Found out yesterday that Sheffield is getting a G Casino and also, it is being considered for a stop on next year’s Grosvenor UK Poker Tour. It doesn’t get much better than that for me really, Sheffield really needs a proper poker venue, no offence to Napoleons (I by that I mean I am about to offend it) but its bloody awful, feels like a working men’s club. You can have a 40 runner tournament at Naps and by the time you get to three tables everyone is talking about chopping, I nearly got chased out of there with burning sticks and pitch forks once for refusing to do a saver deal.
A plush new G casino, presumably near the M1, will be fantastic and a GUKPT here next year will be the easiest weeks work for me of the year. My guess, for anyone who knows Sheffield, is that it will be somewhere near the Cineworld/Don Valley Stadium/Meadowhall are rather than the city centre. Its on the tramlines, its near loads of other entertainments, its near Rotherham and its near the M1 – seems ideal. I heard someone say it will be in Totley, which is a really odd place as its a quiet residential area which isn’t that easy to get too. Both are a five minute drive for me so I don’t really care.
Speaking of work, it’s about to get a whole lot busier. Starting at the English Poker Open in just over a week, then onto the WSOPE and the EPT. This should be my biggest month of the year as a journalist, with the poker world on my doorstep (Well it’s a two hour train ride followed by 4 stops on the tube, but in world terms) and I am planning on working my ass off. Since we got the dog, my workrate has plummeted and my expenditure has skyrocketed, but this is a good chance to get back on track.
Main reason that my workrate has plummeted has been a combination of lazyness, breaking myself in for my new role at Pokernews and also the dog taking up my time. Thankfully he is starting to become a really well behaved little mutt that respects me when I am working, so that is less of an issue. Another reason, perhaps, is that I am really seeing the poker media industry decline at the moment, recession and all that. Not the overall poker industry, that’s still thriving, but magazines and websites are feeling the pinch.
Thankfully for me, Pokernews seem to be one of the few places that’s getting bigger (At least that’s my impression, I am not sure about the high up inner workings of the place) but lots of other places are really struggling. It seems it takes longer to get paid for work (Pokernews pay me usually within a week, so discount them), it’s the nature of the job but sometimes magazines can be 6 months before they pay you. The original incarnation of WPT magazine is no more (The one you see in the shops these days is a new publisher), Flush magazine have gone under and it won’t surprise me to see another few bite the dust before times get better. A year ago I used to be inundated with work offers from random sources that I had to knock back because I didn’t have the time, that doesn’t happen much anymore and I feel very lucky that I have a regular income from one of the more solid players in the industry.
Is it worse than what other industries are facing in the recession? Probably not. There are also plenty of silver linings on the clouds at the moment. If and when the US market is allowed to open its doors to the rest of the online poker world, thats fantastic news for all. Magazines will see advertising revenues boost, affiliate websites will see more CPAs/MGRs, smaller poker rooms will see traffic increase, bigger poker rooms will see more new yank players signing up and we could well have another mini-boom. I think (and have written) that PKR would become huge in that scenario, because I think the yanks would go crazy for its 3D graphics and being able to call people a loser via emoticon over the interweb.
Anyhoo, I digress, here is a pic of me and the missus battling the evil empire aboard a rebel spaceship: