Ever since the (almost) immediate closure of of live wagering on poker within the US, it's been a difficult ride for the game of Hold 'Em to prosper. Consisting of a predominantly US line up, the faces of professional poker have been forced into playing free money games to stream and coach from within the American border.
OK - so I'll be the first to admit that consistency has never been my strong point. That magic move you just saw me pull
The Super XL series on 888 Poker highlighted some of the best tournaments available on the internet - and what a time for
There was a time where online poker was profitable for every operator, including online sportsbooks and casinos. Online poker was glamourous, new and exciting. It was a competitive product; it was a pure gambling vertical.
Poker has a large but fragmented global fan base that needs aggregation, innovation and disruption to be re-activated. I believe we need to enhance the game, create proper fan engagement - that doesn't exist anymore - and build content to fulfill an existing appetite.
Walking around Macau, between the APT poker sessions, I visited the ruined façade of The Cathedral of St. Paul built in 1602 and the Fortaleza do Monte, the fortress with cannons aimed across the city skyline at the famous Casino Lisboa Hotel. Most of my time was spent standing behind the poker tables, rooting for the Titan Poker players.
What makes this so compelling for me is this isn't even Coren Mitchell's day job. She's literally making a killing from her bit-of-fun, on-the-side hobby. Not only that, but she's completely shaken up the poker playing stereotype in my mind.
A lack of a unified and sensible legislative framework is actively strangling the growth of online poker industry in many EU member countries.
The new card room at the Hippodrome, meanwhile, is clearly built for fun. The Hippodrome itself is a social space, and always has been. It is huge, with a spangly bar, a smart restaurant and a very good smoking terrace for those who like that sort of thing.
I was already aware that traditional poker was played by professionals - there are Poker World Tours for heaven's sake - but for a bloke to earn something akin to $4 million for a few hours play was almost too much for my small brain to process.