“I guess it gets the blood flowing watching it,” Salois said. “It gets you excited to play.”
And when the Togel Hongkong game gets going, the buzz begins.
“As long as you’re not losing, you’re into the zone,” Salois said. “You kind of see things before they happen. That’s the fine line, between people who say it’s a luck game, and people who say it’s a skill game.”
Some would warn against the well-known dangers of Togel Hongkong falling into the gambling habit, even as they laud the social aspects of playing.
“If it’s done for gambling, it can be just as addictive as drugs or overeating,” said Bert Jacobs, chairman of the psychology department at the University of Maine at Farmington. “But if it’s done for socialization, then I don’t see any harm in it.”
Jacobs does not think much of online poker, since he believes players who log on are in fact playing against computer programs. But he acknowledges that poker has an enduring appeal in this society.
“A large component of it is bluffing, the ability to impose yourself on others by tricking them,” he said. “Some people find that very attractive. But I don’t believe poker is any more evil than chess. Also, it goes back to the Wild West. It’s a way for people to develop a community.”
Still, sales of poker products appears to have picked up at local retailers.
“We have seen an increase in that type of paraphernalia, probably because of the television shows,” said Julie Gilbert, manager of Skowhegan’s Wal-Mart. “We’re selling more cards and chips. In bigger stores, the (card playing) tables do very well. It started this summer, and we expect it to go through the holiday season.”
Most who buy the Togel Hongkong paraphernalia are male, Gilbert said, in the 20-to-30 age range, “especially the guys heading up for weekend going to camp,” she said.
“It sells well, but it’s not like we’re not bringing in extra to keep up with demand,” said Gerald Tyler, manager of Augusta’s Wal-Mart.
For all its current popularity, the game’s young online fans don’t expect it to last. Salois believes the television shows are jumping on a bandwagon while the trend lasts — “Its popularity will start to wane,” he predicted.
“It’s very ‘in’ right now, but I’m not sure if it will stick around,” Randall said. “It might peak out at some point and level off.”