BLUFF names Top 20 movers and shakers in poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 02, 2012 Posted in Poker Industry News, Poker Site News | No Comments »

Each year BLUFF Magazine unveils their list of the 20 most influential people in poker, voted on by a hand-selected panel of “51 poker industry insiders” ranging from players to casino operators. Last year’s Power 20 list made more headlines a few months after it had been released, considering Howard Lederer was chosen as #1 on the 2011 list –Lederer was of course considered the main man at Full Tilt Poker, and after Black Friday and the subsequent downfall of Full Tilt, the only list Lederer would top is a “most hated” list.

According to the article at the selection process was conducted in the following manner:

“This year BLUFF canvassed 51 poker industry insiders ranging from online operators, casino executives, media, players, agents and other influencers. Voters were asked to consider individuals whose influence on the industry and the game is mostly positive. The panel included the largest number of non-North American voters in the seven year history of the Power 20. Still, the votes cast strongly reflected the transition that the industry is seeing in North America.”

This year the list was dominated by political players like Senators and US attorneys, and unlike previous years, only a single poker player managed to make the cut, Daniel Negreanu who checked in at #9. In years past poker players made up a good percentage of the lists, so it was a bit surprising to see Negreanu all by his lonesome.

Among the political players who made the Power 20 list were:

* #20 – Virginia Seitz: Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel

* #17 – Sen. Jon Kyl: United States Senator (R-Arizona), Senate Minority Whip

* #16 – Rep. Joe Barton: United States Congressman (R-Texas)

* #8 – Mark Lipparelli: Chairman, Nevada State Gaming Control Board

* #5 – Preet Bharara: U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York

* #3 – Sen. Harry Reid: United States Senator (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader

Amazingly, after everything that happened in 2011, BLUFF chose two CEO’s of online poker sites for the #1 and #2 slots on the list: #2was Jim Ryan, the CEO of the bWin Party Poker conglomerate, and the #1 spot went to Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars.

Overall, the list seems heavily weighted toward online poker, as well as towards the World series of Poker and Caesar’s Entertainment –with Caesar’s executives Mitch Garber, Ty Stewart, and Gary Loveman all landing in the Top 7 of the Bluff Power 20.

Only one entry came with a caveat, Epic Poker league Commissioner Annie Duke, with BLUFF noting that the votes were counted BEFORE the Epic Poker League’s parent company Federated Sports + Gaming filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Tuesday.

For a look at the complete list you can visit the BLUFF Magazine website.

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