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Prayer At The Main Event


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I know that I am going to get blasted for this, though I hope you read this with leaniancy. This will be my first trip to the Main Event and I have no idea if they already do this there. If so, please forgive my ignorance and tell me where they do it. I would like to know if anyone would like to gather at the Main Event this year for a prayer. I would invite Daniel or Jerry to lead us if they would like too. If not, I'll lead a short one for us. I was extremely impressed with the courage it took for Daniel to talk about his faith and would hope that I would have that same courage. It's not easy to be a Christian at the table sometime. I preached at a small church when I was going to college and now some of them are ashamed because I play poker. It's amazing. We have a priest that plays poker and was 12th at the WSOP one year. It's amazing to see a guy sitting at the talbe say, "I can't believe he's here. He drinks, smokes, and plays poker! Can you believe that?", while he sits there with a bud in the holder and passing around his phone with a picture of his naked girlfriend on it. And they call us judgemental. As poker players, we get a ton of flack for our faith. I don't sit at the table and preach to guys and I will admit that I have let a few choice words fly when I make a stupid play. I am saying this.I can't understand why people judge us so harshly when we thank God for a win. We're not thanking God that he chose us above the other player. We are just thanking him for giving us the ability to get there and the free will he gave us to make the right calls at the right times. I don't understand why people feel that we are thinking God chose us to win this event. I don't believe God sits around and says, "The Daniel will be player of the year this year. Scotty will be the next. Mike Mata... hang on.. what am I saying?" I do believe that he gives us a desire to do the best we can with what we have and a free will to make the right and wrong calls. I don't hear people on ESPN saying "How dare that guy point to an empty sky for getting that touchdown." I don't hear people blasting the stars when they get an award for Best Actor and thank God or say "I would like to thank my savior...." I do hear a lot of people that say how crazy it is for a guy to thank God he won the main event and give a portion of the money him. I also hear people say that Daniel should not talk about his faith when he is a poker player. It's like, "You can be as crazy as you want in the poker room but keep the fact that you are a Christian to yourself. I don't jump up and scream at a guy for using God's name in vain. That is not my place to do so. In return, I don't think people should be offended if I say a prayer before an event. In the same breath, I would like to ask others to stop blasting Daniel and the rest of us for thanking God for our blessings in our chosen field or past time. It's amazing that no one get's onto a guy for screaming and cussing a guy out for a bad call but they will have entire pages devoted to blasting Daniel for saying he's a Christian. Have any of you read some of that crap out there?There is one guy that get's onto Daniel and breaks down his interviews and tries to prove that Daniel is not a Christian. Daniel would say something like "I am moving into my new house.." and the guy quotes the Bible about how a rich man cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. BLAH BLAH BLAH. They even blasted Billy Graham for having a revival in Las Vegas and using cocktail waitresses and dealers at the front of the stage for people to pray with! I have to say this. We get it from both sides. We get if from Christians that tell us it's a sin to be a poker player. We go to church and hear the stock broker say, "Bless his heart. He's plays poker.", and shakes his head in shame. They are the same people that gamble with their life savings in the stock market and brag about how much they gained this month and cry when they lose it all in a single day. If I was going to gamble with my life's savings, I would like to be the one that makes the call. No pun intended. We get it from non-believers if we have a blog that simply says how happy we are to be Christians and to be playing good poker. And I am sure I will get it for placing this post here but that's alright. In no way am I trying to offend anyone or tell them that I am better than them because I am a Christian. I am just saying that it is extremely tough being a Christian poker player. I hope to put a site up for us to have our own forum and support group. Until then, please forgive me if I offended anyone. It was not my intent.I am glad to be a Christian and I am glad to be a poker player, even if I am not very good at either. He gives us all a free will to do what we want. I just wish I would't be so free with mine in some of the donkey plays I make! Anyone interest can simply email me at

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Go ahead and pray all you want.. Just please do it in private.. rent out one of the little amazon convention rooms and pray all week if you want. Just pleaseeeee don't push religion on people that don't believe.. there is seriously nothing I hate worse then people that push religion on others.

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jerry yang praying out loud at the final table last year was the most annoying part of the entire wsop, he wasn't praying for the ability to make the right decisions, he was praying to god to have his hand hold up or to hit a card once the chips were already in the pot and skill was a non factor.

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Go ahead and pray all you want.. Just please do it in private.. rent out one of the little amazon convention rooms and pray all week if you want. Just pleaseeeee don't push religion on people that don't believe.. there is seriously nothing I hate worse then people that push religion on others.
Why is someone praying in public pushing their religion on others? Mark
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Why is someone praying in public pushing their religion on others? Mark
It's not pushing their religion on somebody so much as it is subjecting people to their rituals and beliefs, which can make people uncomfortable. I agree with WhatarunAA that public prayer has 0 place in poker.
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It's not pushing their religion on somebody so much as it is subjecting people to their rituals and beliefs, which can make people uncomfortable. I agree with WhatarunAA that public prayer has 0 place in poker.
Where does it have a place then? Anywhere that people can't see you praying? So, locked up in your house? Should the OP not be able to pray on a park bench? How about sitting in the airport waiting for a plane?It makes me uncomfortable when people do random stuff. Doesn't mean I think they should be stopped from doing it. I think I speak for a lot of Christians when I say there is a huge double standard that people who say people shouldn't pray in public have.Lots of random stuff offends people. I find it funny when people are offended by someone praying. I understand how people are offended by Yang going nuts and stuff, but that didn't seem like what the OP was talking about. When Christians say, omg I can't believe such and such is on TV, or that people in Vegas can hand out cards for strip clubs to anyone walking down the street, everyone tells them if they don't like it, go somewhere else. Those people have a right to do those things.Well, Christians have a right to pray wherever they want, even if it makes you uncomfortable.Just saying.Mark
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While I do think the whole Jerry Yang thing was too much, I don't think he was pushing his religion on anybody, nor do I think he should not pray or w/e because it makes anyone uncomfortable. Freedom of religion is huge part of what makes our country what it is and while I am not a believer in god, I think people should be able to practice whatever they want as long as it isn't disrespectful to anyone. Jerry Yang was annoying but not disrespectful.

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Do whatever you want. If people are offended, they should get over themselves with a quickness. Jerry Yang last year was just hilarious. I'll be openly cursing god in a few hours when I hit town. Nothing personal against you, it's between me and the big guy. He gets me. Look around the world and you can't tell me he doesn't have a warped sense of humor. If I run really bad I'm thinking of making lines into a pentagram and snorting it. If that would offend anyone I would be willing to just do some in the shape of a cross.

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Being a border-line agnostic/athiest... I have no problem with people expressing their faith. If you are truly offended by others publicly expressing their beliefs, then move to China.FWIW, I think prayer has no place in poker. If others want to believe that it does, so be it. Whatever makes him happy when I rake in his chips.FWIW.. God can't help you in the ME... but Phil Helllmuth certainly can.

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Thanks guys for the replies.I don't want to offend anyone at the WSOP. I just wanted to know if anyone would like to meet, in private, and say a small prayer. Just a prayer of thanks for our safe arrival, health, peace with the outcome of the day and that we are not seated next to Hevad Khan, Matasow, or Helmuth. Seriously though. I don't want to shove my faith down anyone's throat. I can't think of any other group that is attacked the way we are. Guys act like total idiots when they have a bad beat and everyone just lets it fly. I ask for a small prayer away from everyone so that we don't offend anyone and we have people tell us that poker has no place for a prayer. Please don't let this post offend you. I simply wanted to know the guys that might be interested.

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Being a border-line agnostic/athiest... I have no problem with people expressing their faith. If you are truly offended by others publicly expressing their beliefs, then move to China.FWIW, I think prayer has no place in poker. If others want to believe that it does, so be it. Whatever makes him happy when I rake in his chips.FWIW.. God can't help you in the ME... but Phil Helllmuth certainly can.
i dont think yelling after you win a pot belongs in poker either, its not like celebrating after you score a goal or hit a home run, or even a big 3. however it isnt going away either, and hevad khan making weird noises when he won a pot certainly has to be as annoying as praying. i think as long as anyone is free to do what they want, you cant say prayer has no place in poker. and lol at god not being able to help you win the main event but ph can. arent they the same person in his mind? so i think that contradicts your statement....:club:
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Go ahead and pray all you want.. Just please do it in private.. rent out one of the little amazon convention rooms and pray all week if you want. Just pleaseeeee don't push religion on people that don't believe.. there is seriously nothing I hate worse then people that push religion on others.
AMEN
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Being a border-line agnostic/athiest... I have no problem with people expressing their faith. If you are truly offended by others publicly expressing their beliefs, then move to China.FWIW, I think prayer has no place in poker. If others want to believe that it does, so be it. Whatever makes him happy when I rake in his chips.FWIW.. God can't help you in the ME... but Phil Helllmuth certainly can.
lol.That's all, it's too early.
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Go ahead and pray all you want.. Just please do it in private.. rent out one of the little amazon convention rooms and pray all week if you want. Just pleaseeeee don't push religion on people that don't believe.. there is seriously nothing I hate worse then people that push religion on others.
QFT
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Just do your own thing tbh.but why make a post asking if people wanna have a prayfest ?? thats why people get pissed.You wanna pray before you play ? Fine You wanna turn it in to a prayfest ? Go to church/mosque/bar etc etc Thanks

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Why is someone praying in public pushing their religion on others? Mark
Why is it necessary to pray to beat others with a big show in public other than to try and show observers other than God how "Faithful" you are?Is it somehow more effective to pray out loud in a public place?
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"If it wasn't for God, I'd win every one of these things"Jerry YangI don't gamble at church, I don't pray when I gamble.Although poker isn't really gambling...whoa, almost gave my wife some ammunition.Personally, if you are going to play in the WSOP, then your best witness will be your conduct when you win or lose, not the prayers you say out loud or in public.

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Jerry Yang was different because he wasn't praying for what you are suggesting, which is perfectly fine. What Jerry was doing was fine also, but it was a completely selfish form of prayer, which I found strange. It was "please God, I believe in you, let me win" and "Jesus, in your name, let me win" which seems almost against the point of religion if he's using it as a way of purely attaining personal gain.Praying is not a problem, nor is it annoying. Pleading, almost begging, is annoying. Pleading to God so much is like saying "God, pick me over him" or whatever, which I find annoying.

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IMO, If FCP'ers can meet up to go to the Rhino, then they should be able to meet up to pray also, without everyone getting offended. I think the OP brought up the subject in a very inoffensive way.BTW, call me different, but I'd be willing to go to either of the above meet ups.

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