The poker media often spends the time before the annual World Series of Poker filling the pages of various websites with its predictions. They point out players on a hot streak who look ready for a big series. Others you may not have heard on the verge of a breakout. Or various poker personalities they deem destined to make a mark on the WSOP this year, one way or another.
However, we here at USPoker think it’s time someone turn the camera around. Flip the script, as they say, and put the spotlight back on members of the poker media instead.
The live bloggers plucked straight from the pages of Craigslist. The poker fanboys ogling their idols and looking for a way to min-cash without ever registering. The marketing copywriters posing as journalists. And, the sports commentators who never made it in the big leagues trying to appeal to one last deteriorating niche market.
These folks often trot out the same coverage strategies year in year out. So, their behavior, and its effect on the 2018 WSOP, should be easy enough to predict.
Our tongues are firmly planted in our cheeks here. Plus, specific names have been omitted to make sure these folks don’t approach us in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino parking lot with beef and a blunt object throughout the summer. However, here is USPoker’s Poker Media Predictions for the 2018 WSOP:
Live Updates Fail
As always, the team of live bloggers covering the WSOP will do an admirable and relatively adequate job providing live updates throughout every tournament on the massive 78-bracelet-event schedule.
These are the folks working 16-hour days trying to complete the almost impossible task of catching all the important action in tournaments with thousands of players on hundreds of tables. They should be commended just for trying. Instead, as always, players will quickly get fed up with the odd hand being misreported, or name spelled incorrectly.
Accuracy is important. These mistakes should be fixed immediately. But considering the volume of work, a mistake or two shouldn’t have the poker community jumping down the live bloggers’ throats.
Players will likely not do what they should, which is focus their complaints elsewhere. Like how dry and almost unreadable the coverage has become under the leadership of a group of English-as-a-second-language content heads devoid of any personality or real writing chops.
Poker is supposed to be fun. Reading bare bones hand histories isn’t. The basic style of live updates the poker community has been spoon fed in the past is far from entertaining. Plus, it does nothing to attract new players to the game.
It’s time those in the written live coverage business start making the updates fun and entertaining. They need to be highlighting those aspects of the game in an effort to draw people in. Unfortunately, the folks in charge have only proven to be in-the-box thinkers. So, it’ll likely be status quo for live updates again at the 2018 WSOP.
Same Shtick, Different Day
Producers of the WSOP final table live streams will roll out a familiar commentary team. A pair once credited for helping spark poker’s boom in popularity. Even though they are probably equally responsible for its stagnation over the decade since the game peaked.
The color man will tell the same Henny Youngman-style ex-wife jokes he’s been telling for 15 years. He will remain oblivious to the fact they’re not funny anymore, and probably weren’t in the first place.
The fact the team began picking up lifetime achievement awards last year should be a clear indication it’s time for them to go. Instead, we’ll see more of them than ever, ensuring yet another opportunity to bring poker to a whole new audience is wasted.
A Real Tearjerker
The editor of a relatively popular online poker community website will tell the heart-wrenching story of a player overcoming the effects of a debilitating illness to play in a WSOP event.
It will touch the soul of the community, even if it is an obvious effort to pander to a poker awards jury next year. A jury the site’s publisher has already bought off, becoming a named-sponsor of one of the awards to ensure his editor’s success.
Like they always do, the mainstream media will largely ignore most of what’s happening at the WSOP. The fact the $1 million buy-in event is on again this year should draw some interest from the mass media.
However, they’re bound to print something giving tournament chips cash value. Or make some other egregious error that further enrages a poker community already buying into President Donald Trump‘s idea that most of what they produce is fake news.
Caesars public relations staff is bound to go above and beyond the usual $15 media food comp to try and draw out some more major news outlets. However, they’ll inevitably be left feeling like they got a lot less than a dinner at VooDoo Steakhouse should get them. And perhaps they shouldn’t have been so skimpy with the sides.
A Brilliant Disguise
Thinly-veiled affiliate marketing websites posing as poker news outlets, just like this one, will treat poker like a sport.
They will publish all the important results coming out of the series. They’ll write stories that turn ordinary poker players into heroes. And, they’ll try to convince readers they can be next. However, it’s all just an effort to get you to sign up for an account with various online poker sites.
Some may even team up with the WSOP to offer satellite tournaments into online bracelet events. Much like the one US Poker is running on WSOP.com in a few days.
The $2 buy-in password-protected satellite tournament will go off on May 26 at 3:30 p.m. local time in Las Vegas. It’s open to players in Nevada and New Jersey. So, just sign up for an account with WSOP.com. Then scrounge up a couple of bucks and enter, using the password USP365 to join in.
The winner earns entry into WSOP Event #10: $365 Online No-Limit Hold’em, where a bracelet and hero status is on the line.