Award season is upon us! Left, right and center companies and individuals in the e-gaming space are being handed awards for a job well done or sometimes – frankly – for having funneled advertising money into the right pockets.
Next up is the GPI American Poker Awards in two week’s time. Votes for the Bluff’s Power 20 – which strives to rank those who have ”… the most positive impact on poker” – are also due in. While GPI’s award shows (a European event is due a month or so later) are new, I think it is safe to claim that they share a high level of credibility with the more established Bluff’s Power 20. Both initiatives take their respective undertakings seriously, focus squarely on poker and rely on a whole host of industry insiders to weed out candidates and pick winners. Over the last couple of weeks I have been in several, sometimes heated, discussions over who should or should not be on the list or be handed an award.
All good right?
Well, I do think something is missing. And that thought, after some even more heated discussions over who actually wields power in this industry and who deserves cred for their work, lead me to create this ”#Good4Poker list of commendable achievements, initiatives and personal accomplishments”.
For the record I am not among the GPI’s judges nor do I submit votes for the Bluff Power 20.
Obviously this initiative stems from criticism I have of the existing efforts to reward, commemorate and shine the spotlight on people and companies in poker. But I’m not spell out out that criticism more than I already have rather recklessly on twitter. Ask me if you’re curious. Instead I’m going to focus on the positive and try to outline what this list, which is a complement to the others reward initiatives at best, is about.
1. I want to celebrate specific accomplishments, releases or initiatives that are #GoodForPoker. Not a general sense of power or influence. Being able to enact change and progress is great. Actually doing it in a manner that can be seen, measured and played is better. Companies, individuals and organisations are all considered.
2. I’m big on risk. People and corporations who have taken real risks in order to advance poker’s cause or the game of poker itself get extra credits.
3. My field is predominately online poker. So while certainly not squarely dedicated to online poker it is an online centric list.
4. The timeframe is roughly ”the year that was” but if events that had a huge impact on poker this years have its origin prior to that then it may also be included. It’s not an exact science. Having done something useful or being in charge of something important for many years doesn’t qualify one for this list. There has to be progress, innovation or big decisions related to THIS year. A fact that makes a #Good4Poker lifetime achievement list a good idea to be considered for later.
5. Feigning genuine interest in the game and the industry and/or being paid to disrupt progress on the behalf of some special interest group or company willing to stifle poker’s growth in order to optimize their own, is a great way to not make this list.
6. Every entry on this list will come with a motivation. It is the reason(s) listed in that motivation and those reason(s) alone that justifies being entered onto the list. The same company or individual may have done something else during the same year that makes them a prime candidate for a #HorribleForPoker nomination.
7. This is list will (a) not complete (b) probably will include proposals that don’t deserve to be on this list. That’s where you the community need to step in. Hopefully helping me vet it and add to it is worth writing a tweet, post, PM or e-mail. While I have no intention of creating a graded ranking with accomplishment X at the top, I hope you engage and help give me a better idea of what other people consider having had the greatest positive impact on poker in 2014ish.
I doubt there will ever be a final list for 2014. My hope is that discussing the list is enough to give some of the forgotten and under-appreciated achievements for the betterment of poker the attention an credit they deserve.
In total I have already tweeted and being sent over 20 suggestions. Each list proposal will get its own post in this new blog category. I will publish them in random order. Eventually I’ll present the list in a nicer fashion and add a poll just to gauge the general support and relevance of each nomination. The list itself and each proposed list entry can be discussed using the #good4poker hashtag.
Please propose your own candidates but remember that any suggestion has to include a motivation that clearly specifies why.
Disclaimer: I may have had my hand in some of the initiatives or innovations I will list. If so, I will not reveal that connection due to signed NDAs and a general commitment to not disclose former assignments. I currently do not consult for any company mentioned in the coming posts.