psssst, the poetry bit is down the bottom if you wish to skip the diatribe 😉
Just recently, me and a poker buddy got to debating just what it is that keeps people coming back to Pokerspace, some having been absent for long periods of time. The one anecdote that fitted so well was The Cheers [remember Cheers] theme tune. I think it was titled “Where Everyone Knows Your Name”, or something along those lines.
I thought about that and then began tracing my online timeline, much like Facebook does for you these days. And the more I looked and thought, the more sense The Cheers Syndrome as I have decided to call it, made.
Most people like to be accepted for the person they are and fit into a social group at some level or other. Some people will say thats not important to them. I think, I believe, that 99.9% of the human race strives to be accepted.I know I have wanted that and still do. I like to be where everyone knows my name. Maybe thats partly down to me being Billy no Mates these days. I have always been something of a loner, content in my own company, but also striving to be accepted by some group or other.
When my lad first got me using the internet, the old MSN chat rooms were still very much in existance. I found a group of people there under the banner of The G Spot. It was a social room and its hub was a trivia quiz running 24/7. There was a hardcore of members playing most days and I easily became accepted there and the name/avatar Geo was born. I was accepted AND had an identity. A saying that always makes me laugh where I live is, You must be joking geordie. That became my MSN identity. JokingGeordie was born and is still my Yahoo ID all these years later. My old trivia mate Jack shortened it somewhat to Geo and that stuck as well and is still an ID I use at some poker rooms. Unfortunately, MSN decided to close their chat room services down and I have no idea what happened to the G Spot or its members. I remember how down I felt when the place just disappeared. It was great to go someplace where everybody knew my name.
I love internet radio, always have. I can listen to classic rock any day of the week at any time I choose. I started listening to Radiostorm, a small, independant station in the USA. It had its own chat board that was usually pretty active. I spent many a weekend talking there, listening to some great toons when my lass had to work. It was not long before I was accepted as a regular and everyone knew my name. It was a great little community, full of laughs, dramas, haters, lovers and all the rest you get online. I knew two people got married who met there, the first time I knew that to happen. But it was to be short lived. Its not cheap keeping a radio station going and the owners sold up to another network who closed the place down. I am still in contact with a couple of people I met there and its fun reminising back to those happy days. Good music, great company. A couple of chat rooms sprang up as offshoots of that place and are still going, in a fashion.
After that, I was a web nomad. Just roaming around looking for another home, another place to go where everyone would eventually know my name. My love of music and radio led me to another radio station, 1ClubFM. Its still going in a completely different format than when I first found the place. It was another place where a lot of members were socially active and there was a chat facility that we moderated ourselves. The twats that sprung up from time to time were just chased away. They seldom came back for a second bite. It was another great experience for me. I was accepted yet again and most knew who I was and I got along with just about everyone. We had a tight Brit connection there with our own little place in amongst the various groups that existed at the time. I knew and chatted with people all over the world and again, I am still in contact with one or two. When the place changed ownership and the site was changed, a lot of peeps went over to Fubar, but that place was never my cup of tea. Some stayed there, others moved on. I became an unnoficial Uncle Tino to one or two new borns there and I still follow their progress via the dreaded FB, unbeknown to them. Again, I was upset when that place changed and we all went our seperate ways. FB by this time was rapidly growing into the beast it is today, but that place just doesn’t do it for me.
By this time I was getting into online poker more and more and this was to provide me my current ‘home’. I am no lover of forums. I find them faceless and formal with no soul. Pokerspace had something different to offer. The learning here has never been great, but the sense of community has. Ever since I arrived in 2009 there has been a hardcore membership with some new arrivals and some active members moving on. Again, it was great to be somewhere I was accepted and before too long, everyone knew my name. The laughs we had on Friday nights on Rio are legendary now to those who played that game on a regular basis. It was not about poker, although it was always competetive, it was about friends playing a game and having a good time. Yes, there were one or two idiots always shooting their mouth off, it happens, but overall, it was a good place to be. The fields in most games were a decent size, but not so one game would take all night. The Crew Cup caused a lot of controversy and still does in its present format. But there were a lot more crews involved then. My first crew were tight, then imploded and I think I am the only one left as a reg here, if I can call myself a reg these days? Its still a good feeling though to come to a place in the cyberworld where most know my name and I know theirs. We know the names behind the avatars and we know something about each person, even gormless blue cookie monsters 😉
During my time here at Pokerspace, I have not had the best of health. To help me through that I found I was writing a lot. I became a member of a blog site and was posting regular offerings for about 18 months or so. I still post there, just not as often as I once did. I tend to read more than I write, but I still get a huge amount of enjoyment from that. Open Link Nights on a Tuesday is a great time to read and learn various forms of poetry and I have tried things I never believed I was capable of, in a writing sense. Writing for me is a release mechanism. The things I used to do to blow off steam I can no longer do, so writing helped fill the void somewhat.
I have no idea how long this association with Pokerspace will last. I have seen members migrate to other forums or just leave to follow whatever paths they tread. I have seen some arrive and then leave just as quickly. I have made some solid friends who I hope will remain that way. But life changes, people change and many things can conspire to make people move on. I know for a fact, if I feel this way, so will others, they just might prefer not to admit it, because when all said and done, most of us are not so different to the next person. In a world of 9.5 billion people, sometimes, we just need to be in a place where everyone knows our name.
Where Everyone Knows Your Name
Shuffling, world weary in a pool of
9.5 billion lost souls
Where the fuck do you find solitude
when its obligation screams in your face
generating tentative apathy
Such unrelenting silence, corked
a message in a bottle, vacillating along
the flotsam of our existence
Captured in a picture
Annonymous faces peruse in widowless wonder
craving a home, a community
when neither endure their facsinations
Along primeval lines I see cherished
recollections of acquaintances
walking toward distant chasms
All we consistently desired was to exist
where everyone knew our name.