APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 1b: Straya
Having worked a number of long World Series of Poker campaigns, I've been fortunate enough to be in Las Vegas on several different occasions for Independence Day on the 4th of July.
As an Australian, it's interesting to compare how America celebrates Independence Day against how we Aussies celebrate Australia Day.
In my humble opinion, Americans are the most patriotic people in the world. They love their county. They love their flag. They love their national anthem. And they love to show the world.
The also love to celebrate their independence. I would guess that most Americans would understand exactly that Independence Day is about commemorating the day that America declared independence from Great Britain in 1776.
Ask an Australian, "What does Australia Day mean?" and you will get a whole heap of blank stares.
It's not that we don't love Australia. We really do. But Australians do have a nature that, well, let's just say, tends to lack intensity. I'm not saying we're lazy, we're just relaxed.
A large number of Australians don't even know the words to our national anthem. What do you mean there's a second verse?
Many dislike our flag. Why is England's flag on our flag anyway?"
It's been proven that absolutely no-one knows the name of our first Prime Minister. Yep, no clue.
And most Aussies don't understand that Australia Day is to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet of British ships arriving on the shores of New South Wales in 1788. Ahhhh, right. Yeah, I knew that.
The truth is, that most Aussies just really aren't too fussed about the detail. All they just know they get a day off from work to drink beer, have a BBQ and watch the cricket.
Celebrating is one thing that America and Australia do have in common though. The fireworks display on the 4th of July in the US is something special, and Australia Day celebrations will probably get close to rivalling that.
Thinking back to the WSOP, and I remember the number of American flags I'd see around the room. People would wear red, white and blue hats, t-shirts or even wrap a flag over their shoulders.
Looking around the Crown Poker Room today, I don't see one flag anywhere.
Are we proud? Of course! Do we love our country? More than you could imagine. It's the greatest place on Earth, but perhaps we're just all too busy drinking beer and laying in the sun.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.