There’s a new sticky thread in TwoPlusTwo’s News, Views and Gossip section, created as an alternative to the WSOP-organized Poker Hall of Fame. Who was first inducted, and who else is on the shortlist? You’ll find out shortly if you read on, in this week’s Forum Files. We’ll also be taking a look at declining traffic on PokerStars, an interesting move by Jason Somerville, and some unusual suggestions for the 2016 World Series of Poker.
Which online players deserve the most recognition?
Thread: Internet Pokers Wall of Fame
Thread: Internet Pokers Wall of Fame suggestions/discussion
Adam Schwartz, one of the hosts of the TwoPlusTwo Pokercast, has long been one of the more vocal critics of the Poker Hall of Fame, which is controlled by the World Series of Poker. Schwartz, like many others, feels that the selection process for the Hall of Fame is biased, so he’s decided to take matters into his own hands and create a new “Wall” of Fame, specifically for people involved in online poker. He’ll induct one new person each week on the Pokercast, then add them to the thread. In the meantime, he’s put out an open call for suggestions for people who should be included.
The first inductee is, unsurprisingly, Isai Scheinberg. I say unsurprisingly since the introduction of the Wall of Fame comes hot on the heels of a likely doomed attempt to have Scheinberg inducted into the regular Hall of Fame. Scheinberg, who created PokerStars, has outstanding criminal charges in the United States, which makes it unlikely that the WSOP will ever include him. Giving him the nod is probably what Schwartz’s Wall of Fame is really all about to begin with.
The suggestions thread has attracted a fair bit of attention and generated a huge number of potential inductees already – some obvious, some less so. Surprisingly, some people/accounts are being proposed not for their positive contributions but for their notoriety, such as “Potripper” – the first account identified in the Ultimate Bet super-user scandal – and accused cheater Mohamad Kowssarie. What do you think: Should infamy count as well when it comes to a Wall of Fame?
The PokerStars Sunday Million misses its guarantee
Thread: Bleak numbers of PokerStars 8/23
Yesterday was perhaps the worst Sunday in recent history for PokerStars in terms of turnout, and a number of people noticed. This thread is actually three separate threads combined into one, since all were pointing out the same thing. Turnout for the Sunday majors was down across the board, but most remarkably, the Sunday Million – arguably the best-known tournament in all of online poker – failed to meet the guarantee it’s named for. Admittedly, it didn’t miss by much, generating an overlay of only around $8000, but it’s still an ominous and historical event, as it’s the first time in the post-Black Friday era that the Sunday Million has failed to pull in the requisite 5000 players.
Speculation abounds in the thread for why this might be the case. Some feel it points to the impending death of online poker, blaming PokerStars policies in the Amaya era for driving players away. Others feel it’s more likely a blip, perhaps related to the record attendance at the EPT Barcelona; if a lot of the regular entrants are currently busy playing live instead, that could explain the drop, at least in part.
Somerville juggling soon-to-be-rivals
Thread: Jason Somerville inks marketing partnership with DraftKings
Online player and Twitch celebrity Jason Somerville has just signed a deal with Daily Fantasy Sports site DraftKings, as reported by Chris Grove over at LegalSportsReport. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed at this time, but it’s interesting mostly for the fact that Somerville has had a similar deal with PokerStars for some time now. PokerStars has of course just acquired DFS site Victiv, which will be rebranded as StarsDraft; this will put them in direct competition with DraftKings, so it will be interesting to see how Somerville handles working for two rivals at once.
What the World Series of Poker really needs is… feng shui?
Thread: Ideas for 2016 Wsop
When you see a suggestions thread pop up for something like the World Series of Poker, you think you know what you’re going to find in it: requests for more of a certain type of event, for instance, or for buy-ins to be raised or lowered, tournament structures tinkered with, that sort of thing. This one is pleasantly surprising in that the poster’s first request for next year’s WSOP is more plants, cool lighting and a feng shui designer.
Of course, he then goes on to suggest that the length of registration lines needs to be managed better, and security needs to be tighter in the wake of the various cheating allegations and marked-card controversies that happened these years. These are good and much more natural suggestions, but of course not nearly as important as the number of potted plants at the Rio.
The rest of the thread contains some good suggestions from other posters as well, including better food options and live streaming of the Main Event, as well as some more unusual ideas like a “tag team” mixed game event or a “last chance” invitational event for players who narrowly missed winning bracelets.
Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.