Lee Davy reminds the poker community about the importance of doing whatever they can to push our game further into the minds of the non-poker public.
Why do we do the things we do?
What purpose do we serve?
What value are we trying to create?
Those are questions that mill through my mind when I start working. Important questions. Questions that, if not answered, could end up with a lot of waste. I abhor waste.
Let’s take poker articles as an example.
Each time I write one, I ask those three questions. When I get my answers I start to write.
I have just finished writing an article about Chen Qin winning the Beijing Millions. The biggest poker tournament to be held outside of the USA. I am writing the article because it’s newsworthy and current, the purpose is to provide fans of poker with information; and that’s the value.
Nobody cares how well I write the thing. When they read a headline that says, “Chen Qin Wins the Beijing Millions,” they aren’t expecting a work of art. They are expecting basic facts. How many entered? Why was it the biggest tournament ever held outside of the US? Was there anyone famous in it? And how much did he win?
Facts, facts and more facts.
I recently wrote an article, on behalf of PokerListings, for a UK tabloid newspaper called The Mirror. It carried the headline: “Do poker players earn more than David Beckham and Roger Federer?”
I wrote it because The Mirror has a huge audience, the purpose of the article was to interest The Mirror editing team so they would publish it, and the value I was hoping to get was more exposure for poker.
Alex Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index (GPI), loved the article so much that he posted it on his Facebook wall, and I have to say I’m quite surprised by the feedback it received from some professional poker players.
It seems that some of the players were more interested in ripping the article apart, challenging facts and calling out the bollocks, when instead they should have been sharing on their social media networks.
There is a suggestion that all is not rosy in the poker world. Just a few days ago I wrote about how the global online poker market seems to have shrunk by 13 percent since last year. Our live tournament game is also stuttering.
As online poker supporters try their best to push online poker through brick walls like Sheldon Adelson, every member of the poker community should be doing their utmost to promote poker to a wider global audience.
Tabloids are a great way to do this. Not only do they have a wide audience but also I will argue that the demographic is suited to our game. The more articles that make their way onto the pages of the tabloids, the more people learn about the game and then take a punt. It’s simple maths. A percentage of readers will sign up for an online account. The more readers the more will sign on.
Dreyfus knows this and that’s why he supports the article.
“The GPI and poker needs shitty tabloids to talk about poker; whatever the quality—good or bad, it doesn’t matter—they reach the mainstream and we don’t,” said Dreyfus.
By the way Dreyfus was not calling The Mirror a shitty tabloid, he was referring to a comment made by a professional poker player who thought my article was only good enough to wipe his arse.
There were complaints about the headline, that the content was nonsense and the figure are misleading.
Why should you care?
Don’t you want more people to play poker?
The Mirror and their cousins ply in the trade of sensationalism. The mere assertion that Daniel Negreanu can earn more money than David Beckham by playing a card game is sensational.
Write that article anyway you like. Change the headline to make it sound less sensational, change the content to make it purer, and replace the numbers with a truer ROI – and do you know what happens?
It doesn’t get published.
Today, nobody learns about poker.
Do you really want that?