Poker Poker News — 17 June 2005

A tech industry buddy of mine who isn’t really a poker player sent me this article on News.com about a company that is supposedly financing itself via poker playing. My response was:

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arrow 3 Funded By Texas Hold Em Or Just Bluffing The Press?

> > Yeah, I saw that. Sounds a little fishy to me. Others have expressed
> > similar doubts. He’s making $100 – $120 an hour playing “lower
> > stakes”? Since you average about 2BB per hour at limit poker (if
> > you’re *good*), that’s $30/$60 stakes which isn’t “lower stakes” poker
> > unless his bosses happen to be Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. :-)
> >
> > Most folks who have seen the story suspect these guys might be playing
> > a little poker on the side but for the most part this is about trying
> > to hitch their wagon to something hot.

It looks like I’m not the only one calling BS on this. TechDirt is questioning their claim as well.

Venture capital may be on the rise again, but it’s still a far cry from the heady dot-com bubble days. So entrepreneurs are relying on more clever ways of funding their startups. For example, one company claims they’ve sustained their company by playing online poker. If true, this would not only be one of the most loco funding stories, but it gives more credence to the idea of a poker bubble, in which everyone and their mother is either playing poker or launching some kind of poker venture. Of course, the story itself has the air of publicity stunt written all over it, like the myth of eBay’s founding as a way to collect Pez dispensers. The idea that you could consistently win as much as these guys are claiming sounds pretty dubious. Maybe they’re just seeking out neophytes, suckers, and drunk Americans at 4:00 AM, but you have to wonder how long that can last. The odds are just not that much in their favor. Regardless, the eBay example shows that a willing press can help propel an interesting story — true or not — to legend status. Even if it turns out to be false years later, oh well. The PR gimmick has already done its job.

For those of you who work in tech, this is an all too common tactic. If Push technology was hot, the marketing people figured out some way to call your product a Push technology product. If Java is hot, you gotta figure out some way to shoehorn in Java. The vast, vast, vast majority of companies who go the chasing the hottest technology route do so because their product sucks. I have to agree with TechDirt that when people start hitching their PR machines to the poker angle, there’s a huge bubble forming. Hopefully, the poker bubble will deflate at a slightly more controlled rate than did the internet bubble.

 Funded By Texas Hold Em Or Just Bluffing The Press?

About

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

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About Author

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(0) Readers Comments

  1. Nothing says GEEK more than communicating a typo using regex! I love it. I would have gone with:

    s/corrode/erode/g

  2. s/corrode/erode/

  3. I’m curious what the post-bubble poker landscape will look like. Will sites be shut down? Will the player base corrode? I just don’t see it happening any time soon, nor as quickly as the dot.com bubble. But I’m not Nostradamus.

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