One of the most interesting and bizarre characters to have been introduced in Modern Times has been the Gypsy, Lagiqq. The Gypsies of Russia have for ages been in conflict with the Soviet’s. This recent publication introduces us to one of the many factions within this conflict, the Gypsy Pokerkiukiu. In other words, Lagiqq attempts to answer the question ‘what is a Gypsy poker player?’
The volumes are divided into two parts, one dedicated to a unique and different stories about a number of poker players and one side focuses on the reality of what it means to be a Gypsy poker player. The first part tries to answer the question ‘what is a Gypsy poker player? ‘.
The different tales in the book tell us that the Gypsies have lived in Russia all their lives and have been faced with much hardship. When they emigrated they were led by the Beghuts and the most unfortunate part of their life was when they got to live among Christians and were treated as second class citizens. It was their poor reputation that caused the real conflict between them and the Russians, as the other factions of the peasants did not believe them at all.
The most intriguing part of the book is when Lagiqq takes us on a journey into the Russian Poker communities and tells us a real tale of its own. He covers a number of poker tournaments and tries to explain the different players in the tournaments and gives an insight into the mentality of these players.
One of the most intriguing tales relates to the Russian newcomer to the poker scene of Dave Bouchenette, who was described as being able to read other people’s minds. Although it is very difficult to be able to do this, Bouchenette managed to win more than half of the poker tournaments he entered and showed that he was certainly not afraid to take risks.
To prove how knowledgeable and cultured Bouchenette was, Lagiqq puts in some quotes from the Russian Poker players about their life styles and views on the game. Of course, it is not always possible to talk about how other players felt about certain players, but it does seem that there is a significant amount of respect between some players, which probably played a role in the end result of the matches.
In the final chapter, Lagiqq offers an example of how to play poker, making it clear that poker was not simply a game for the rich or those who had money to spend. The Gypsies are great champions of the game and although many people will only know them by their funny nicknames like ‘Pondhvitsy’the Crazy fellow’, they are in fact a great example of how power can be a valuable life skill. In fact, we are given a new and interesting perspective on how poker can change our lives.
Overall, I found that Lagiqq had taken a great view and great fun to read, explaining the strange story behind the game of poker in modern times. I found myself laughing out loud many times and found the ideas and concepts behind the book intriguing.