The everyday activities of pod pilots throughout New Eden ranges from combat domination to market control. When these activities become too stale and routine, gambling has become a preferred pastime. We spoke with several pod pilots about the fascination with gambling, as well as those who organise these popular events.
The most recent gambling events making a splash in the headlines were the EVE Hold'em Billion ISK poker tournament, and the BIG Lottery’s 5 year anniversary draw. The lottery was the most prolific so far and attracted nearly five thousand five hundred participants, which itself indicates an increasing thirst for gambling by pod pilots throughout New Eden.
“I find gambling my ISK here is a great [way] to have fun as well as earn ISK” The comment from one Virus 191, who has taken part in both the lottery event as well as other daily Hold’em events. Another gambler named N0N4M3 seemed to have similar feelings: “I do like to gamble alot, I have won in the BIG lottery and I do also play poker using [ISK]. You don’t always win but it is for the thrill of it.”
Not all pilots are keen gamblers though, as Tajidan impressed upon us when we asked why he had never participated in such events: “most of the time it was me not having enough ISK, and then when I had some to spare I always thought that it’s too much time for me to sort out the scammers from the serious ones.”
Sitting on the other side of the proverbial fence are the organisers of these gambling events. Having heard the concerns from pilots about becoming victims of fraud, Selene D’Celeste, owner of the EVE Hold’em organisation, explained her approach to allaying these worries: “I keep all of our GalNet thread history available in our Current Events thread, so people can see the entire history if they wish to look. - I also do my best to only keep personable staff and to always work with people and to be consistent with game rulings when issues arise.”
Black Dog also capitalizes on the phenomenon: “[pilots are] crying out for a way to gamble their ISK. I enjoy running events of this type... I’m going to start recruiting for my new corporation and I feel events are a good way to increase awareness.”
While there is a high demand for lottery style gambling events, there are many other gambling activities that pilots get involved in during their spare time, ranging from space based races to combat events; usually with an ISK award for the winner but sometimes just for the bragging rights of being "number one". One such event was organised by Niffetin, who set up a gladiatorial style one versus one destroyer match open to any challenger. The winner was simply the pilot of the last ship left intact.
When asked about his participation in this particular event, pilot Shaktar commented: “for the challenge I guess and because I liked to see what a destroyer class ship can do [due] to the fact that I stopped using destroyer class ships a while ago”. He also volunteered his gambling interest: “I wish I had participated in The BIG lottery, a chance to win those 20b [ISK] would have been awesome.” Given the unprompted nature of the comment, it would seem that gambling is never far from the average pod pilot's mind.