Poker Will Survive Without Online Poker Sponsorships
The topic of online sponsorship in the poker world has been a hot one as of late due to the difficulty of many top pros in acquiring online poker sponsorships post Black Friday.
There are some, like Josh Arieh, who have come out and said that many poker events cannot be sustained at current levels because the money is not being poured in from online sites like PokerStars and other.
Arieh actually "retired" at the end of the 2012 WSOP because the money was not there to be made in poker. From listening to some talk, you would think online poker sponsorship losses are precursors to doom in the game.
My only problem with this line of thinking is that they are overlooking the fact that these sites have unnaturally inflated live and online poker tournaments for years.
Now, many players are having to actually take their lumps in the poker world without the cushion or the "variance reduction" that comes with a sponsorship.
While I understand the importance of online sponsorship to poker and to poker players, the loss of those sponsorships are not going to kill events.
Yes, many events are going to suffer. However, this also gives those events chances to evolve and change their business model much the same way that the World Series of Poker Circuit has.
Since shifting their Main Events to $1,500 buy-in events, they have seen record growth in the tour. Their events are more affordable to those with smaller bankrolls and the fields are very soft.
Poker players have always talked about how that they must always change their game and evolve in order to be successful. The loss of online poker sponsorships should be viewed as another form of evolution.
Ask a player in the 80's and 90's what their variance cushion was and they would probably either tell you cash games or the cushions on their couch.
The game will survive even if online poker sponsorships become completely extinct. It is true that the landscape may be littered with the carcasses of those that could not overcome the loss of their sponsorships, but maybe they really weren't cut out for the game in the first place.