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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

Poker Catalysts?

CC caught my attention today over on his blog.  Granted, the Britney Spears impersonator pic may have had something to do with it, but CC brings the following discussion point to the table:

What are the top ten seminal moments or catalysts in the poker boom to date?

CC provides his top 18 discussion points which are all very detrimental to today's poker success.  However, my thinking creates a bit of a different prioritized list.  Here's my top 8.  Let me know your thoughts...agree/disagree? 

  1. Chris Moneymaker (While often critiqued for his true skill, few can deny the impact this man has had on the game, the exposure, the appeal. If he can make millions, why can’t we? Chris single handedly along with PokerStars.com’s promotion sent hundreds of thousand of poker wannabe’s to the sites causing this surge.  Do I think this was "good" for the game?  That's a different post entirely)
  2. Rounders (pivotal in creating an overall appeal to the game. Made it appear as though any average joe with determination and grit can make his stand)
  3. Hold Card Cameras (without this concept, I do not believe we would have the interest we have. If we weren’t watching Moneymakers cards, I really don’t think anyone would have cared as much)
  4. Launch of online poker (before online poker, you were geographically bound and restricted. This created a whole new world of poker enthusiast.)
  5. ESPN Coverage (somewhat goes hand in hand with the Moneymaker affect. ESPN saw an opportunity for good television while covering the world's underdog, promoted the hell out of it, thus creating a windfall.)
  6. WPT Coverage (I put this neck and neck with ESPN but think the WPT coverage was paramount to the success poker has had in recent years.  The WPT really brings forth many veteran and new poker celebs to mainstream America.)
  7. Poker Books (with all the media’s attention, everyone wanted to learn how to play. Increased interest, increased book sales, increased new material, etc.)
  8. Poker Celebs (without favorite’s in any sport, no one would have anyone to cheer for. Some are great ambassadors, others are down right bad for the game. In the end, the exposure to those in the biz has been very important.)
Would love to add this list.  Please feel free to comment.


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I did a post about a year and a half ago where I hypothesized that the 'Moneymaker Effect' was attributable as much to Sammy Farha as Chris. Hollywood couldn't have cast a better villian, especially given where the country was psychologically with regard to middle-easterners at that time. If he was heads-up against Dewey Tomko, would we still be talking about it?

Here's the link: http://bigslicknuts.blogspot.com/2005/01/musings-on-new-years-day-was-it.html

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