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Players’ tour in the cards?

Oct 22, 2002 12:47 AM

   In talking with some of the major poker tournament “regulars” who were in Las Vegas recently for the Hall of Fame and Four Queens Classic tournaments, most agreed that this is a very exciting time for the world of poker, and that many great opportunities are now available to players.

   They say this is due to the strong development and growth of major tournaments in the U.S. and around the world. For example, the fall major poker tournament circuit is so busy that many of these professional players find themselves hard-pressed to juggle their schedules in an effort to make the most of their playing and travel time through the end of the year.

   Because planning a playing schedule can be very tedious as many tournament dates overlap, one thinks it would make sense if the casino tournament producers could find a way to work together to coordinate tournament schedules throughout the world.

   “If we can make it to more events because tournament dates don’t conflict so much, isn’t that better for the casinos, too?” one player asked.

   With tournament purses getting bigger and bigger, poker is receiving a lot more attention from players, the media, and many believe eventually from corporate America. There’s already growing evidence of corporate marketing interest as poker sponsorship money for events and players are a hot topic of conversation these days.

   Corporate America is looking for audiences. That’s their game. Increased fan appeal for poker is expected because of more innovative approaches like the World Poker Tour and others are doing with televised competition.

   All of this whets the financial appetites of the professional players, and rightfully so. “Poker can become a legitimate career or business for players now, just like it has been for the casinos,” one pro player proclaimed. “The time has come for players to capitalize on the increased notoriety of poker.”

   Another pro tournament regular told GamingToday, “I think the time has arrived for an organized association of touring pro players to be formed to deal with the casino operators as one voice, just like professional golfers and other sports professionals. Not like a union, but more like an organization or association. Communications and coordination of everything would be much better,” he added.

   Now, there’s an interesting thought. Sounds like it could become the start of an organized pro poker tour.

   Whenever someone can finally prove they have the right formula for a strong poker television product, poker will have even greater appeal, especially to corporate marketers. This can take the poker industry to a whole new level. Many industry insiders believe that the World Poker Tour is on the right track by staging and televising major poker events. The concept seems right, but only time will tell.

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR RECORDING YOUR TIME. The upsurge of major tournament poker has greatly impacted leisure players as well. Look at how many regular weekly poker tournaments are conducted in poker rooms now, plus the big increase in new special tournaments in the rooms. One of those special events in Las Vegas is produced by Station Casinos with their popular $100,000 Poker Plus Tournament.

Players can enter by recording a minimum of 40 hours of regular play at Palace Station, Sunset Station, Boulder Station and Texas Station by midnight Oct. 31. Qualifying time started Sept. 1. Actual tournament competition is set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18, at Texas Station. Top prize is $20,000, second place is $10,000, with additional prize money paid out to the top 300 finishers.

2003 WSOP APRIL 15-MAY 23. The 2003 World Series of Poker schedule of events has been announced by Binion’s Horseshoe Director of Poker Operations George Fisher. Tournament play for the 36-event schedule begins on April 15, 2003, with the casino employees limit Hold'em event. The five-day No Limit Hold'em World Championship event winds up on May 23, 2003.

JACKPOT TIPS. Most bad beat jackpots in Las Vegas are for aces full of tens or better that have to be beaten. Sunset Station’s Texas Hold'em bad beat jackpot is based on losing on aces full of eights or better. Poker Room Manager Jackie Graybill reports that their Hold'em jackpot surpassed $40,000 this past week. Sister property Texas Station’s Hold'em bad beat jackpot is larger though as it climbed past $62,000 last week, according to Poker Room Manager Mike Doe.

CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE NEXT MONTH. The Golden State Gaming Association (GSGA) is set for Nov. 18-19 at Club One Casino in Fresno. GSGA is a non-profit organization organized in 2001 under California laws to help members successfully operate their business through promotional programs, dissemination of information, and professional assistance in the areas of marketing, public relations, and political negotiations. According to GSGA, it was organized in 2001 and represents 80 percent of the licensed card tables in California. The non-profit organization’s purpose is to help its members through promotional programs, dissemination of information, and professional assistance in the areas of marketing, public relations and political negotiations.

 (If you have poker news or items of interest for GamingToday poker readers, you can call me at 702-798-1151 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, fax it to me at 702-798-2069, or send me an email at [email protected])