Six Years Ago Today …

by , Apr 20, 2010 | 5:39 am

Poker was exploding. On April 20, 2004 (420, dooood!) Pokerati.com went live. WTF was I thinking? Happy birthday to us. The concept was simple, and reflected in our subtitle: “Are you thinking about poker?” I was. A lot. And so were my friends.

We of course weren’t the only ones. Another new site also went live that same week … FullTiltPoker.com. Their launch was the subject of our first post. Huh … it’s been quite a ride to say the least — I’m not sure Durrrr was even born yet! What I do know is that I had a lot more hair back then.

Now, six years since, I actually think poker is about to implode.

I know I’m in the minority amongst the well-informed and so-called poker media on this … but gather round folks … we’ve seen implosions in Vegas before, and they always make for a good show. You’ll hear and feel the charges — boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom … and then there’s a pause before the support beams fall and moments later what once stood gloriously is collapsing on top of itself leaving behind jagged piles of rubble and a spectacular cloud of dust. It’s all part of clearing the way to build something even more fantastic than anyone previously conceived.

Pokerati Post #2 still might apply, unironically:


20 Comments to “Six Years Ago Today …”


  1. Spaceman
    says:

    Congrats on the six-year mark, Dan.


  2. DanM
    says:

    thanks dude. long strange trip …


  3. Paul Ellis
    says:

    Congrats on 6 years. It’s been great experiencing poker through your vantage point…raw….real….no BS. The way it should be.

    Not sure I agree with you on the implosion. But I definitely think that poker has peaked to some degree, and is now hovering in an unclear direction. I’m sad to see the declining numbers of the big events, especially in the WPT. It’s really playing 2nd fiddle to everything else. Maybe they should hire Jeffrey Pollack???


  4. jeff
    says:

    Congrats on 6 yrs, if ur right dont worry,Texas will elect a demo for Gov. and we will have poker in Texas then u can move home


  5. Pauly
    says:

    Happy blog birthday.


  6. Pauly
    says:

    Happy blog birthday!


  7. NoMeNot
    says:

    I disagree with the implosion of poker. You may say that entries are down. I disagree. There are more options. Back when it was just the WPT and the WSOP, the numbers were what seemed to be bigger, you take into effect the total number of players joining tournaments on a daily basis, the numbers are significantly bigger today, even in this poor economy. That was point 1, point 2 would be the fact that poker is still getting more and more numbers online. You can log onto pokerstars today and there will be 3 times (if not more) players on at any given time as there were 2 years ago even through this whole UIGEA mess. Not to mention that poker still hasn’t completely hit some of the most populated areas of the world as it is just starting to penetrate China. Also, I don’t care what you say, but there will always be new teenagers and college kids “taking their chance” at a game of poker. Poker ratings may be dipping slightly (though not greatly) as far as TV is concerned, but the market of poker shows has become diluted. If it is a good show, people will still watch (HSP). Also, to the general public, once you have seen a poker game, they are all the same, and it may lose some interest, but big events like the WSOP will still draw viewers to the TV. I mean, not many shows make it past 1 eight episode season, but shows like HSP and the WSOP just keep right at it. If poker were to become legalized fully in the USA, I believe we will see a whole new poker boom. I can not tell you how many times I have had someone tell me they “tried” to deposit money on a website but couldn’t do it with their credit card and they gave up. Millions do the same, where as if they could have been caught into the poker web of crazies if only they could have put their first 50 bucks online. Is the poker boom over? No, I disagree, this maybe the end of the beginning, but we are just starting to enter the beginning of the middle game which I believe will be here to stay for many more years to come.


  8. DanM
    says:

    NMN, you kinda make my point … I could be wrong, but I think we might see it become a lot more difficult to get money ON to Stars and Tilt. And you talk about the TV, but look who’s paying for those TV shows … I think they might begin to face more specific advertising restrictions. And I agree with you on the “new poker boom” — I’ve been banking on its arrival (for better or for worse) since 2006 — but who’s doing what, that’s what will be different.

    Your last sentence fits with my metaphor to a tee. Indeed, I’m actually very bullish on poker … if you look 5 years down the line. It’s just that the next 6-18 months where I think you’re gonna see some aggressive resistance to inevitable change. The blinds are going up … Forget Isildur, the highest-highest games are taking place off the tables, where multiBILLION-dollar pots are ultimately at stake. That’s gonna get rough … but admittedly, in and of itself would make for great TV.


  9. Chops
    says:

    Congrats on six years…poker is a fad, btw.


  10. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Just wanted to add my congrats to you Dan for 6 years of Pokerati.


  11. DanM
    says:

    and thanks and congrats back atcha, kev! Pauly seems to be the only one who has figured out that you, edbucks, and The Fat Guy are the ones who really run the show here. You know we’ve had nearly 30 writers pass through the gates along the way? i think you recently passed michele lewis (’07-’08) and jen newell (’07-’09) as the most prolific co-contributor to grace these pages.


  12. Johnny Hughes
    says:

    Poker is going to go right on. It has spread out with so many home games and Indian casinos. Here is West Texas there are more games around the smaller towns, higher, more serious poker than ever. We have to go to a small county a short drive away or to Oklahoma or New Mexico, but they are playing higher than a hawk’s nest. A hustler can’t belly up to the table for all the suckers. With Las Vegas the most expensive travel, folks play many other places. The robberies in Texas so well documented right her on Pokerati are a hassle and poker games are as well armed as SWAT teams. For the last few years, Pokerati is a daily stop on my web surfing. Congratulations, great site, with credibility, rare to poker.


  13. Scott Chaffin
    says:

    poker games are as well armed as SWAT teams

    That warms the cockles of my heart…an armed society is a polite society.


  14. Scott Chaffin
    says:

    LMAO – checking, I’ve got files on my laptop from January of 2005. You may call me your own personal Carbonite.


  15. DanM
    says:

    @Scott (aka The Fat Guy) do you come with a million-dollar guarantee?


  16. Scott Chaffin
    says:

    I think I’m worth every penny of what I’ve been paid so far 😉


  17. Amy C
    says:

    I can’t believe I missed your big B-Day. Happy belated. And thanks for six years of great reads. I look forward to many more…


  18. DanM
    says:

    amy you are welcome to send cash n lieu of a gift.


  19. Brian G.
    says:

    Poker had its big boom, but that doesn’t mean now that because things have leveled off it is imploding. Poker is a great game that many people didn’t really think about until Moneymaker. A lot of people came in, but, like many things, moved on after a while. I have been playing for 20+ years and can tell you there are way more people out here now than were here in 1998, and I expect it to remain that way. You won’t see Jamie Gold WSOP numbers anymore, but those were an outlier anyway.


  20. DanM
    says:

    brian, i’m not trying to imply that poker is ever going away. i’m contending that the poker world (which ultimately will be way bigger than it is now) will look very different. who ever woulda guessed that the space that once was home to Boardwalk could become CityCenter? it’s the businesses and what they put out there that are sure to change. i’ll make a bet that Phil Hellmuth, for example, will not be representing UB five years from now. Because there’s just no way UB can exist as it does today in the legal-American poker world everyone is fighting for. Even if it manages to somehow survive as an entity, it will be tiny compared to whatever new poker structures ultimately emerge.