Back in July, I wrote this article in which I said that Jerry Yang winning would be an absolute disaster for the online poker rooms. Poker rooms such as Pokerstars market the hell out of the WSOP champs that they have on their rosters. Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem are big reasons why the industry has come as far as it has over the past 3-4 years.
After the disaster that was Jamie Gold, the main online poker rooms were hoping someone likable and charismatic would take down the '07 World Series of Poker title.
Instead, they got Jerry Yang.
At the time, there were actually a number of articles posted online that argued the points that I made in the article. "A god-fearing champion is exactly what the industry needs," they said, "it will open up online poker to an entirely different demographic of people." This was the basicd premise behind their arguments. Now, a family man who goes to church on Sundays would suddenly find it ok to gamble online, and the numbers would swell on the major poker sites.
I still stick to my original article. Yang is a terrible WSOP champion when it comes to marketing online poker.
Praying before the cards are dealt when he is all-in. Thanking God after he sucks out. A bunch of other eye-rolling antics at the table.
Not only that, but Yang does not seem at all interested in promoting the game, or promoting online poker at all. I think Full Tilt Poker just signed him so that they could have the current World Series of Poker champion on their roster. I haven't heard of him being at any events promoting Full Tilt Poker. As a matter of fact, in a published interview he said that he avoided playing online because it was too easy to become addicted.
You combine the fact that most people find him very unlikable when watching him on TV with the fact that he has no interest in being involved in any sort of marketing for poker, and you have the perfect storm of a bad WSOP champion for the online poker rooms. I just don't buy the argument that strongly religious people are suddenly going to stampede into online poker rooms just because one of their own won the title.
Filed Under: World Series of Poker
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