…and the whole poker world gets its panties in a bunch. Word is Caesars gave him a medal for finishing 9th. WTF.
I’m sorry but really is that the only newsworthy story the INDUSTRY can come up with. Let it be known, I’m a Phelps fan, watched intently during the Olympics, but for this now to be the biggest deal in poker kinda makes me hate poker. Well maybe not the game perse but definitely the industry.
I think this issue highlights one of the reasons poker will never ‘jump the shark’ as Scott Huff (pokerroad) always says. There just really isn’t enough newsworthy stuff that happens. A bunch of random dudes make a final table, sometimes is Nam Le cuz he’s good at the short stack (see Bellagio Cup results). Poker is a gambling game. Tournaments are a gamble. The end of tournament, almost regardless of structure, requires you to win hands at showdown. If you don’t pick up those hands, chances are good you don’t win.
Since cash games aren’t a ‘tournament’ and no one tally’s points for winning and losing, it’s hard for people (i.e. fans) to watch and keep track of the best of the best. Professional sports are good, because namely of the major franchises. Hate em or Love em – Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, Cowboys, Lakers, Tiger Woods, whatever – there are dominant forces in these leagues that fans clamour for.
Poker has some of these titans – Ivey, Hansen, Durrr, Benyamine, and depending on your sphere of influence Hellmuth, or some bevie of internet phenoms (there are a lot). Maybe though, that should be the measure of success – a year long cash game – with results on display – televised (maybe a year later??)
The top 100 or so players could compete – how you determine that I have no idea – maybe just by the required buy – make it $500,000 buyin – to narrow the field down.
Then televise it once a week or a month – and all the pros can come and play every 2 weeks or something in LA or LV…
Okay so this is a tough format, but still its a main reason why poker can’t go mainstream. It’s just too much of a gambling game, with sick variance, and higher variance in tournaments (which are what people watch – because there is a ‘winner’ at the end – a trophy, a celebration, something finite to talk about at the water cooler.)