PokerNews Banned From the Venetian - Do You Care?
I don't often talk about other news organizations on here for the simple fact that I represent PokerJunkie in these blogs. However, I feel compelled to speak on the recent revelation that PokerNews was banned from covering the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour event at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
The reason? PokerNews supports online poker.
At first I thought this might be a bit of a misunderstanding or misinformation given to the reporting site, but Nolan Dalla confirmed with the site that the ban indeed happened.
Is there any reasonably legitimate poker news site online that doesn't support online poker in one fashion or another? That's just the nature of the beast.
Then why the ban on PokerNews?
Simply stated, Sheldon Adelson and his coalition is making an example of PokerNews. Love them or hate them, they are still considered the top site for news, especially during the World Series of Poker.
Also, PokerNews is connected at the hip to Caesars during the WSOP. They are their online coverage partner during the events and Caesars runs WSOP.com. He can try to explain it off as trying to protect his customers from the influence of Caesars.
The question remains, who actually gives a damn about the ban? Dalla asked how anyone could play at the Venetian following the PokerNews ban and immediately players started talking about how good the games were, how we shouldn't punish the poker room staff, etc.
Part of his reply to these defenses began, "Denying access to a news organization for political reasons is a very dangerous slippery slope..."
Would we care more if the Daniel Negreanu was banned because he represents PokerStars? What if electronic devices were banned in the poker room to prevent access to online poker sites? Would we care then or are the games "too juicy" to pass on?
To quote Dalla, "If this was a real "press corps" covering a news story and a major outlet was banned for political reasons, the rest of the news organizations, even though they are competitors would cry FOUL. Moreover, they would NOT cover any events so long as such a policy is in place."
I have no problem crying FOUL. How many of us will be too chicken to do anything about it?