Finding the Fountain of Youth in Cyberspace
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One woman tackles aging, Texas Hold'em style.

"I'm still in," Rubenstein quietly remarks in one of the sweeter moments in this winning account of wisdom versus age. As she approached age 70, the retired philosophy professor and former U.S. table tennis champion found herself whiling away evenings in her La-Z-Boy while her husband was out playing poker. Having been barred from the East Hampton game with "the girls" because she was too competitive, Rubenstein began to lose her sense of self and dwell on the ravages of getting old. Aging, she concludes, is "the systematic elimination of alternatives." Luckily, she discovered "the fountain of youth in cyberspace" when she took her son's advice to check out online poker, where she tried tournament play. Thus began a sort of renaissance for the author, where the relative anonymity of cyberspace allowed her to match wits with other players without having to worry about the various pressures of neighborhood or casino play–from timing her length of stay at the table, to the intimidating trash-talking of male opponents. Plus, playing alone at home spelled the additional luxury of "no dressing either. You didn't have to put your teeth in, take your slippers off." Rubenstein's humor and sarcasm come through on every page, as she details the journey from her recliner to local reporter to becoming one of the poster children for the Million tournament cruises. Never losing her philosophic edge, Rubenstein writes, "Kafka said if it comes down to between you and the world, bet on the world. Here's what makes poker. Occasionally you get to beat the world. And when you do, there's really nothing like it."

Funny, reflective and pleasantly inspiring.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-9659552-1-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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