This is the time of year we all begin to take stock of the year that was and start planning for 2017. We’ve already given our predictions for the next year but that is based on what has already happened and what we speculate might happen in the next year.
Today, I’m taking a different approach. Below are 5 things that I would love to see from the poker world in the next year. Odds are they won’t happen, but it can’t hurt to wish for them.
Poker Pros Taking a Public Stand For Online Poker Regulation
Something that has always surprised me is the number of poker pros that publicly support regulation. By publicly support, I mean that they are receiving significant non-poker media attention on the issue.
Whenever someone like Jason Somerville makes a public appearance in support of iGaming, it is big news and rightfully so. The problem is that there’s not enough of it. With the number of players that started online or continue to play online poker, you would think that there would be someone making a public appearance every week or at least monthly.
I’d love to see pros at all levels and limits give more attention to the issue in 2017 – with or without a PokerStars logo attached.
Read More: PPA Gives Hope for 2017 US Online Poker
Fewer WSOP Bracelet Events
While I know this won’t happen next year, I would like to see the total number of bracelet events offered annually by the World Series of Poker actually go down by at least 10%. We already know that there will be over 70 bracelets awarded in 2017 and that isn’t including the WSOP Global Championship or the WSOP Asia-Pacific (assuming it runs.)
My concern is that we have already gotten to a point where the act of winning a bracelet is becoming somewhat mundane due to the sheer volume of them. In the past, winning a WSOP was a major deal but outside of the Main Event, Poker Player’s Championship and a couple of others, it is almost commonplace.
A 10% drop would still award over 60 bracelets a year. I just don’t want to see the number continue to climb. At this rate, we could see a “100 bracelets in 100 days” type of deal at the World Series of Poker.
Oh good grief, I just gave them an idea didn’t I?
More Non-Hold’em Events in Like Tournament Events
As a fan of mixed games, one thing that really annoys me about the majority of live tournament events is the lack of mixed games. Casinos want to maximize attendance and profit and most do so by running “all NL all the time” types of events.
I understand that mixed events don’t draw like NL events but there is still a market for those events. One thing I love about the summer in Las Vegas is that you can find plenty of non-Hold’em action if you’re willing to move around the city.
One reason that I frequented the Los Angeles area when I first started in live poker was the ratio of NL to non-Hold’em events. If a tournament series doesn’t offer three different variants of poker besides Hold’em, I didn’t attend the event.
Tournament Director Johnny Groomes told me once that he wouldn’t think of holding an event without a minimum of 5 different poker formats and that would be something I’d love to see all live events adopt.
High Profile Charity Events Other Than One Drop
I would love to see every major poker tour develop a charity initiative similar to what the World Series of Poker has with One Drop. By that, I mean they hold at least one major charity event a season with a portion of the proceeds going to a major cause.
In addition to raising money, these events can raise awareness for these causes. The events could be catered to best suit the tour and televising these events would be an added plus. There are plenty of causes out there that would jump at the chance to collaborate with a poker tour. Why should the WSOP have all the fun and positive karma?
Poker Pro on WWE Television
I’m actually surprised that Vince McMahon hasn’t already tried to tap into the poker market by having a pro player appear on WWE programming. With the variety of celebrities that have appeared on RAW or Smackdown in the past, a poker pro would fit right in.
If nothing else, they could bring back Ron Simmons for an episode and have him join JBL and the guest pro in a little APA Poker Game. Get a few of the hotties from the Women’s Division together and maybe play some strip poker. Set a tease for scantily clad women and then have them kick their asses in Hold’em and leave the men scrambling.