However a quick chat with Lance Bradley of Bluff turned me around on the subject. He rightly pointed out that the European names voted for were all over the place, whereas all the US names were unanimous. That makes sense, the US poker industry is obviously very centralised - whereas in Europe it is widespread and numerous.
Each country in Europe has their own market, many of which are very strong - UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Scandinavia, Holland etc. Although European poker is in a much healthier state overall, a big name in the UK is not likely to be a big name in the Germany, a big name in Germany not likely to be big in Italy etc.
I was delighted to see Dominik Kofert included, and think he should have been higher up. He is a very influential guy in person, and has already made me change a few long held beliefs about the industry since I have been working for him. From a personal perspective, I was equally as pleased to see PokerStrategy.com recognised for its news content in 2011, given that is what I left PokerNews to do last year:
"In 2011 the site became one of the leaders in not only poker strategy articles and videos but poker news and continues to be the world’s most popular poker content site – even more popular than PokerNews.com."
But I still have love for PokerNews and happy to see Tony G just above Dominik in the rankings. I think it makes sense that Tony was above Dominik, although I would say PokerStrategy is the dominant website, Tony is also a big name at PartyPoker, on TV all the time, and a very influential figure on the circuit. Both guys should have been higher.
LOL at Annie Duke being in there at all. I don't think she deserved a place even if the Epic League was still liquid. I don't want to join in the 'Annie bashing' that is a staple part of poker culture at the moment, but she does have a really bad reputation at the moment and I do not see how she has a positive influence on poker at the moment.
I would also have maybe put Negreanu a few places higher. I hate to say it, I really do......but I am starting to become a bit of a fanboy of his. Always loved to watch him play, but he tended to annoy me with his outspokenness. However, I have really enjoyed it of late, his video blogs are quite funny, and while every former FTP pro has not said shit for 9 months, its nice that someone in a position of power is putting his neck on the line and saying what he thinks.
I am sure he will start annoying me again soon enough.