Thursday, September 15, 2005

Immortal Poker Beast

Cadet Alex Stone: What about family and unity and all that other bullshit you said?
Major Payne: I never said family don't break up. Don't you watch Oprah?
”Major Payne”

What a rambling post this will be.
Bodog is now finished for me, and I have to say I give the support and software a big thumbs up. My cash-out was processed and in my Neteller account within 24 hours. It’s just a shame there are not enough games on the times I like to play. Anyways, I cleared enough points to deposit out the full bonus amount, and I leave Bodog having cleared the PSO bonus for $90 worth of gear and a profit of $16 – which includes the $160 bonus money. I guess I just didn’t have that good a time with the cards there, but my final session was a massive 25BB in the positive after 20 minutes. What can I say, I just hit a few hands and 1-2 people wanted to call me down to make sure.

I think my next PSO stop will be Titan Poker. Even though it is just Noble Poker by a different name, and I am not a big fan of Noble, the extra juice offered by PSO is just too damn tempting.

I have started reading “The professor, the banker and the suicide king”, and I’m only about 100 pages or so in. I love these stories, and it throws up some interesting background history to some of the pros – for instance, Howard Lederer spent 2 years trying to conquer $1/$2. 2 YEARS! Obviously this was in the clubs of New York and not at Party Poker, but can you imagine what people would say about an online player struggling at $1/$2 for 2 years? I’ve been at that level for 2 months now, and really I don’t know if I am any further along in progress.

The sums of money they are talking about, while I knew these games existed, still amaze me. I can already see why so many other bloggers have given this book big wraps, it is certainly a view into a world most of us only dream of. I won’t go into detail about the actual events as to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet, but there are some amazing calls by people there – both during the games and just getting the bank roll together.

I also just finished reading “The Death Of WCW”, which my wrestling enthusiast would recognise as a company that was sold for “next to nothing” a few years back when business was bad. As the book states, the company went from the most popular show on all of cable television in 1997 to bust by 2001. Despite all the bad decisions made in that time, the one true nail in the coffin for the company was when they lost their TV time. This is an important point that I will come back to in a paragraph or so…

I keep hearing people talking about when poker will jump the shark, and how all the players will run away to some other craze when the dust settles. But it won’t happen like that, because for every person you hear that lost $1000 playing poker means somebody else must have won $1000 (minus rake and all that, but lets not get distracted). So even though obviously the pool of money among the players grows smaller in time due to the house taking their cut, the money more of less goes from one player to another, and then a new player adds their hard earned to the fire and so on. When you loose $1000 in blackjack, the money disappears into the casinos coffers. In poker, even if it is taken off the table you can bet it will be back some time soon.

Poker may never be as big as it is now ever again. The World Series main event might go back to tournaments under 1000 people when interests wane (and buy-ins rise), but it won’t disappear. Online poker has obviously fuelled this craze over the last few years, and when that meteoric rise reaches a plateau and falls, there will still be survivors. When this eventual “jumping of the shark” occurs, poker won’t die. Party might go from 70,000 people to 10,000, but it won’t die. Even in the casinos, poker was still being played and making people rich or broke long before the internet was a factor. What can kill poker? If the casinos stopped offering poker then it has a chance to die. But then what about online? What about all the underground card clubs? What about home games? If the casinos no longer offered poker, the growth of all these off-shoots would spike very quickly and then start a slow and long decent. The only way poker could die out after this boom period is if the casinos stopped offering the game. And since they have been offering it for longer than I have been alive, there will always be someone willing to start a game.

So in conclusion, poker will reach a peak some day, it just has to, and then far fewer people will make their living from this pastime. But it won’t die, not while people still have money in their wallets, stars in their eyes and gamble in their hearts.

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