Before the start of the 2016 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, I had a number of ideas for potential sponsorships of the summer tournament series. Sadly, the WSOP executives pursued none of those spectacular ideas.
This article takes a different angle. There are numerous booths set up in the hallways of the Rio Convention Center, with everything from sunglasses to poker books on sale. There are booths to advertise the Global Poker League and the Poker Players Alliance, as well as other goods and services available to poker players throughout the entirety of the WSOP. But there are some booths missing that might do significant business.
Take heed, entrepreneurs. I’m serving it up to you on a silver platter.
Bank On It
A booth with a personal banker could do big business. With the right equipment and license, a banker could help poker players with a number of services, from investment advice for players who win big to bankruptcy advice for those who don’t. The right person in the booth could also offer everything from tax services to simple bankroll management tips.
So Sue Me
Poker players regularly need legal services. Some need legal advice after winning a great deal of money. Some may need legal advice for a prop bet gone wrong or a backing deal that didn’t work out as smoothly as planned. With so many opportunities for lawsuits at a large gathering such as the WSOP, a lawyer may just need to be in the right place at the right time.
Despite numerous articles published every year warning poker players to dress comfortably and in anticipation of cold tournament rooms, players inevitably come ill-prepared. Instead of having to buy a $70 jacket at the WSOP booth, a rental company could offer an hourly rate to rent everything from jackets to sweaters, gloves and scarves, socks and sensible shoes. Even those who think they’re prepared might be seated under an air vent as the last table to break for the day, and a full-length heavy coat might be necessary. Forget a belt to hold your pants up? Rent a belt. New shoes hurting your feet? Rent fuzzy slippers.
Prop Bets R Us
A skilled mediator would be handy to serve as a formal regulator for all prop bets made at and during the WSOP. Players regularly make bets when under the influence or on tilt, and they get into trouble when they are unable to pay or fulfill their part of the deal. A prop bet regulator could not only track all prop bets and ensure proper closure for all parties but also serve as a mediator so everyone involve doesn’t have to be smeared all over Twitter.
If poker has taught me anything over the years, it's really cool to make huge unaffordable prop bets and it's not so cool when you don't win— Rob Stan (@robbyrobbb) June 15, 2016
Hug It Out
Any compassionate person could handle the duties of this booth, as it only requires a good hugging ability. Players who bust from a tournament might need a hug. Family members on the rail who can’t stand the stress of sweating their loved one could use a hug. Poker players who miss their loved ones back home, hit a big downswing, regret what they just ate in the Poker Kitchen, or spent their winnings in the casino pit might need hugs. Just be there for them. A small fee per hug could be a profitable venture.
You Are Right
This booth would require a convincing person to tell people exactly what they want to hear. For a small fee, the person at the booth will be the voice of sympathy, empathy, and friendship. “You really are one of the best poker players here.” “I can’t believe he called you in that spot.” “Poker is rigged.” “What an asshole!” “Men suck.” “Women suck.” “You did deserve to win that tournament.”
Poker players often complain about having to walk down the long hallway after busting a tournament, then walking outside and down the steps, presenting a ticket to the valet, and then waiting for their car. What is needed is a valet for the valet. As soon as a player busts from the tournament or quits that horrible cash game, they only need to text the person in the booth that they’re ready to leave. The valet’s valet runs the ticket out to the valet, gets the car cooled down, and has it running and waiting by the time the player’s feet hit the last step outside the Rio.