Why we need more amateur-hour poker shows

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 24, 2010 Posted in Online Poker News | No Comments »

PokerNews.com’s Chad Holloway recently wrote an editorial on celebrities in poker where he stated that shows such as the now defunct Celebrity Poker Showdown tend to have a negative impact on poker by making potential players think the game is a whole lot of luck –Holloway also details the benefits of celebrities in the poker world such as high-profile exposure and charity work—but the gist of his remarks was his opposition to these kinds of telecasts.

I have to disagree with Holloway wholeheartedly that we don’t want people to think the game is a very luck-driven endeavor. Aren’t these the players we WANT to pick up the game? Players who think you just stick your chips in the middle on a hunch; so long as you are having fun doing it?

I think we need MORE shows like Celebrity Poker Showdown, and less shows like Two Months Two Million and High Stakes Poker, or any show where the skill factor of the game is highlighted. While these shows are fun for poker enthusiasts –giving them a chance to watch the best in the world compete for ultra-high-stakes– they are basically telling potential poker players that there is an ocean full of sharks just itching for them to sit down at their table.

Realistically the only people we want to convince that poker is a game of skill are the lawmakers, who have the capability of legalizing poker, but I’m fairly certain Celebrity Poker Showdown or High Stakes Poker isn’t going to be used to sway these people one way or another.

UIGEA legislation has already diminished the ranks of absolute fish at the poker tables by at least 75% –when I say Fish I’m talking about the people who have absolutely no clue at a poker table, not just bad players. By forcing US players to jump through hoops to deposit money at the online poker rooms, and having withdrawals that take upwards of 2-weeks as opposed to the 2-hours from cash-out to money in your bank account pre-2006, the Fish have left the pond –they don’t want to have to WAIT to get their potential winnings! These players are the ones looking for quick scores, and with a 2-week wait on a withdrawal they’ll find something else to blow their money on –scratch tickets perhaps– and we should be doing everything possible to regain these potential players interest in poker.

This is why I think we need MORE ‘Amateur-Hour Poker Shows’ like Celebrity Poker Showdown, where the luck factor of poker is highlighted, and how the worst player at the table can win the tournament: These are the things we need to reinforce to potential players.

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