Tuesday, May 20, 2008

...the pleasure's all on this side of the table, trust me.

What is going to happened to poker? GSN announces, or doesn't announce that they will not be renewing High Stakes Poker, and that leads into the assumption, with some articles written about it, that they won't be renewing the WPT either. This after the WPT just got picked up by GSN.

The question is, how does this effect poker? At all? Huge? Negatively? Certainly not positively, but how far will this reach?

Does the influx of new players then subside? If it does, at what rate? Has it already? As a business owner in this industry, especially one that specializes in introducing the new players, I can tell you that there has been a slow down of sorts. We still see new growth, and we still see the good attendance, without much of a drop, but players are certainly starting to cycle out.

This year has been somewhat different. The Winner of the WSOP ME basically went underground after his win. There have been a few stories about his philanthropy, but absolutely no real stories about him at all. He was not the spokesman that I think a winner of that size of an event needs to be. Maybe its because he wasn't really that much of a player. Maybe it was because he didn't want to , or didnt care.

Hachem was great, Moneymaker was great, Raymer was great, and Gold, was well notable. 3 of the 4 mentioned above all became ambassadors of the game. They were inlvolved in poker. They played, they got involved in business ventures within the industry, they helped out things like the PPA, and most of all , they were visible. People could identify with why they were famous. And more importantly, they understood what made them famous. Yang did nothing of the sort. The guy up and dissappeared like a fart in the wind.

Without that story, that person to tell his story over and over again, and show people how he won one the richest prizes in all of sports/ entertainment, there really is no bait for the public to follow. And this comes at a bad time as well. General folk know that there is a law banning online poker, but have no idea what it really entails. They just know it exists, and therefore, poker must be dead. Then the guy who wins the biggest prize just vanishes. And no talk about the WSOP after that. What gives? Maybe poker is dead. Of course not. Not in the least. But there is something to be said about the average guy or gal who aren't informed to hear snippets and just assume. When I tell people I'm going ot play poker in a real casino, I still get, "isn't that illegal?" In the very least things like that will take their interest away from even pursuing a foray into the poker world.

I will follow this up tomorrow with another post delving deeper into this whole thing. Obviously I'm not blaming Jerry Yang for the destruction of the whole poker world, but I think his non-involvement has something to do with the lack of interest from the non-poker playing public. Even if you didnt play, you still watched. Now thats not happening anymore.

I've had some good conversations with some industry folk over this and will follow up with an online piece and a live piece tomorrow, and what some of their thoughts are and what some others plan on doing about it.


OhCaptain said...

Nicely said.

I personally see some of this coming from UIGEA and its effect on what people think of poker.

The TV networks are learly of poker since the main source of ad revenue comes from the poker sites which may actually be illegal to some people. I've been surprised by the lack of advertising from companies that produce products and services that are without a doubt legal everywhere but West Virginia.

No effort has been made in the poker industry to support the home game.

I've seen a huge decline in the bar poker in these parts. There was an oversaturation of bars offering it. Many of them and the companies they used did little to promote their poker. Heck, the bar I play at has a grand prize each night of only $20 in gift certificates.

There is one promoter of poker in the area that seems to be getting the crowds. Its one night a week and his biggest problem is the champion is crowned later then the Mookie goes. Ain't you Riggs...I can't get less then 6 hours of sleep too many times in a week.

Looking forward to the next installment!

Drizztdj said...


If you know that people still hate it when watching the WPT and you tell them who wins, then it makes it easier to realize why they'd debate the legality of casino or online poker.

SirFWALGMan said...

I hate watching all the reruns of Poker a year later. Fuck that. I got better things to do. I will still catch a WPT final table but I do not get Game Network as part of the basic package so I could never see High Stakes Poker. I do love that show. It was the highest rated show on the Game Network so it must be some numbnuts conservative religious jesus freak that wants the show off the air.

As far as Yang he is a moron and I guess if a moron can win the ME then anyone can. I am surprised that did not cause a surge of people signing up. It is great that he has a life outside of poker though unlike you and is kind to the unfortunate people around him. Lets all feel good. *mmm*.

When I win the ME I am going to rip the government a new asshole on TV.. I will be the loudest spokesperson ever asking those pukes why I can drink but cant smoke pot and can gamble live but not on the internet unless it is horses and dogs. Fucking inhumane bastards! You want me to win baby! You know you do! OHHH YEAHH!

Pud's Poker said...

No matter how private he wanted to be, surely as a poker player who has just won the biggest prize in poker, he has a duty to promote our game?

He'd have been perfect too.Not many overly-religious poker players get to win millions!

Good post

gtycoon said...

I don't know if this has been confirmed or not, but I have heard that NBC will be picking up High Stakes Poker if GSN is dropping it.

HSP is the best poker show and I know many that like it so NBC would be smart to grab it.