The Sportification of Online Poker
Poker has been around for a long, long time. It’s something that people have enjoyed doing for quite some time, but for some reason, online poker has always had such a negative stigma attached to it. In the same way that wrestlers aren’t considered athletes even though they have a rigorous workout and training regimen, poker isn’t considered a sport even though it takes a lot of practice and skill.
One man, however, wants that all to change.
Alexandre Dreyfus, a net-entrepreneur, is the owner and operator of Global Poker Index (GPI), a sports marketing vehicle aimed to sportify poker. His ultimate goal is to “pull back the curtain” so people can see the industry. He says that he wants people to realize that they can trust licensed online poker sites in the same way that they trust eBay or Amazon.
He wants everyone as a society to move beyond the whole “online poker is a scam” stigma. He wants to shatter the belief that online poker is rigged and that the average player can’t win.
It’s a bold move, and it’s coming at just the right time. The debate for legalized online gambling is heating up. Sheldon Adelson is throwing money at anyone he can to support the anti-online poker movement, so it goes without saying that online poker needs a bit of positive PR.
It seems like an impossible vision, but people are taking notice. PokerStars is doing something similar with their “Inside PokerStars” series.
His site is making huge strides in the effort to sportify poker. Global Poker Index ranks more than 350,000 players from all over the planet, they hold tournaments, they partner with some of the most well known brands in the industry. Not only that, but they have a partnership with USA Today, which uses GPI rankings and publishes a poker article twice a week. His site’s not doing too bad, either – it’s had 4.5 million visitors in the past year.
This is something that the general public needs to get behind. Poker is indeed a sport, and online poker may require more skill than playing poker in person. You could even argue that more is on the line when you gamble online thanks to no deposit bonuses, so there’s a higher amount of pressure.
The sportification of poker is something that I think even Sheldon Adelson would agree with. It requires a ton of skill, and it’s certainly not for everyone. Getting people to legitimize poker and consider it a sport will go a long way in the fight to legalize online gambling. Once people take poker seriously, they’ll realize how ridiculous it is that states haven’t already legalized online gambling, and they’ll also realize how much money there is to be made, which will go back to the state.
Hopefully Alexandre Dreyfus’ mission will be an overwhelming success.