Amongst the people I’ve been having interesting conversations with at WSOP is Dr. Pauly Mcquire, the twisted, dark, friendly and wise author of what many consider poker’s best regular blog, the Tao of Poker and Dan Michalski, owner of pokerati. Both have mentioned to me their disdain for the term “Good for poker”.
I think a part of the boys’ logic stems from a similar theory to one I have about the establishment of poker as a pastime and the underatanding that games and industries will have their scandals. Referee Tim Donaghy bet on games he officiated and life went on for the NBA; tournament poker should aspire to becoming iconic enough that its Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet scandals will happen. Life and business will go on. “Good for poker” keeps intact the protective shell TV has provided through its black and white exchange of otherwise grey information. This may or may not be a good thing.
Where my opinion differs from these others seems to be in that they’r defining ‘poker’ as the game, while I define ‘poker’ as the industry. When I say “good for poker”, I mean good for the health of poker as a televisable entity, good for the establishment of online poker as a legitimate business and pastime and good for everyone who’s invested their time and money so they might benefit from the constant influx of new money, be it through the fish or ratings. The game is the same one played over the last however many years. That’s not about to change.
Back to Jesus, he was at the final table of World Series of poker event #2 $1,500 no-limit hold’em. Theo Tran, a good kid with one TV table, was the second-most recognizable name at the table. In other words, Jesus was in a league of his own. He’d eventually go out in third.
I was cheering for Jesus because a win for him would be ‘good for poker’. I believe that while amateurs winning big tournaments can still be a major story, the continuity of the business routes from familliar ongoing storylines. The occasional Moneymaker is obviously pretty good, but Iultimately want people to latch onto a storyline and follow it for as long a they follow poker. Jesus Ferguson provides us with one of those storylines.
Jesus is by all accounts a very good guy. He’s given back to the game in spades with his part in the creation of FTP’s software, he’s done a fantastic job of branding himself (I asked him tonight while on the subject of branding “Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a hat?” Got a nice laugh out of that one) and is absolutely fantastic with fans. He never resorts to unruly behavior, speaks well in interviews…this guy’s been a great star. Those weren’t the reasons I cheered him on though. Not directly.
Those things all make Jesus a compelling sotry for people to latch onto. He’s a recognizable figure and that means that the longer he’s on the TV, the longer people are going to keep their TVs trained to the show. In turn, that means advertising space will be more effective, more advertising will mean more exposure for the online community and that means more people are coming to the table for the first time.
Put more simply, I wanted jesus to win to keep the fish coming to the table. Without them, the sharks will eat their own collective tail.
Before I get to the links, I want to say you should be checking out the blogroll at the right side of this page. I’m only going to link to quality there, so you shouldn’t go too wrong with yoru clicks. Special thanks to WickedChopsPoker, who gave this space a full-blown, hyperkink in their own blog. oh, and props also to them for Keeley Hazell. On with the links on a somewhat slow day; First, the link to the article on Phil Ivey and Eli Elezra I mentiond yesterday. Second, the Wise Hand of the Day on wisehandpoker.com com looks at an exhausting day. Third, the Wise Hand of the Day on Pokerlistings looks at Jesus’ elimination hand.