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Issue 53 - Image is everything

Whisky Magazine Issue 53
January 2006


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Image is everything

When you think of poker, what is the dominant image before you?

I ask because when we were discussing the cover story, one of the team talked of smoke-filled rooms, male only events where the players wore open-necked shirts and played all night, the stakes rising at the same pace as the tension – a grim, potentially violent world where no one trusted each other and the aim was not just to win but to win and live to tell the tale.

I didn't see that at all. I saw Vegas, Bond, glitter and glamour. On reflection, though, my colleague had a case – and way back every other grainy black and white Western had a card school where the players slugged whiskey and eyed each other suspiciously.

How does an image change so much? Who did the makeover?

In the case of gambling – or social gaming as the new spinsters would have it – it's because of the acceptance of online gambling and televised poker. Big business has reinvented a grubby pastime based on greed and the irrational pursuit of wealth literally against the odds to make a lot of money.

But the image whisky has similarly been transformed these past few months, too, and it's good for all of us.

Quite why or how it happened I don't know, but I still find it odd to go in to the main gift section of a High Street store and see whisky tasting sets there. I am amazed at how many times you see a whisky bottle – normally a good malt – on British television. And these days it's the drink of choice for the judge or chief of ...

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