I thought I would try my hand at some prediction. I've read some things out there about what people think may happen in '09. All sorts of stuff from the economy, to politics, to breakouts, sports, and even who will die. So I figured why not peer into the crystal ball of poker and try to guess at what may happen.
SO here i' goes....
1. AC poker rooms will see growth again. But will lose almost half of those rooms. The growth part is absolutely a stretch, and based only on my opinion. But with hard times come hard chances. Those out of work will look to shake off the boredom and thought of impending doom with some recreational activity. And what better way than to do it in an arena where you can actually make a few bucks. The Borgata will absolutely rule the city seeing most, and carrying the average with the most upward movement. They offer the best room and most tables. The Taj will see some growth out of the fact that some other rooms just decided to fold up. A few already have, and others are already contemplating. The only thing Harrah's has going for it are the WSOP circuits they put together. But I also hear that other rooms, non-harrah's properties are going to start offering the same. Why fight the beast if that's what the players want.
2. Layne Flack will fall back into oblivion. If he hasn't already dusted off his winnings from the WSOP (HORSE REBUY he won, and he also staked Scotty Wynn in the 50k HORSE champ) he certainly will be heading down that road. I hear he took the lambasting of his actions during the filming of that final table to heart. Hopefully his life coach will straighten him out, and he can continue to play with his talent, and not his urgency.
3. Poker Icons will die. Wicked Chops linked up a story from another site that puts Brunson on the death list for '09. Number 16 out of 100 to be exact. I think thats a pretty good number, but I also think there should be more on that list. I'm going to set the long line of Helmuth finally pissing someone off beyond breaking point, and he gets a chair or something across his head that ends his days here on earth. I will also go with another long shot and say at least one other pro meets his maker while driving with some hot little thing. The combination of head and coke lines across the dash board while driving 90 can't be good. Not to mention wearing a seat belt would be impossible with either activity. Not that I would know. Just guessing, really
4. Another On-line shop will be accused of cheating its players. This is really almost a given. whether or not it will be true is another story. But you have to think that somewhere between the AP/UB scam and now, that someone is already looking into even the slightest impropriety. After all , math answers all, and someone will put an excel sheet or access database together to show a ridiculous run for someobody that will just beg an investigation.
5. Al becomes even more of a Rock Star. With his impending move to Key West, and the accomodations he has tentatively set up, plus his gig at FTP rockin', AND his propensity to lure the coolest of kats into his little circle with his unabashed style and legendary partying, it's only a matter of time before the brother gets recognized for his contributions to Poker, content, and just an overall ability to Rock. Of course this could also land him a mention in point number 3.
6. The UIGEA gets absolutely no look from the new administration. As they hurry to give everyone a couple bucks disguised as a stimulus package, take the responsibility for half the nation to pay taxes away, and spread everyone else's money around to pay for that, there's no way it gets any notice. At least any notice that will turn it over THIS year. But I suspect that towards the end of the year, based on the economy and the need to generate more revenue, someone will wake up and go ... "HEY!, Check this out!... We could make a lot of money here!".
7. Blogger land continues to thrive. I believe with the impending BBT 4, Smokees little bodog gig, and somebody else stepping up to offfer something else, you will see a couple more bloggers enter the arena. New ones. I also think some old ones will step back into the arena and the excitement will pop up a few notches.
8. WSOP will gain a wider audience. The November 9 wasn't that big of a smash this year. What they failed to do was really take advantage of the 4 month overlay. But these guys aren't stupid. I gotta think someone steps up at ESPN or Harrah's, and finally puts together a reality type of program that runs from August to November. A once a week show that highlights the players and what they are doing. Heck, they should put them all in one house and let them pimp each other. A show like this will bring a bunch of teeny bopper and lonely house wives who can't get enough of reality tv and introduce them to poker. Stocking the pond would be a good thing. Now if only they could get money on a site with no problems....
9. Yet another blogger gathering will be introduced. Eh Vegas, Okie Vegas, the Bash, Weekend at Mookies, and the December Gathering should all thrive. although the odds say that one will go on hiatus. But somewhere, somehow, someone will try to get people out to their home state for a party, just cause, well, that's what we do. Party. I will say that a Corn Vegas (buddy), Purple Vegas (drizz, oh captain) or Buy my house Vegas (Fuel) are at least considered along the way. Heck, Recess might even have a Fuel is gay party at our nations capitol. Lock that one up for me!
10. I will go out on a limb here and predict that this year we will not see any scandals in blogger world. Drama will be at an all time low. Mainly because there will be so many other things to focus on. family, career, etc. This year will count more than any other because of the global economic situation. There will be several of us that feel the pinch. But as always, the community will step it up and everyone will survive, if not thrive.
I have the state of the union address almost finished. But I am going to wait for a few weeks because I want to get some interviews with some pros. I will be seeing a lot of them at the Borgata over the next couple of weeks and I want to get their take on things. Alot of these guys are circuit grinders, just following the train of tourney's to earn their living. A lot of them are very succesful. These are the guys that will determine the future of tournament play, IMO.
I'll have some info to back that up as well. Don't jizz just yet. It's coming.