This is poker. Yes some people make a living playing QQWIN99 and many other people make a living not playing the game but working in the industry that has grown up around the game. Dealers, floor staff, food and beverage services; lots of people have jobs based on the booming game of poker. And yes some of those people are in the media: writers, video artists, onscreen talent, editors, web designers, photographers and oh yes, me.
But at the end of the day it is only poker and poker is a business. One aspect of a bigger business we commonly and collectively refer to as gaming. Gaming is here for one and only one reason and that reason is profit. Oh sure it’s entertainment but it is a very, very profitable business. So it should come as no surprise that the various business interests who own and run the big poker tournaments have taken steps to sell the media coverage to make more money.
I am not going to argue with the profit motive nor with the right of anyone to sell or buy anything. That argument has and will be made in other places. I want to address another issue regarding the consolidation of poker coverage to fewer and fewer sources. But before I do, I want to say once again:
“This is only poker.”
Here is the problem with Bluff Entertainment having exclusive access to the World Series of Poker events and CardPlayer Media having the same to the WPT events and even PokerStars with the EPT.
World Poker Tour Boss at It Again
Steve Lipscomb, CEO of the World Poker Tour, either needs to get himself a PR person or a gag. Once again the “Loose Lipped” Lipscomb has put his foot in his generously proportioned mouth.
You will remember back when the Gang of Seven (Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Annie Duke, Andy Bloch, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Phil Gordon) complained about WPT using their images to promote the WPT online poker site and eventually this led to their boycotting the World Poker Tour and a long and confusing legal battle that still lines the pockets of serveral dozen lawyers. Well back then Mr. Lipscomb put out an “Open Letter” that basically said: “We won’t do that again, you can trust us.” [Full text below]
Now Mr. Lipscomb has made a deal with the Chinese Government perhaps giving the WPT access to the largest untapped poker market on the planet. No problem Steve but do you really intend to take business tips from the Chinese? as you describe them:
“the most forward looking capitalists on the globe.”.
Here is the full text of what the WPT CEO had to say about those free market fanatics, the Chinese.