US Poker On Life Support According To Daniel NegreanuAugust 25, 2011 8:53 am
In a piece entitled ‘Boy Did I Miss Online Poker!’ Daniel Negreanu has been talking about the recent move back to his native Canada, while airing his views on the state of poker in general in the U.S.A.
Pulling no punches, while having a dig at the US government, Negreanu commented:
“During the Cold War, the “Big, Bad, Communist, U.S.S.R.” was seen as an oppressive regime, while the U.S.A. represented freedom. Who woulda thunk, that to enjoy the freedom of playing poker online you’d have to move away from Los Angeles and head to Moscow. That’s just bizarre.”
I’m not sure whether Moscow would be the right location to head to as gambling is banned in Russia outside of four specified gambling zones of which Moscow is not a part. However, Negreanu’s point still remains valid that many places in the world still enjoy a regulated and thriving online poker industry, contrary to America’s heavy-handed stance.
Then laying out quite clearly his assessment of the poker scene post Black Friday, Negreanu describes U.S. poker as in a dire position and recommends any pros wishing to continue their poker careers to:
“…stay away from the U.S. because poker is on life support…For those of you who can, I really suggest moving out of the United States of America to a country that will allow you the freedom to play poker in your underwear. Canada is a great option, but you could go pretty much anywhere in the world that suits your fancy.”
It would be difficult to dispute Negreanu’s stark prediction as to the decline of the US poker industry After April 15th, 2011, more than 10 million US players found their access to online poker blocked, with 50,000 US pros subsequently finding themselves out of a job.
In addition, with no funding and sponsorship deals from online sites, once popular poker shows on TV have now declined in viewership. This can only lead to diminishing interest in the long run and although this year’s WSOP was a success it is now believed unchecked, the sharp drop off in attendance predicted for 2011 that failed to materialise, may in fact become a reality in 2012.