Ever since Moneymaker bulldozed his way into poker history, the trajectory of the game changed forever. On one level, the average Joe saw Moneymakers gargantuan achievement, and thought "wow, that could be me one day". This of course was definitely no bad thing. It brought an abundance of fresh new blood into the game, and made it more exciting for sponsors and TV companies, projecting it well into the public perception, where once it was tolerated and almost reviled as a back-alley pastime and the haunt of the degenerate hustler who couldn't, or more commonly wouldn't conform to the rules of everyday society.
Jump 11 years into the future, and here we are. Poker is still popular, and players far and wide are still trying to carve out their own version of Moneymakers legacy for themselves. But something else happened. Whilst the players were trying to chase their fortune, business had it's eyes opened to the potential of poker, and more accurately the potential to earn a buck. Not from playing...from selling.
Now when you tread the floors of the Rio All-Suites hotel and casino come WSOP time, you can buy everything from glasses to game-theory manuals, personalised portraits to poker-themed apparel, brain enhancing drinks to butt-plugs.
Ok. I made one of those up. If you don't know which one, you need to meet someone.
And of course, there's always the onesie.
A few years ago there was an energy drink on the market, aimed specifically at poker players, which boasted it had "added testosterone". I was always incredulous that anyone thought poker didn't have enough testosterone in it already. But people queued up and bought it in their droves anyway. Most of them didn't go on to be the next Moneymaker, despite the advantage a can of pop gave them.
So what am I getting at? In any industry, people will be successful and unsuccessful, that's a given. With poker it's sometimes (but not always) a good indicator if someone's successful if they win a lot, and have lots of shiny things to prove they win a lot. However people will always try to make a buck off of the ones chasing the dream. Glasses that make it impossible for an opponent to get a read on you, apparel that has catchy slogans emblazoned on it to strike fear into people whenever you bet, poker headphones that guarantee you get your share of table space, because they naturally create a 2 foot radius around the wearer so no one can get near. And a onesie, so you can check shove whilst still toasty warm. In the desert.
People cling to talismans. Superstition for the sake of it is normally just a harmless eccentricity, something for the table to smile wryly at as the guy drags round the room the same lucky seat he's had all morning. When the talismans become purchases essential to being able to play, we might be going down the road of blaming "that" dealer for the flop, or not giving anyone change, ever, or waiting exactly 14.548 seconds before acting when it's our turn even though we were always folding. Generally people win at poker by being good. They get good by working hard and learning stuff. If they were bad to begin with they work harder or lose money. There isn't a miracle cure. And that branded hoodie and sensory deprivation headphones you just bought, they certainly made someone a small step closer to being rich. It wasn't you.
Tomorrow, we'll discuss the importance of card protectors. Why giraffes are generally considered a good omen.
My first event of the series in the morning is the $1500 NLH event #19. You can all read a few actual tournament updates, and not merely my crackerjack views on life. Don't worry, I can't wait either x