Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we are all thankful for. Whether that’s having a job you love (or, just a job because it pays the bills), a loving family, or a hot significant other, reflection is necessary at this time of year.
Despite some disappointments this year, the poker community has much to be thankful for overall. First, the Poker Players Alliance and other lobbying efforts should be satisfied with the progress made towards legalizing online poker in yet more states.
And although there is still a long way to go, the approval by the New Jersey DGE for PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker brand, to open up shop in New Jersey means the online poker industry could grow enormously in the coming years.
Currently, of course, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey are the only states with licensed poker sites, but more could be on the horizon. California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts are all seriously looking at legalizing the game online.
New WSOP Events
2015 was a year of innovation at the World Series of Poker. The inaugural Colossus, a $565 buy-in event, attracted the largest live poker tournament field ever. More than 22,000 players competed in this historic event.
Overlooking the failure to solve the bathroom problem, which forced many players to “hold it in” all day, the Colossus was a success.
This year’s WSOP also hosted the first-ever online bracelet event. It didn’t get as many players as expected, but was still a cool addition to the greatest poker series in the world.
Negreanu’s Deep Main Event Run
Daniel Negreanu failed to make the November Nine, thanks to eventual champion Joe McKeehen cracking his bustout hand on the river. But he did finish 11th in the WSOP Main Event and gave fans something to cheer for.
Negreanu is arguably the game’s greatest ambassador. His deep Main Event run was good for ESPN’s leadup television coverage and good for the game overall, even though he didn’t quite make the final table.
McEachern, Chad, Sexton, Van Patten
Poker is blessed to have some talented and entertaining television hosts. Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, Mike Sexton, and Vince Van Patten have been hosting the WSOP and WPT for many years, and they all do a phenomenal job.
Quite frankly, poker announcers are far superior to sports announcers, because they are more positive and less biased. The poker community is blessed in this area.
Stuff to Complain About
It’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you can’t be a poker player unless you are an habitual complainer. If there weren’t things to complain about, how would poker players find happiness?
Poker players have tons to complain about right now. It’s not easy to find a quality poker site in America, tanking has gotten out of hand, the Poker Hall of Fame didn’t induct David “Devilfish” Ulliott (although the two new inductees, Jennifer Harman and John Juanda, were certainly more than deserving).
WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen hit more flops in one tournament than 50 average grinders will in a decade. And, for those things, poker players should be thrilled to have something to whine about to their hearts’ content.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Eat way too much of everything, spend some time with your family or friends, and drink enough alcohol to make your family more…lovable.