December 21, 2008 - Guess
what the "Top Fad" of 2008 is? That's right, it's even
bigger than YouTube and FaceBook. And not to give anything
away (err, this is the poker blog after all), yes folks, I'm
talking about Poker. I mean, dang, I thought it was a fad
back in 2005, but apparently fad's last a while.
If you didn't hear already, Lycos has
announced the Top Ten search results for 2008. For the third
consecutive year, poker brought in the most traffic, while
last year, it was Paris Hilton at #2 and YouTube for #3. Not
to go off on a tangent or anything, first off, what does
that tell us about ourselves when "Paris Hilton" almost gets
searched more than anything else? I have some thoughts. One:
people like to gossip. Two: People are idolatrous. Three:
The bulk of internet traffic is made up by young people.
I suppose you could say the bulk of
the people who are playing online poker (young guys in their
early twenties) are probably the same people searching up
Paris Hilton. So, what does that say about online poker?
Well, I'm not sure if you can make a definitive,
black-and-white distinction about poker from all this. For
one, the #4 search term was "Golf". And guess what came in
5th? Good old Sarah Palin. Ya, I have to admit I helped to
make that happen. And while I also searched for "Poker" and
"Golf", Paris Hilton was the last thing I wanted to hear
So, where am I going with all this?
I'm not sure to be honest. But I have some thoughts. The
respected Poker Players Alliance recently announced they are
going on a media blitz to help raise awareness about the
need to regulate online poker (just poker, not online
casinos). Well, let me tell you - I saw some of these ads
(be on the lookout for them in The Politico, Roll Call and
The Hill), and they are anything but catchy and memorable.
Sure, I bet the PPA is wanting to
sound credible and factual. But when facts are presented too
dryly - let's face it - they aren't as memorable. Instead of
the ad "No matter how you cut the deck, regulation is the
answer" (the most witty of the ad's mind you), why not say
something like "It's hotter than Paris Hilton. Regulate
Online Poker". Or, how about "Paris Hilton hasn't folded.
Why should you." Okay, so maybe I wasn't made out to write
ads. But, I won't concede that the PPA ads don't need some
All in all, I personally think the PPA
is wasting their time, money and resources trying to
regulate online poker by trying to separate it from other
forms of online gambling. Certainly, there is more skill
involved with poker, but with more big-time cheating
scandals at poker rooms than online casinos, I mean, c'mon.
U.S. citizens are going to gamble no matter what. And when
one door closes, another opens. It may not be at Poker
Stars, but so long as other offshore jurisdictions are
regulating (other than Costa Rica!), players will have a
safe and secure place to make their wagers. That's my story
and I'm stickin' to it.