A New Era for Poker Journalism
Call me biased.
When I first came into poker as a writer, the year was 1993. Live poker had just been legalized in Atlantic City. That’s when I started writing for Card Player magazine, which was pretty much the only publication covering the game at the time.
Well, we’ve certainly come a long way in the last two decades.
Now, there are countless publications and websites. Hundreds, if not thousands, in fact. Some media provide in-depth coverage that would have been unimaginable back when I first came into the business.
What impresses me most is the way live tournament coverage has evolved. I think the people who do this kind of work are the least appreciated people in the game. Okay, the dealers, too. But how about some appreciation for the real eyes and ears of the game? They put in more hours than players, often standing on their feet the entire time. If you think your day is long as a poker player, then try writing about hand after hand for 12 or 14 hours a day and see how you feel afterwards. Like I said, a lot of people in poker media deserve a lot more respect, and aren’t getting it.
Until very recently, the drawback of poker media was that it was largely self-serving and rarely took a serious journalistic approach to coverage. Negative stories about poker and players were either softened, or dismissed altogether. There was even a time when scandals weren’t reported at all.
Today, thanks to the broader spectrum of opinion on the Internet and public demands for more serious coverage, poker media has been forced to take a more mainstream approach to subjects relating to poker. I believe this is leading us into a new era for poker journalism, when the trade can finally be taken seriously. When this happens, it’s the players who win because transparency is an essential part of improving, evolving, and correcting problems within.
Not to diminish the many contributions of the pioneers of poker writing — including many people who I admire — the very best poker writing and reporting is happening right now. And it’s evolving right in front of our eyes.
I hesitate to post the specific names of writers and their articles, because I always end up leaving someone important out. At the risk of doing this, I’d like to share a number of recent articles which merit closer attention. It’s important to remember that you may not agree with everything that’s said here. What is important is getting dialogue and discussion started. Unless we have awareness, we have nothing at all.
These excellent writers have managed to make me look at issues in new ways. They’re just some of the best at the moment, in my opinion. Each of these articles with the link is also well worth reading:
Steve Ruddock (Online Gaming Report/New Jersey Poker Online)
Lee Davy (Calvin Ayre)
Sample: Gambling News With an Edge
Chris Grove (Online Poker Report)
Howard Stutz (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sample: Follow him on Twitter, as he posts several links daily to notable news stories and also break the latest in Las Vegas-based gaming — @howardstutz
Robbie Strazynski (Card Player Lifestyle)
Brad Willis (Poker Stars Blog)
Sample: Just sign up and follow him on Twitter — @bradwillis Don’t ask questions. Just do it.
Note: I’m missing a few more writers who deserve a shout out. I’ll post another list of recommendations soon.