Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Bad Idea

Filed Under: Poker; Commentary

I hadn't planned on making multiple posts today but I finally received an email I have to go off on. On an almost daily basis an email arrives from some company or website wanting me to "mention" their product or place an Ad on the site. A majority of these are deleted immediately but a few I'll hang onto until I check the site out for myself. I may have mentioned one or two of these sites in the past but 99.9% of them never make it onto these pages.

I'm going to mention one now but I want to make it very clear that I think this group of people is doing a great disservice for poker. I'm more sensitive about this than I probably should be, but with the state of Washington passing an online gambling ban and now the Federal Government attempting to do about the same thing I've become a bit worried.

The email in question was from the folks at MissPokerFace. They are on a mission to attain the following:
"...Poker lacks glamour and the launch today of the worlds first “Miss Poker Face” seeks the worlds most beautiful girls who can also handle themselves on the poker table."
This in itself wouldn't be so bad but then they go on:
"Girls who submit their details to will be short listed based on looks to play in poker tournaments to find national winners."
So it doesn't matter how you play the game, it's just how hot you look. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong advocate of enjoying the site of a lovely lady but this does nothing for poker. It actually cheapens it and provides fuel for the shortsighted lawmakers that look to downplay pokers merit in relation to games of chance.

The people responsible for this are based in the UK and even though they may not be bound by the US Government, they certainly would be affected by it. It is obvious that these people are running a beauty pageant with a twist. They stated in the press release that they are looking for a sponsor with global ties. A vast majority of online players, and thus the largest potential audience for this group, are from the US and may have to go away. Granted players like myself would still find a way to play but the average Joe will find the next new thing and move on. That means his/her interest in poker will go away. For this person, and myself, having to watch some vapid beauty try to play a game she can't fathom beyond knowing simple hand rankings will not be appealing. In fact it may be tortorous.

I usually can't fault someone for trying to make a buck, but in this instance I'll make an exception.