But let's look at the demographic that I'm a part of...a female, (well) over the age of 22 who can't really use her looks to get anywhere but who's trying hard not to go quietly into that good night, a mom, a regular joe with a decent job and a love of only the best music (not even debatable) - yep, the one who does most of the grocery and basic household shopping. Just yesterday I took the little one to Academy for new shoes. Sounds familiar, right?
That's why my ears really pricked up this morning when I heard Paul Harris make a comment on his Final Table Radio Show (link here, also a don't-miss listen for @KaraOTR fans). First off, he said that women only made up 3.5% of this year's Main Event. Ugh. Then, when discussing beefy jerky and slippers (this year's big sponsors), Harris asked, "Where's Nike? Where's Pepsi? Where's Apple?" And he's right. Where are they?
No one can say for sure what this year's attendance numbers would've been if there'd been no Black Friday (info re same here and here), but we do know that 75,672 entries in a total of 58 events was a record and that 6,865 entries into the Main Event was the third highest ever (@JessWelman is the go-to source for all "WSOP By The Numbers" info). And while they're all in Vegas, they really are a captive audience with (at least some) disposable income.
The more I write, the angrier I get. Who are the idiots holding up the purse strings to get online poker regulated? Why is the American Gaming Association (AGA) not in support of the Barton Bill? What lobbies are behind each that are just generally screwing up my (and your) right to play? And what can a regular schmoe like me do about it (@PokerGrump wrote an interesting take here)?
I wish I had an answer for that. All I do know is that everywhere you look at the tables in the Rio, you see people who look like you. They're young, they're old, male and female, they're American, Italian, Swedish, Hungarian, Mexican, French, and every nationality under the sun. They're listening to music on an iPod, playing Angry Birds on an iPad, tweeting/texting on an iPhone, decked out fairly decently, and often in tennis shoes, and ordering a drink from a cocktail waitress.They're spending money and taking a shot. Some are beneficiaries of a tremendous pay-out, most count their pennies, or left over Rio chips, and make plans for next year.
Sitting at a Rio DeepStacks one night I listened as @JoeTall and two other pros scanned the room and marveled at the numbers. Joe Tall said it best, "yeah, poker's dead, alright."
Ain't that the truth...