Pokerstars looks to finally be putting forward some propaganda in the Golden State. This week, they will hold an online poker demonstration in Sacramento. While many are applauding the move, are they best utilizing their time? Also, should this be a one-off deal or should they go on a goodwill tour of the state?
Drop the Demonstration and Let the Pros Educate the People
On Thursday, PokerStars is going to host a live demo of online poker at the Legislative Office Building at 1020 N. Street in Sacramento. Fans of online poker in state can come to the building and play against either Daniel Negreanu or Jason Somerville in play money online poker.
While this is a great novelty, one has to wonder how many players will actually come out when all they appear to be getting is a glorified “meet and greet” with a couple of pros. There is a brief mention (one sentence) that PokerStars experts will be on hand to talk about online poker, consumer protections and the platform.
Instead of playing in “free money” games against the pros, PokerStars’ time might be better served by dropping the demonstration hold their own little “hearing” regarding online poker, its popularity and the safety thereof.
For year, we have seen pot shots taken at PokerStars from Pechanga and supporters of Sheldon Adelson. Instead of a novelty demonstration, why not actually have players come out and demonstrate online poker and give candid, insightful commentary on the game, the industry and PokerStars itself.
Both Negreanu and Somerville are well spoken and could speak on the issues and could essentially run the information session. Which do you think would make a greater impact on player hearts and minds, PokerStars suits giving them a lecture about the industry or Daniel Negreanu giving a heartfelt, insightful slant on the game.
PokerStars Needs to Go On Tour
While I applaud PokerStars for putting together this upcoming demonstration, they need to do more. Holding a demonstration around the time of a hearing is great, but what does this do other than educate a few lawmakers. It does will do little to educate the masses in California that they are claiming to want to reach.
I propose that PokerStars start a bit of a demo tour, hitting all the major target areas in the state. Educating lawmakers around the time of hearings is great, but the more you put the product in front of the people, the more they talk and the more buzz begins to build.
One stop a month would be a great effort starting with this event. The reason I say one a month is because the odds of a bill passing in 2015 are pretty long and most anyone will agree with that. Once 2016 rolls around, maybe start to ramp up the tour with more stops per month.
PokerStars has the money and the manpower necessary to pull off such an endeavor. Write it off as advertising or marketing, but start to expand efforts to get people excited about the product and online poker. Get enough people on your side and they will begin to influence lawmakers. Or just sit back and hope that lawmakers and Pechanga will see eye to eye by 2020.