Did you know when online poker started out, live poker operators and industry organizations did their best to kill it? True story.
The big casino properties and industry lobbying groups thought online poker would destroy live poker. Those of us who were actually playing both versions, and watching the symbiotic effects, could have told those guys how wrong they were.
It should have been obvious. When I was a kid, I lived for baseball. I’d go play in my front yard, and in whatever junior league I could get into. Then I’d watch the major league games on TV. But man, the most exciting days of the summer were when I got to go down to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to see the Washington Senators play. Then the moment I got home, I’d grab my glove and dash outside to try something I saw a big leaguer do.
Each version of the game feeds and supports the others.
The good news is that slowly but surely (albeit with a few exceptions), the live poker operators realized online poker helps live poker grow. And we have transitioned from outright hatred, through grudging truce, to where we are today, which is the two forms of poker embracing and supporting each other.
It’s grand. And here’s an example.
You may have heard of PokerGo. It’s a huge poker content platform built and managed by Mori Eskandani, an O.G. of the live poker content world (for instance, the guy who created Poker After Dark). PokerGo is the 900-pound gorilla of live poker content—their shows are the most watched in the industry, and they have a studio designed just for producing poker content right at the front of the Aria Hotel and Casino (on what Jason Somerville refers to as, “the most expensive dirt in all of Las Vegas”).
For the last few years, PokerGo has run a series of crazy-high stakes poker tournaments called the U.S. Poker Open (“USPO”), with the final tables televised. In the summer of 2021, the USPO is being televised every Monday August 16, 23 and 30 . So, poker fans will get to watch on NBC Sports as their heroes battle it out for stupid money.
But those fans can have one eye on the nosebleeds, and one eye on their own game. Because Global Poker, in cooperation with PokerGo (there’s that symbiosis thing), is offering their own lower and free -stakes version of the U.S. Poker Open.
There will be 32 events all up, for both Gold Coins (GC) and Sweeps Coins (SC), with no buy-in greater than GC 99,000 or SC 99 . There will also be a leaderboard, with the overall leaderboard winner receiving—wait for it—a trip to Las Vegas and the PokerGo studio. And the silly casino executives thought that online poker would hurt live poker.
No, people playing at Global Poker will burn the midnight oil (and consume many caffeinated drinks) trying to win a trip to the mecca of live poker, with $5000 to cover their expenses.
All across the land, the scene will look the same: our hero or heroine, with coffee or soda in one hand, and a mouse in the other. They click raise, and immediately pop over to the other window on the monitor, where they’re watching Steve Chidwick, Justin Bonomo, and Jason Koon battle for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And thinking how very cool it will be when they bink that leaderboard win and fly to Las Vegas to get a selfie with Antonio Esfandiari and collect the $5k check.
Global Poker-PokerGo—two brands connected by one awesome game, providing poker tournaments and content for fans of all stripes, and proving live poker and online poker continue to serve each other.
Get the details about the Global Poker U.S. Poker Open here.
Lee Jones has been in the poker industry for over 30 years. He writes at the Global Poker blog, plays poker every chance he gets, and coaches poker. You can contact him at www.leejones.com.