The North Pole Poker Championships Get a Finger Wagging from Environmentalists

With all the millions of stunningly beautiful tropical islands dotted around the globe’s major oceans to choose from, why on Earth would poker players end up jetting to one of the coldest destinations on Earth to engage in a poker tournament? The North Pole Poker Championships (NCCP) was surely coined by someone or a group of people desperate for a new and interesting way to engage in their favorite occupation. This is fine and all, if you are determined to have it on your poker resume that you’ve played in one of the coldest places on earth, but environmentalists are up in arms about the NCCP. They lament that the carbon footprint getting the players there and keeping them comfortable indoors while a blizzard blows furiously outside, will be huge. And for what really?

The North Pole is essentially the northernmost – or topmost for those who failed high school mapwork – point on Earth. Because of the angle at which our planet lies to the sun, the North Pole lies in complete darkness for a considerable portion of the year, and for the rest, in weak sunlight. As such, it is a frozen wasteland with dunes of snow, jagged mountain peaks and glacial rivers that move a few centimeters per year. In other words, it is uninhabitable, unless you are an Eskimo or polar bear and have learned to adapt to and respect life at its harshest. Certainly it is uninhabitable for people with the soul intent of having a poker festival.

Now, one might support this notion if the organizers and players in question had to trek through miles of frozen tundra to reach the tournament and play poker wearing great fuzzy parkas on a block of ice. Now that would be a true North Pole poker experience! But this would go down about as well as an ace hidden up the sleeve. Poker players are creatures of comfort and so, one can be sure that they will either reach their destination by plane or by helicopter, and that upon arrival, they will find a nice big marquee tent complete with multiple generators making sure things are nice and toasty. 

I must admit that if I were a competitor in a poker tournament, I too, would like to find the latter! And just think, you wouldn’t even need to hail the waiter for more ice! Just walk outside. But let’s be serious about the very serious issues facing our planet, its ecosystems and our society. If reducing our carbon emission means that poker tournaments need to remain in major cities and casinos, then I personally consider that the better option. Flouting the stern suggestions of environmental specialists just so that you can play poker the North Pole is more than a little selfish and I think the NPPC should re-evaluate their key philosophies.

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