What’s Your Take?

by , Jul 22, 2009 | 2:14 pm

The entities over at Wicked Chops have posted their opinions about the November Nine and their potential impact on poker. I think they make pretty good points about the players and their respective personalities, but have to question them on the Ivey factor.

It’s not that Ivey wouldn’t be good for the game. He certainly is. The thing is, Ivey is also about the most reluctant celebrity poker can produce. The man doesn’t necessarily dislike the press, he just prefers his privacy more. He’s not the type of guy who wants to go out and do shows like Letterman or Conan. If he can’t gamble, what’s the point of leaving the house?

That leaves Jeff “Happy” Shulman as the only other “name” player left in the field and, honestly, his recent statements about Harrah’s and the WSOP beg the question, is he really the guy that poker needs as it’s ambassador right now? Personally, I don’t think so.

So, Ivey, Shulman or a no-name player who is, theoretically, a blank canvas? Who’s better for the game?


9 Comments to “What’s Your Take?”


  1. DanM
    says:

    i don’t think it matters who wins … for poker. I suppose a Phil Ivey could be extra inspiring for a generation of kids, a la tiger woods … but would a jeff shulman win be extra inspiring for a generation of douchebags? (I jest Shulman! Kinda-sorta.)

    This is going to be a great battle no matter what, and two or three new names will emerge on the poker landscape as a result. Ivey is the only one with transcendental potential, but doesn’t he already have that?


  2. J
    says:

    Clearly Phil Ivey winning the WSOP is what’s best for Poker at this particular point in time. Reluctant or not, the guy represents the profession. And as the profession of Poker currently seeks acceptance both publicly and politically, surely it would be more useful to see the well branded face that represents the argument that this is all a game of skill and informed decsision making win the damn thing, rather than some hump with $10,000 and the willingness to gamble it.


  3. Cluemeister
    says:

    Is Cada “some hump with 10,000”? Sure he’s an unknown, and only 21, but he’s no fish – chip lead on Day 1-C, and pulled down $50k over the weekend… online

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20090720/SPORTS07/907200416/1435/Joe-Cada-wins-$45-000-in-online-poker—I-always-play-on-Sunday-

    Now that I read the article, I see that he’s the only other one that gets a nod. The rest are probably duds, too true.


  4. Jon Katkin
    says:

    Dan, you really don’t think having a serious player win the Main Event would be good for the game with everything that’s going on in Washington this week?

    Having an Ivey, Cada or maybe even a Shulman win certainly goes a long way to promoting the argument that poker is a game of skill, as these three guys all have solid results and repeated wins. Having an unknown who luckboxes his way into the championship may help bring in new players a la Moneymaker (especially if they have a good back story), but probably doesn’t do much to help the political side of the game.

    Again, Ivey may not be the most media friendly pro out there, but his winning the Main Event probably helps poker more than any other player left in the field. I don’t know enough about Cada’s personality to have an opinion of him (though his results are impressive enough for a 21-year old) and Shulman is, well he’s Shulman.


  5. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    Ivey doesn’t need to do any publicity whatsoever to have an impact. His presence at the final table is impactful enough. And if Ivey wins, he doesn’t need to do a single interview to change the poker world over the next year.

    But Ivey *will* do a fair amount of press; mark my words.


  6. melissa h
    says:

    im so sorry i ever posted here pls remove my past post and lets part as friends-melissa


  7. DanM
    says:

    umm, melissa, what have i missed?


  8. DanM
    says:

    ***But Ivey *will* do a fair amount of press; mark my words.***

    OK, BJ, let’s make a serious wager. Set the over-under on how many appearances he will make in national non-poker media, i’ll take the under, and let’s bet a lot of money.


  9. BJ Nemeth
    says:

    First, one of us (please let it be you) needs to compile a list of how many appearances *last year’s* November Niners made in national non-poker media. I’m thinking the number will be surprisingly low. (There were plenty of poker media appearances, and plenty of *local* non-poker media appearances, but very, very few national non-poker media appearances.)

    To be fair, I never said Phil Ivey would do national, non-poker press. I said Phil Ivey would do press. He’ll be available for interviews with the major poker media outlets — Full Tilt will see to it, and even though he might not like it, he understands the need. (He wasn’t shying away from interviews at the Rio, either.)

    Ivey won’t get automatic invitations to do national non-poker media; like last year, a lot of those appearances are contingent on winning — that’s the story that the mainstream media can easily grasp. If Phil Ivey wins, do I think he’ll rush off to do The Tonight Show or Oprah? He might, or he might not. (Depends on his mood at the time, I think.) But I don’t think he’ll have to do a bunch of mainstream press for his victory to have a major mainstream impact.