WPT may be faltering, but isn't that a $25,000 buy-in for most events? Plus the related costs?
'Poker' is hotter than ever. Check around. When WPT started, it was one of very few events. Now $5-10,000 buy-in events are everywhere, weekly. In many cases, overlapping. Players are having a hard time deciding where to go 'this week'. A cruise, a resort, a major casino, China (the fastest growing world poker market), a 'Charity' tourney, 'Celebrity' events, high stakes cash games, and the list goes on.
It wasn't long ago that Pokerstars
reeled with announcing 100,000 players online AT ONE TIME. At this writing (on a Sunday) there are 156,643 players online at Stars alone. Using just that one site as an example, growth has been, and continues to be, exponential. If it weren't growing, why would sites like Stars be willing to add more and more so-called 'pros' to their endorsement list? Endorsement and 'pro' lists are growing weekly.
are accommodating the constant increases in players. Not wanting to expand floor space for poker rooms (which do not make as much per hour as 'house advantage' play) they are adding computer poker to their allocations. In Las Vegas, Excalibur just removed their live poker room and installed banks of live computer poker games
. No more dealers, no pit costs, less dedicated floor space, just more poker players.
If there wasn't an increasing market, there would be a decline in strategy books being written. Now there's a new one every week. Just how many 'strategies' can there be? As many players as continue to join the games, live and online.
As 'entertainment', WPT started the TV craze on Travel Channel. Now poker is on the Game Network, ESPN (2 channels at least) covering current events and old footage from years back. Even the Black Entertainment channel has a Black's Invitational Poker show (which by the way - isn't that racist ??). There's a few more I can't think of right now. Does this really look like 'falling off' the grid ??
It's big, getting bigger. Online there were a 'few' sattelites to major events. Now there are countless 'step' programs - sats to the sats to the sats to the sat to the Main Event sat, to the REAL Main Event. Qualifiers, to the quarter-final, to the semi-final to the BIG one. Falling off? - you must be joking.
Games even keep expanding to accomodate more players. Popularity is growing for HORSE, SHOE (or HOSE). Omaha, Razz, all 7 card games, returning 5 card draw to scheduled events and if that isn't enough, sites and casinos are scrambling to add Badugi and online, Stars just added the '8-game' and Full Tilt just added their SnG Matrix.
If you think it's falling off, you aren't really watching the growth.