PokerGO limiting access to Poker Exposure

theANMATOR

theANMATOR

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So - I came into poker just under 2 years ago.
When I did - it seemed to me (I might be wrong) any and all poker content was available to view on youtube and other free video services (vimeo).

I watched I think all the wsop main event and EPT footage going all to - I think as far as the footage was filmed. I learned about Stu Unger's dominance, Doyle extremely lucky hands to win both his main even titles, How lucky, aggressive, and dominant Jamie Gold was. I saw how completely aweful Gordon Vayo played heads up, and how colorful and entertaining a lot of the pro players are during these events.
I think I might also have learned a little bit about playing poker, but mostly the access to the footage was entertaining, and enjoyable to watch. I am sure - having access to all that footage increased my desire to start playing poker.


It seems now pokerGO has put all that great footage behind a paywall, where the only people that will actually pay to access that footage, are people already interested and involved in the game.

In my opinion - restricting access to all that great footage is doing a great disservice to the poker community - by limiting the amount of content available to people who might be- interested in getting into poker.

Thoughts?
 
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DS3

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So - I came into poker just under 2 years ago.
When I did - it seemed to me (I might be wrong) any and all poker content was available to view on youtube and other free video services (vimeo).

I watched I think all the WSOP main event and EPT footage going all to - I think as far as the footage was filmed. I learned about Stu Unger's dominance, Doyle extremely lucky hands to win both his main even titles, How lucky, aggressive, and dominant Jamie Gold was. I saw how completely aweful Gordon Vayo played heads up, and how colorful and entertaining a lot of the pro players are during these events.
I think I might also have learned a little bit about playing poker, but mostly the access to the footage was entertaining, and enjoyable to watch. I am sure - having access to all that footage increased my desire to start playing poker.


It seems now pokerGO has put all that great footage behind a paywall, where the only people that will actually pay to access that footage, are people already interested and involved in the game.

In my opinion - restricting access to all that great footage is doing a great disservice to the poker community - by limiting the amount of content available to people who might be- interested in getting into poker.

Thoughts?

theANMATOR -

Thanks so much for raising this issue.

As far as I am aware, I am the only other member who has raised this subject several times over the past year or so. Further to that, the only famous poker player who has also expressed a somewhat negative opinion in passing is Doug Polk. How can you grow the game from behind a paywall?

I had no problem with PokerGo when/if it was providing original content behind its paywall. It was when other content creators and entities 'caved' for short term profit that I had grave concerns.

Take the WSOP. The WSOP used to garner high ratings across several platforms and was without doubt the biggest draw to poker globally on an annual basis. Apart from the TV deals for latter stages, many events were live streamed to You Tube with very heavy viewing numbers.

The WSOP were painfully short sighted to allow PokerGo not just to block such open viewing, but to then also allow PokerGo to withdraw all historical WSOP content off the internet and stick it behind their paywall - I was furious when this happened. PokerGo had jack to do with creating the world series or the productions that had taken place over the years. Hundreds of hours of yearly coverage was removed from You Tube.

How anyone thought this was good for poker overall is beyond me.

To severely limit public access to the game shows the limited thinking of so many within poker. Key industry figures constantly cite they are trying to 'grow the game' but I have come to think that nonsense at this point. Most know is there is a limited but constant market for poker and if anyone can get their slice of the profit pie, that will suffice. Apparently it takes too much of an investment in time and money to grow the game organically. So, for instance you are perpetually left scratching your head over the idea women can not be attracted to the game (Dan Bilzerian to GG Poker sums up that situation perfectly).

Further it is not as though the industry could not have taken a look at the driver behind PokerGo and asked themselves whether they wanted to do business with them.

PokerGo was founded by Cary Katz, whose father/family made a fortune in student loans, a predatory industry. After his father established his loan companies, Cary Katz did likewise and expanded the family fortunes. He was also involved in producing very right wing political content with, in my opinion, decidedly dubious figures. At any point various parties might have thought this a bad idea but I guess in a town when an individual such as Sheldon Adelson has tremendous clout, a certain level of discernment goes out the window.

Unless the PokerGo hold on content is broken (seems unlikely), then poker will cater to an insular audience with little hope of real expansion. As thing stand for example, another potential Moneymaker story arc would gain no traction as the public would never know it was happening.

The fundamental issue seems to be if you have money and want to make moves in poker, then few will ask questions and most will simply defer without question. In recent years another poker tour has established because there is huge money behind it. However the fact is the founders are well know for having a dubious past and running illegal entities which brought the wrath of the FBI (amongst others) down on their heads. However, when you watch their content or follow any reporting on their tour, you will not hear a single negative issue mentioned.

The only entity which seems to have been smart in their dealing with PokerGo is party poker. They inked a deal (I believe last year) where PokerGo streams their live tournaments exclusively (still limiting access) but, Party Poker then has the right to post all that content on their own You Tube channel a few weeks later where anyone can access it. Though once again without the major draw of the WSOP being shown globally each year how much this functions as a draw to poker is questionable.

Anyways, glad you raised the issue. Like you, I am relatively new to poker but am fascinated with the broader industry behind it. However, at this point whenever anyone - industry executive , reporter or poker players themselves mention 'growing the game' , I cringe. If people want to grow the game there should be an open and persistent conversation regards PokerGo's strangle hold on content which is to the detriment of the industry. That discussion is nowhere to be found.
 
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I thought I would give this thread a bump because it constantly strikes me as odd how most poker players seem disinterested in poker in a wider context - that of expanding the game.

I believe the broader the participation in poker the deeper the pool of funds/money for both the industry and players alike. Its in everyone's interest to expand the game. However, it would sadly appear few have the interest to engage in the matter.
 
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neptun1914

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Simple truth is that to create new poker content somebody needs to pay the bill. Pre black friday televisions had interest to do it due to the big interest in the game. Now it is either the big players like pokerstars, GG, party and so on or pokergo who are the main content creators. And while the big players can (and in fact do it) generate free content on youtube to inspire interest in their product pokergo have no other way to finance than the subscription. It is fact that this year with the absence of big offline tournaments the content generated by pokergo is still very good and i don't think that 10$ per month are that much.
 
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Simple truth is that to create new poker content somebody needs to pay the bill. Pre black friday televisions had interest to do it due to the big interest in the game. Now it is either the big players like pokerstars, GG, party and so on or pokergo who are the main content creators. And while the big players can (and in fact do it) generate free content on youtube to inspire interest in their product pokergo have no other way to finance than the subscription. It is fact that this year with the absence of big offline tournaments the content generated by pokergo is still very good and i don't think that 10$ per month are that much.

Whilst in theory I agree with you to a degree, PokerGo was set up to make a profit, not to promote poker (this is why I note that Catz has a history of predatory business practices with student loan companies). Saying they had no choice in the matter is odd. They had a choice as to whether to enter the business in the first place and chose to do so because they could establish a de facto monopoly.

The WSOP made all the original content and understood providing global access to that content would promote the game. Anyone with common sense understands that providing free content - say for example of professionals engaged in a sport/activity - will draw amateurs to the sport or pastime/hobby. But for the most popular sport (football/ soccer) most endeavors understand they need to promote and providing free content to markets - be it yachting, golf, tennis, motor racing etc. Marketing their sport is an inherent cost to driving views and participation.

I can understand how the WSOP thought it a good deal - they know thousands will show up regardless for the WSOP each year because it is what it is- Mecca for poker players. But all it does is make poker more insular. Likewise PokerGo.

I do not disagree, $10 a month is not an excessive amount to pay if you play poker seriously. But that is not what The ANMATOR or myself are talking about.

It could well be a profitable business scenario for PokerGo as essentially much content with appeal to poker players is now behind their paywall. However, how is this growing the game? When the WSOP content was streamed on You Tube, tens of thousands watched the content live and ultimately the posts received millions upon millions of views over time.

I have no objection whatsoever if any individual/company wants to produce and provide their own content behind a paywall. Its the bagging of the WSOP material (present and historical) which I find so short sighted.

That said, I am not entirely sure that the subscription model for PokerGo is paying off in quite the manner they thought. It has been noticeable that they have started to release shows which they have produced such as Friday Night Poker onto You Tube. I take that (rightly or wrongly) as a sign the financial model is not as strong as they thought and they have now conceded they have to release content free to air to draw more viewers.

Nevertheless - I believe damage has already been done in terms of the profile of poker and its growth so I am happy to see any dialogue on the matter.
 
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