Don't Be Afraid of Change in Poker
Poker, as in life, is all about change. Trends come and go. Games get popular, die out, and sometimes even get revived.
Strategies change and evolve, as does the game's players.
Why is it that so many people lately seem to be adverse to changing things in poker?
I had a discussion last week with a colleague about this topic and it seems that many in the poker world are against the Epic Poker League.
The only reason that I can think of is that they are afraid of change.
Granted, some people may be upset that the league moved forward and they are not part of it or were not invited to be a part of it. If that's their reason for being against it, I understand where they're coming from.
However, others seem to be outspoken on the product even when it could be a good thing in the short term.
Do I think the league is going to survive? The jury is still out on that one. I would say the odds are stacked against them, but I am rooting hard for it to happen.
This reminds me a bit of when televised poker with hole card cams was in its infancy. Many were against it because it would "give people a clue on how they play."
Tournament poker, and especially televised tournament poker, needs something different. Frankly, TV tournament poker is getting pretty damn dull.
Daniel Negreanu did get one thing right in his blog post about why he wasn't playing in the EPL, but I think his statement was in the wrong context.
He said that there are only so many "I dropped out of college to play online poker" stories that you can do.
I think this applies to almost all tournament poker. To the average Joe construction worker or Bill the office worker, these college dropouts-turned-internet pros look like slackers that got lucky.
We know that they are not, but the average fan doesn't really know that. The average fan wants to root for those like Jennifer Harman, who has had multiple kidney transplants, or Mike Matusow, who has overcome drug addiction to become successful.
They want stories, not internet pros who went deep in the Main Event.
One thing that the EPL will offer is a broad array of stories. Yes, you will have the "internet whiz kids" but at the same time you also had old school Erik Seidel on the run of 10 lifetimes who had a shot to win it all in Event #1.
Those are stories people want to see, not some 20-tabler on an "epic run."
Also, for those on the non-playing side, consider the fact that there are a good number of people that have been put to work or have had hours increased due to these events.
For those so worried about what they are going to do after Black Friday, this has been a blessing. Continued success could potentially be a blessing to others, especially if the league decides to expand and when other outlets decide to give it attention.
If you think that the league is going to fold due to a legitimate reason, such as the current economy, the state of U.S. online poker, or the like, that's fine.
I have similar concerns.
For the others that seem to be against the league because of they're afraid of change, remember that if it weren't for change, many of you would not be involved in the game now.