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Poker Notes

A look at the possible effects of Black Friday after the WSOP

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  • Published August 1st, 2011 in Poker

Black Friday has come and gone, and most people are probably figuring that the worst is now behind us, but now that the 2011 World Series of Poker has wrapped up you can expect some serious shakeups in the coming weeks across the poker world.

With the exposure of the WSOP just a month and a half away, many online poker sites were willing to let sponsorship deals continue, and media and affiliate sites kept staff on despite Black Friday, but with the hoopla of the 2011 WSOP in the books, the inevitable changes are likely coming.

Where will these changes occur and what do they mean for the online poker industry? My feeling is that we have already seen many of the changes begin to take place, considering there has already been several developments on three different fronts in the online poker world since Black Friday: The poker rooms that have managed to make it through the turmoil unscathed have shifted their focus to the European and Asian markets; young online Poker Pros have started their mass exodus from the United States; and the online affiliate market has tightened their purse strings, taking a wait and see approach.

When it comes to sponsorship deals, my guess is you will see the majority of US poker players watch their sponsorship deals expire as the remaining online poker rooms shift their focus to the European and Asian markets, keeping only the most well-known US poker players on their roster. Worse yet, one of the biggest stable of sponsored pros, Full Tilt Poker, has been forced to drop their entire roster after being hard-hit by Black Friday -as well as being a victim of their own shoddy management.

A look across the Twitterverse will show players like Daniel Negreanu, Olivier Busquet, Daniel Cates, and Phil Galfond are all in the process of, or already have moved to Canada. Other young stars have decided not to look for residence in other countries instead choosing to travel abroad, like William Reynolds who has been on a Central and South American journey the past few months.

The final piece of the puzzle has to do with the poker industry that has sprung up around the poker boom. Poker media sites have been slowly downsizing -a trend that will likely continue now that the WSOP is over-as their affiliate revenues have dried up thanks to the US market being all but lost to them. was auctioned off on EBay, so that site should be undergoing some major changes in the near future, and even and haven’t been immune to Black Friday’s effects. I have a sneaky suspicion that the poker media/affiliate world is about to undergo a huge revolution before the year is out as revenues can no longer solely be measured by your affiliate statistics.

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  • Posted in: Poker
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