21 June 2006

Seminal Moments

Kristie Fisher as Britney--better than the real thing now? You be the judge. I did fly with Britney once from New Orleans to Newark, I think in 1998 or 1999, returning maybe from Thanksgiving.

So what are the top ten seminal moments or catalysts in the poker boom to date? Here's a list to agree with or disagree with: what would you nuke, what would you add, what are the top five?
  1. Rounders
  2. Late Night Poker on Channel 4 (UK, glass poker table shows hole cards)
  3. Harry Orenstein develop hole card cameras for poker table
  4. Launch of www.planetpoker.com
  5. Chris Moneymaker wins seat in WSOP, Everyman can beat pros and win millions
  6. ESPN expands WSOP coverage
  7. Travel channel launches WPT; wired pair, race situation, and new stars hit
  8. RGP and 2+2 create a forum for players to network, explore strategy
  9. China manufacturing of poker chips
  10. Mega-rooms: Bellagio, Foxwoods, Commerce, Bicycle
  11. Neteller
  12. ZeeJustin busted
  13. Dutch Boyd and PokerSpot
  14. Poker celebrities old and new: Doyle, Gus, Phil Ivey, other Phil's, Negreanu, Lederer
  15. Poker books
  16. Poker blogs
  17. Asian influence on poker
  18. Scandanavian poker
I was going to leave some out, but I ended up just adding more and let you guys decide what the top ten in order are. Defend as you will, and I'll give you my top five and ten tomorrow.

Congrats to Guin on a runner up in the WWdN last night. I got there for his last two hands that ended up crashing him out, so I'm now the reverse luckbox. Bill Rini has his first Carnival posts up from a variety of bloggers (including here). Check it out.

What to say about Michael Owen's devestating injury yesterday? Forget what it does for England, just a tough, tough break for a guy who I admire alot. I don't know tons about him specifically, but from being the glory boy of EPL, England, and Liverpool to warming the bench and toughing it out at Real Madrid, to Newcastle to metatarsal to this.

Oh, and I'll be covering the WSOP for PokerWorks.

I mean, how sweet is that?

I'm assuming there is some sort of rookie hazing, like having to make latte runs for Pauly, back waxing for Mike Paulle, all that sort of thing. I'll be out probably 21 days, so I have to figure out when to be there. Probably two-three trips over 42 days. I'll keep you posted.

Special thanks to all the visitors here, especially the new folks. Have a good day, and talk to you later.

ADDENDUM: Congrats to Miami Don, Carmen, and the rest of the Heat legion for their victory last night. Penny Hardaway must have cried all night thinking of what might have been had he had the humility and maturity of Dwyane Wade. Didn't see that coming, although admittedly I didn't care too much.

Also from the weekend, World Cup was the ratings star of the weekend, with the US-Italy match besting everything but the NBA game Sunday, including NASCAR and the US Open. Czech Republic-Ghana bested US Open Sunday. Ratings pale in comparison to other countries, but it has to be a significantly positive sign for soccer in the US.


Blogger JvilleWhip said...

I’m going to provide my “top 8”. While the remaining are important, I feel these 8 truly represent my thoughts on the subject. Keep in mind that I do not necessarily believe all of these listed items are "good for the game".

1 Chris Moneymaker (While often critiqued for his true skill, few can deny the impact this man has had on the game, the exposure, the appeal. If he can make millions, why can’t we? Chris single handedly along with PokerStars.com’s promotion sent hundreds of thousand of poker wannabe’s to the sites causing this surge)
2 Rounders (pivotal in creating an overall appeal to the game. Made it appear as though any average joe with determination and grit can make his stand)
3 Hold Card Cameras (without this concept, I do not believe we would have the interest we have. If we weren’t watching Moneymakers cards, I really don’t think anyone would have cared as much)
4 Launch of online poker (before online poker, you were geographically bound and restricted. This created a whole new world of poker enthusiast.)
5 ESPN Coverage (somewhat goes hand in hand with the Moneymaker affect. ESPN saw an opportunity for good television while covering the world underdog, promoted the hell out of it, thus creating a windfall.)
6 WPT Coverage (I put this neck and neck with ESPN but think the WPT coverage was parmount to the success poker has had in recent years)
7 Poker Books (with all the media’s attention, everyone wanted to learn how to play. Increased interest, increased book sales, increased new material, etc.)
8 Poker Celebs (without favorite’s in any sport, no one would have anyone to cheer for. Some are great ambassadors, others are down right bad for the game. In the end, the exposure to those in the biz has been very important.)

Do you mind if I use this subject matter with my own thoughts over on my bloggidy blog? Great discussion points.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Scott Cunningham said...

I think both of you hit on it. You can boil some of these things down even more than jvillewhip did.

1) Everyman. Moneymaker and Rounders both show people with whom we can identify. They're regular people. The fact that you don't have to have bulging biceps and quick as gazelle, and use only your mind and presence, to do well at poker gives off the appearance that anyone can be good at poker, since doesn't everyone think they're smarter and craftier than they really are? When Moneymaker won, and when we saw other mini-moneymakers online and on television, it added something to poker that I'm thinking was not there for most people. Think of this as a shift in demand.

2. Technological shocks. The ubiquity of the Internet, highspeed access via cable and DSL, faster and cheaper computers, Neteller and other payment systems, and hole card cameras changed the supply side of poker tremendously. Hole card cameras made poker watchable for the first time, by removing the hidden information. One could better understand players, without relying on speculation from commentators. And the things related to the Internet meant poker - as jvillewhip said - was no loner in Las Vegas. It was anywhere.

3. ESPN and WPT coverage seems related to #2, since both were a function of the hole card technology, but I thnk both need to be separated since the independent impact of ESPN's coverage was crucial to exanding the market.

4. Social Capital - Poker blogs, regularly scheduled tournaments, and forums like 2+2 have made what could have been a merely isolated individualistic interest into a socializing force. When you think about it, successful sports are as much about facilitating social spaces among fans as they are about individual gratification from viewing. I read the other day that fans will pack behind the goal in soccer, even though viewing is worse there, which led one person to speculate it must be that the social mileu there leads people to congregate there. And I think it's partly that socializing force that even makes us so interested in celebrity poker players, though I'm not sure exactly what that connection would be.

Good post. The technological shocks may, though, be the real drivers altogether. It's Bill Gates who should get the credit since he put a PC on every desk in America!

11:26 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Congrats on covering the WSOP. I can't wait to hear about it. I'm a journalist myself, so I would imagine I'd have a great time covering that one day. Let me know how it goes. If you need help writing a lede, let me know.
I keed, I keed.
Thanks for stopping by yet again and providing me with more great reading material.

7:31 PM  
Blogger mowenumdown said...

First and foremost, Kristie Fisher all the way. Did you see Brittney the other night? She looks like the girl that you take home after a few to many at closing time when there is not much to choose from.

The biggest factor in the growth of poker is the television coverage and the characters that have grown from said coverage. Poker has pretty girls, brats, legends and even Jesus plays.

I disagree with those who think that poker has peaked.

8:00 PM  
Blogger F.J. Delgado said...

jville and scott c. covered the big factors better than I could... Rounders, television covering events, and online poker have helped dramatically and are the most important in my view.

I'll look forward to reading your WSOP write-ups.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Guin said...

For me it all started with Rounders and then Moneymaker made it common to play. I did import 50 sets of poker chips from China before they were everywhere and that helped build the game in my circles.

Poker on TV just taught the basics to many and also made it look easy! Mostly because they only show one hand out of 40 where something exciting happens other than a blind steal! Also the poker personalities are so varied that it also fed off of the addiction towards reality TV. "He pushed him all in with nothing but 4 high! But how can his opponent call with only 2nd pair? If he calls then it is all over and he will win 1 million dollars."

All these things started to make it more acceptable to spend time playing poker online or live.

I don't think we are near a peak but I do see some of the guys I started playing with giving up on the game. Most realized that they weren't that good and have moved on to other things. Glad so many others have started playing to take their place.

Thanks again for showing up and helping me finish 2nd!

10:45 AM  

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