Sure Was a Great Time to Release a Poker Book

Last week I commented to my girlfriend that last weekend was possibly the biggest weekend of my career. At the time I meant because not only was my book coming out for pre-order but we had this massive interactive live stream happening at the PartyPoker Big Game. Turns out I was dead right, largely because you can add perhaps the biggest story to ever hit the modern poker era to that list.

The Big Game itself was amazing. The interactive stream and chat element we had running with PokerNews was out of this world. It was lots of fun to work on and that element of direct feedback with the audience was liberating. We actually helped shape how the show looked and the overall consensus from PokerNews, Matchroom, DTD, PartyPoker, and the audience was that it was one of the best things we have all been involved in.

It helps of course when the boss, Mr G, was the big winner on the show. He was in fine form all weekend and hinted that this sort of thing could be the future. I hope so, I loved it. In a weekend that felt like the end of poker, this felt like the start of something big.

#BlackFriday. We found out just as we were setting up our stuff for the Big Game and it was the only thing anyone could talk about. There is nothing I could write that would add anything to the discussion really. I’m going on Sky Poker this Thursday to discuss it, because lots of their community are worried, even though it has no immediate impact on them as they are a UK only site.

One thing is for sure, we picked the worst time in the world to release the Mental Game of Poker. It was looking so positive, we had some great preorder figures and several very promising reviews. Of the preorders pre Friday, about 40% were from the States, so a huge chunk but not enough for us to consider giving up.

The plan now is twofold. First of all, we had a great relationship with non US regions because obviously I’m European – so we are going to focus even harder on those areas. We had a promo yesterday on PartyPoker which was a great start as well as tying up a deal with another European magazine. My only true aim for the year now is to get us break even, because this has cost Jared a lot of money – thankfully it’s not that far to the breakeven point.

The second plan is just to make Jared available to the US audience. He is, after all, a licensed counsellor, so my idea was to make him the ‘poker shrink’ for American players who are obviously very scared right now. We have already released a big excerpt of the fear chapter of our book as a direct response and Jared also posted this excellent blog about coping with the news which is getting tons of hits. Amazingly we are still getting orders from the US, which can only be a good sign. 

As bad as it seems right now, poker will not disappear in the States forever, so all we can do is make ourselves available to be ambassadors during this difficult time to develop a good relationship with them when a (presumably legal) new poker site/boom begins. The good thing about books is that we can still sell them in a year, two years etc  and the good thing about our book is that it is unique and not something likely to be dated in the next three or four.

The overall goal now is just to survive. No idea how long it will take but as Dusty Schmidt commented to me over the weekend, we could look back on this in five years and say it was the best thing to happen to us. Dusty stands to lose a shit load from this, so for him to say that gives me plenty of hope.

I’m very lucky to be with PokerNews right now. They are quite stable compared to many of our rivals because we have a strong global presence. Things will definitely not be the same; I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. It will take a while to see how this directly affects my role and the roles of the people I work with, but being with PokerNews probably puts me in as fortuitous position as a poker journalist could be in right now. 


Bill said...

Yeah, it's been a tough week but everything will sort itself out eventually.

Paul Hoppe said...

Hey Barry,
Sorry about your horrible timing! Dusty and I released Don't Listen To Phil Hellmuth on the day the 18 month US poker blackout was proposed. I agree with him that this may be the pebble that starts the avalanche that leads to a new and improved poker landscape. Like all things poker, what we need is patience.

I'm sure your book will be an instant classic, and that ten years from now it will be as relevant as it is today. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Barry Carter said...

Thanks Paul, it is what it is, hopefully we can build it in europe and relaunch it for a fully legal abd booming US industry.

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