(1) Inside Poker TV Show; (2) The Future of Poker Tours

by Lou on November 9, 2005

I was in Las Vegas for the past thee days, shooting footage for a new TV show called “Inside Poker.” It’s a poker news show, sort of modeled after what Entertainment Tonight would be if it was about poker instead of movies and television.

The show is set to air in December, and it will be syndicated, so I’ve no idea what markets it will appear in nor the dates and times. You’ll have to keep your eyes open for it.

While I was there, I ran into Matt Savage who was waiting to be filmed for the show too, right after they concluded my segment. We got to talking and the topic ran to my recent blog postings in which I ranted about the World Series of Poekr fast morphing into the World Series of Hold’em. When I told Matt I felt like the only person out there who was concerned about Harrah’s lack of leadership in using the World Series of Poker — surely poker’s biggest and most significant brand — to bring back poker’s wonderfully rich diversity of games, he assured me that he and others felt the same way.

These are rich times for poker. It is thriving as never before. But it has to grow with direction and intelligence. The more I think about it, the more something like the PGA tour or the Rodeo Cowboys’ Association seems like a model to use to provide some discipline and direction to the game. But building that kind of model involves the marriage of sponsors and an association (just like the PGA or RCA) in order to drive the wagon in a direction that’s good for the players, the sponsors, and the properties who host events.

Building a poker tour, given all the competing interests right now, it is not going to be easy, and negotiations will be needed at every step in the road in order to satisfy competing interests. Still, it can be done, needs to be done, and should be done.

A strong association, rich with sponsorship could sanction tour events much like the PGA and RCA does. With all the interest in poker, you moight wind up with a major tour and satellite tours, jsut as they have in golf. Perhaps the poorest performing players on the major tour would be relegated at the end of the year to the minors with the leading players from the minors being promoted to the main tour. There are scads of ways to do this.

But it takes leadership, sponsorship, vision, and direction. I’ll keep posting about this topic as long as I continue to get the same volume of email that I have been. It all suggests there’s one hell of a lot of interest in this subject.

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