather than splitting people by gender, they are being split by skillsets. You are giving deaf people a chance to thrive and let their own skills be put on display rather than asking them to conform to a “normal” tournament.

I am particularly curious about this because I have a good friend of mine that is a CODA, a child of deaf parents that can hear. I’ve been exposed a little more to the difference in culture and lifestyle between his parents and me. Everything from the doorbell, to the telephone (used for texting only for obvious reasons), to alarm clocks, and several dozen kitchen alarms and appliances are all experienced differently because they are in this world with the sound off. I’m genuinely intrigued by their lifestyles and habits because it’s something I’ve seen very little of in my own life. I don’t mean to make them sound like zoo exhibits, because they are not nor do I think of my interactions with them to be anything like that. What I mean is it never occurred to me that there is a culture within this community. They are almost like another race of people. Independent of skin color and background, they see and experience the world differently than I do, and it can be eye opening to see the differences.

Now add to this mix that there is a group out there that I do have a tremendous amount in common with, a love affair with the game of poker. That common thread between us peaked my curiosity. I’ll be honest; I’d like to go down the Atlantic City to check this event out. Not to play, but more to watch and see how these people view the game of poker. How is a deaf person’s experience at the tables different than my own? If you share my curiosity you can check out their website at:
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