5 Things Poker Has But Doesn't Need
The poker world has been in steady decline for years now. As games have become tougher and harder to access (thanks DOJ!), the glory days when anyone with a modicum of competence and an Internet connection could easily rack up five-figures of yearly earnings in their spare time are long gone. As is custom practice in a contracting industry, poker could use being leaned out on a few fronts.
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Here are five things the poker world has but no longer can sustain a demand for or would simply be better off without:
Poker Video Training Sites
Phil Ivey sure can play cards but he doesn't appear to be much of an investor. When not initiating preemptive lawsuits against people who made him rich, trying to beat the house at a game of dice, or loading up on another round of bottle service at the club, Ivey evidently is chasing poker bubbles that long ago burst.
The latest poker video training site to hit the web is Ivey's newest venture IveyPoker.com. Oh thank goodness, another video training website! I was worried we all might run out of footage of poker playing wiz kids breaking down their complicated thought process in a hand. Ivey to the rescue!
Note: if you're not up for paying for a training site subscription, we have plenty of free poker videos to help your game.
Ninety percent of the posts on the largest poker forums on the web, the TwoPlusTwo.com forums, are beyond tolerable. Which is a shame because the other ten percent can really be quite valuable and enlightening. Someone should create a browser addon that automatically prunes the noise off of TwoPlusTwo so people can browse and ingest information in peace. It'd be full-time jobs for all inhabitants of a small Chinese city just to keep pace with clipping the unnecessary noise out of the poker world.
Live Tournament Reporting
Unfortunately for those clinging to employment as reporters on the live poker tournament trail, their roles are really unnecessary. For a few reasons, live tournament reporting brings little value to the poker world these days. First, the reporting is generally just bad. There are all sorts of terrible inaccuracies reported on a regular basis. Most live tournament hand histories reported on major poker media outlets should be taken with a grain of salt as likely only partially representative of what really happened.
Second, player themselves are now some of the best live tournament journalists on the planet. Thanks to social media outlets like Twitter, anyone interested in tracking progress of a tournament or their favorite pros can probably find better information in that player's Twitter feed.
Finally, there are too many major live tournaments around the world for the on-goings of any one of them to be particularly captivating. Refreshing the live updates of some random $10,000 buy-in tournament is no longer really exciting in any way; there are fifty such tournaments a year during which the same handful of pros pass money back and forth.
The 'Texas' in Its Most Popular Game
Texas Hold'em should be renamed something else. Last week, the state introduced a piece of legislation that would make online poker expressly illegal in the state. Indeed, in an era where more states are warming up to the idea of legalizing online poker, the state poker's most popular game is named after is actually going out of their way to mark the online version of the game as illegal.
To be fair, the bill which seeks to attack online poker may only be doing so as a concession in order to make live games legal; House Bill 292 also seeks to regulate live poker in the state by allowing cash games of unlimited size and tournaments up to a buy-in of $100.
'November Nine' Concept
The WSOP is cannibalizing the spirit of the game by creating a four-month break prior to the Main Event final table. We were fans of the November Nine concept in its inaugural running in 2009; it seemed like a nice way to drive more excitement and exposure to the game.
After four years, the November Nine approach no longer generates the excitement it used to and instead is doing little more than creating a market for advanced-level poker coaching prior to the final table. It detracts from the spirit of the game when one of the weaker players at the final table can spend four months working with one of the game's elite minds in order to shore up any leaks in their game before a final table. "Which poker coach did you hire?" is becoming a standard question to be asked of final table participants leading up to the big day. It's ridiculous and should be put to an end.