Commercialism in the 2005 World Series of Poker


Commercialism in Poker

10 years ago the World Series of Poker was a huge deal. To poker players everywhere it is still true today. Not only are poker players going after the big bucks in the big tournament of the year, but also people who could care less about the game, and they are banking off of it in a big way. Commercialism in poker was sick this year - it disgusted me!

As I walked around the Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas the day of the final table of the 2005 WSOP main event, I was surrounded by tons of poker fans.
I wove through the hundreds of observers and players in other tournaments being run that day only to find that the final table was being held not on the main poker floor but upstairs behind closed doors!

Before making my way upstairs to get a few snapshots of the final table I ran into the ladies room, where I met 2 very beautiful women representing a very popular poker magazine. These girls were drop dead gorgeous, sporting the magazine's logo on their cut-off shirts. I got to talking to them as they gave me a magazine. I asked if they were here to play poker, they giggled and told me they had never even played poker before! This is example #1 of non-poker lovers banking off of us who truly love the game. There are plenty of beautiful women that play poker and would love to rep a magazine of that caliber. Instead, a couple of dumb blondes get to make money doing it.

When I reached the upstairs area, I could not believe what I saw - a line of at least 300 people waiting to get into the final table room! Once I pushed and shoved up to the door, I tried talking my way in, but security wouldn't have it. I wasn't getting in. Apparently a well known sports channel purchased the filming rights to the final table and in order to get that without others filming it as well, it had to be on lock down. I am sure it worked out great for the people who paid and got paid for it, but what about me? What about us? What about the fans? We were locked out! I was very angry at this point, and there is example #2 of commercialism in my beloved sport.

I then decided to admit defeat and watch on the monitors they had set up. When I went to walk into one of the viewing areas I was stopped by yet another security guard. "Do you have a ticket?", he asked me. Again I couldn't believe it - they are going to charge me to watch on a monitor! There were about 150 people in this one particular viewing area and they all paid to sit and watch -- unbelievable.

At this point, because I refuse to give my hard earned money to the big guy - the people I am mad at for turning this great event into a cash cow for themselves - I hung back and snapped pictures of the mob around the final table room. When security stepped away from the viewing area, I slipped in and got some pictures of that as well. After 3 hours of nothing I finally got to see what is going on via big screen in the viewing area.

2005 World Series of Poker

All I can say about how the final table of the 2005 WSOP main event was run is "what a joke!" There are people making tons of cash from poker, and they have probably never even picked up a deck of cards. I went to the World Series of Poker excited to see what was going on, and I left disappointed. Unfortunately, the WSOP will never be the same. Not with how big it has become in recent years. Time to say goodbye to the good ole days and say hello to commercialism!

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