Nick and Mike provide their insights into the latest happenings in the world of poker including the new changes to the PokerStars rewards program, the status of several novelty poker games at PokerStars including Split Omaha, 6+ Hold’em and what may be a new UFC-themed Spin & Go, plus the guys share their opinions on how to improve the Global Poker Awards.


Full Transcript

Mike: Welcome everybody to the Pokerfuse Podcast. This is Episode 9 coming at you on March 21st 2019, one day after the spring equinox. Nick, you didn’t know that.

Nick: I didn’t know.

Mike: Well, it is the start of a new season even though it is not the start of a new or Pokerfuse Podcast season. Nick, how’s the going?

Nick: I am feeling very ill -prepared to this episode, Mike.

Mike: Come on, you’re never ill-prepared, I don’t believe it.

Nick: Normally I put aside a few minutes time just to get ready do the show notes and stuff, right at the start of me getting prepared I discovered that somebody was wrong on the Internet and I had to correct them.

Mike: [laughs] Tell the story behind this one, let me—

Nick: I’m browsing Two Plus Two and I see that there’s a thread discussing the revamp Stars Rewards coming, which is something that we’re going be talking about in the first segment of this podcast. That’s called foreshadowing in the industry. I’m just reading that thread and I see obviously the thread very quickly devolves into people saying that online poker is dead PokerStars is destroying online poker. I see somebody saying PokerStars, Online Poker has been in constant double digit decline year over year.

Obviously, this person is not a listener of the Pokerfuse Podcast, I believe it was last week or the week before that we discussed The Stars Group’s numbers. I don’t know if you look at the analytics, Mike, but it tells me that we do not— there are one or two people out there who do not listen to the podcast currently. Understandable that you might need educating on this topic. That’s very easy, just hit the reply button just type in Online Poker, PokerStars grew 1.1% in 2018, 3.7% in 2017. They did not come off the cuff in those numbers, they had it all up in front of me as I’m writing a bunch of reports on this very topic. I just dashed that off , issue over with.

Mike: But?

Nick: I mean let’s just look at the time, some 12 minutes later, antchev , who is a 12 year veteran of Two Plus Two, he replies to me. Firstly, he suggests that I might be long on the Stars group that I hold shares in The Stars Group, and then he says in reply to my Online Poker Group on the ones in 2018 he said, “I don’t know where you get your numbers from, I prefer using official documents.” He then puts in a screenshot of the PokerStars slide deck from their last quarterly performance.

It’s quite the opening salvo here from antchev , he quotes obviously quarterly Q4 revenue numbers which do show that it did decline in Q4 as we discussed, I think last week, and then he said, “Stop reading PR statements, start reading and understanding financial reports.”

Mike: I wonder if he knows to the depth that you read financial reports.

Nick: I had to reply obviously, and this is why I have absolutely no preparation for this pod because I had to reply, I had to reply bullet point by bullet point talking about their revenue figures over every quarter, where this number comes from. It takes me a good like 20 to 25 minutes, but I feel vindicated at the end of it thinking that I’ve basically won the argument, Mike, but can you imagine what happened just six minutes after my very long post?

Mike: Why don’t you tell me.

Nick: He replies and said, and I didn’t expect this at all, I got completely played because he says, “I know you’re very experienced in finances much more than me. You’re probably correct in most of your statements. I’m here just to troll like everybody else, isn’t that what Two Plus Two is for? I’ve just been trolling.” He was trolling me the whole time, Mike.

Mike: [laughs] Fair play. Isn’t that what Two Plus Two does, Two Plus Two [crosstalk] Two Plus Two.

Nick: I fell into the trap. Now I did reply “the old get called out on your bullshit and then claim you’re trolling the whole time”, but no I was outplayed there, check raised there on the river, totally unexpected.

Mike: [laughs] Well it was very entertaining to hear the process that you went through even though that may result in you being a little less prepared for this podcast.

Nick: Yes, well with all that in mind, why don’t you take us through the segments of the week?

Stars Rewards 2.0

Mike: Probably unbeknownst to most people, there was a change this week implemented by the Stars Group AKA PokerStars to their reward system. The reason that many people may not know about it is because it was exclusive to Italy. As part of what we suspect is their Stars Rewards 2.0 Program, they’ve made some changes in their. country with regards to their rewards and they are things that maybe will not translate exactly to rest of world over the course of 2019, but definitely give us some hints as to what we might be able to expect.

Nick: Italy is quite often used as a test bed for changes these days because it’s their largest segregated market. So the Italian player pool is separate from the rest of Europe, separate from the Spanish, French, Portuguese market, and has to be separate from the dot-com market. It is a good place today for them to test out these changes. We knew they were going to be implementing this for a while .

They’ve been talking about it for about a year like in their investors calls and stuff. About a month ago, they said that this upgrade was going to be coming this year with the main goals that they wanted to make— I forget the term they used, they wanted to make the opening of the chest more of an event, I think they said, is that right?

Mike: More meaningful I think.

Nick: More meaningful, yes. We’re seeing that now in what they’ve implemented in Italy where the value of the chest has gone up significantly, but then the difficulty in earning these rewards is also— Takes a lot longer.

Mike: One of the biggest changes that we’ve seen is something that you could say maybe was inspired by what we saw from Run It Once. They’ve taken their high-end, their ceiling of their chests, and their low-end, and they’ve condensed that a bit. What is the proper term when saying cents in Euros?

Nick: Cents.

Mike: Is it also called cents?

Nick: Yes [laughs] .

Mike: Okay. The bottom end of the range was 7 cents on their chests, on the red chest previously in Italy, and is probably still the case rest of world, where they have now raised that up to a minimum of 50 cents therefore making each chest opening more significant. Then they’ve taken the top end and reduced that down from €1,000 to I believe €700 in the New Black chest.

Nick: Obviously yes it’s going to be cents in Italy but presumably it’s going to be dollars when it comes to the dot-com market but we expect to see the same things. They’ve removed the absolute low tier which was the red, they’ve removed the actual top tier which is platinum, now they’ve got the blue at the bottom and the black at the top. In addition, it’s obviously being more valuable so … it is a bit more exciting which is definitely from it launched with something quite clear that— Perhaps of its pricing, it’s taken this long to change.

Particularly in this world where we have a lot of people streaming their play on twitch, it becomes almost sure to be going and opening your chest to find out that you’ve won 10 cents or a ticket or something like that. Which is obviously the last thing that you want if this is meant to be your reward for achieving a level and cashing it in.

Mike: The biggest question that most people are going to have is, does this equal more or less rewards? Unfortunately, we don’t have the data to be able to determine that. Along with the value of the chest, the frequency has also been tweaked and with a lot of that stuff being opaque, it’s hard, at this point, to be able to determine if the total amount of rewards that are being distributed has gone up, down, or remained the same.

Nick: It would be very surprising if in aggregate they were giving away more under this system. There’s no suggestion that this is going to be a more generous system rather than just a more engaged. I could be wrong, but I would expect they would be talking about that if that were the case.

Mike: That’s a really fair assumption and I have the same view. If they did increase it, that would definitely be leading their marketing push in Italy and thus far we haven’t heard any indication that there has been an increase in the amount of rewards.

Nick: It’ll be a case that people will need to play with the system and then work out for themselves. They’ll see the system is personalized, how long it takes to when a chest is personalized and that changes as you progress through the tier. It’ll be a case that people have to play and find out.

Mike: Actually I think that is one of the other changes that they made as well that the requirements to complete a chest have gone back to a month long period. It’s 28 or 30 day period where it used to be tied to a single session, is that correct?

Nick: Yes. You’re testing the extremes of my knowledge here on the system. You’re absolutely right that the new one is— I’m just reading here from the exclusive article on if you’d like to read more that we published that this week. We have here players no longer have to earn four chests in a day, instead players move up to the next tier of the six tier system by earning 10 chests over a 28-day rolling period.

Mike: Well, that’s also a significant change. Beyond what is happening in Italy, I think it’s interesting to speculate on how these changes will be rolled out to rest of world. I would assume that there is going to be some mechanism in place on the part of PokerStars to gauge or evaluate how these changes have been received by players before they make any determination as to when and where these changes will be implemented globally.

Nick: Absolutely. They could be just testing it initially from a technical perspective, but actually they could be going to be trying it for a longer period of time in one market to ascertain how consumers respond to this change. I would be shocked if something very similar to this doesn’t roll out globally. It seems like such an obvious change on paper, it seems to correct— I was going to say it seems to correct a lot of the criticism, it doesn’t because I think most of the criticisms it doesn’t payout enough money like it used to. That’s not going to change.

Mike: And that it’s not transparent.

Nick: And that it’s not transparent, that’s certainly not going to change. It will correct the problem, I think that something I like to always reference in this when these conversations come up is I remember soon after Stars Rewards launched that somebody released a software tool that will automate the process of opening the chest for you. You don’t have to go through the arduous task of doing it yourself. I think if you ever have that, then you’ve probably got a problem in your system. In fact, something else that I think they’ve got, correct me if I’m wrong, is that they’re introducing like a cash-out now system where you can cash in on the value of a partial reward.

Mike: Right, partial progress. If you are in the progress or the process of obtaining the next level and you realize that you’re not going to be able to play enough to complete that level, you can trade in your progress as long as it’s past a certain threshold, for the lower chest that you had chest completed. I think a lot of players will find that even though it may seem like a small tweak, I think that’s going to be pretty well received.

Nick: Stars Rewards 2.0, expect that to roll out to the dot-com market and the European markets in the coming weeks to months.

UFC-themed poker game, Split Omaha, 6+ Hold’em

Probably doesn’t go many weeks on this podcast where we don’t discuss potential new game that’s going to be launched on PokerStars. This week is going to be no different because on Pokerfuse this week, another little exclusive is that we expect PokerStars to release a UFC themed Spin & Go game very soon, probably in the next few days to weeks.

Mike: It’s not exactly clear what it’s going to be when it comes out, but we do expect to see it rather soon as you just mentioned. It could be a new Spin & Go game, it could be relegated to maybe just a particular promotion around the new partnership that the UFC has formed with PokerStars. There’s also speculation that it may include knockout.

Nick: Yes, I think this is just our guess from looking at the image assets that we see. A bit of backstory here is that PokerStars signed a partnership deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in December 2018, to sign up as their “official poker partner”. Nothing has come of that partnership, I believe, until this game. I’m not sure if their brand has been presented at UFC fights.

Mike: That I would not know. I’m not a follower of the UFC, so I don’t. That’s no excuse, I should know, I’m a follower of online poker industry so I should know if PokerStars is advertising at UFC events but I guess I just don’t.

Nick: We do know that there hasn’t been anything on the products tying in with this UFC. Again, probably showing our lack of UFC knowledge here. I’m not sure if a big match or something is coming up— it’s probably a bout, isn’t it?

Mike: I’m just going to say match. Is it on the pitch?


Nick: Potentially it could be tying in with that, but from what it looks like there is going to be maybe a limited edition Spin & Go letting being that the table is octagon in shape which is the shape of the UFC pitch.


We also speculate the potential is it could be a forehand game just because that would look quite nice and symmetrical on the table. It could be eight handed, obviously.

Mike: That would be a shocker.

Nick: PokerStars have Spin & Go max which is randomly three to eight players, so they do have the capacity. They have done eight handed, I think eight as a stand at Spin & Go game isn’t particularly fun, I think it takes away from— I mean they’re so quick anyway, the eight handed, there’s very little interplay between players. I’d be surprised they launched a format that was a fixed amount. Four seems like it makes sense, and obviously guessing that there might be a knockout component just to fit in with the theme of the UFC fight.

Mike: That does sound interesting, it sounds like it could potentially be something that’s popular. I know there are a lot of UFC fans out there, and there is a considerable amount of crossover between the two industries as well, I think. We have Jason Somerville a big UFC fan, we have Terrence over at DAT Poker Podcast who actually doesn’t fight for the UFC, but he is MMA fighter. We also saw— it was the very first online poker company in the US was Ultimate Poker which was associated with UFC I believe, right, Ultimate?

Nick: Yes.

Mike: I’ve got those companies straight. There is some connections between the two industries and I expect that the poker community, poker fans, and even UFC fans will find the new partnership and the crossover between the products to be interesting and hopefully it will be a success.

Nick: Yes, it’s interesting. If it is forehand and it does have a bounty component. We have seen exactly that spread by partypoker in the past, when they first launched.

Mike: Wait, so we have PokerStars copying partypoker, isn’t it usually the other way around?

Nick: Well, let’s wait and see. When partypoker first launched their lotteries Sit & Go, there jackpot Sit & Go format, it was called Sit & Go hero, and it was four-handed. At the start of the game, one person at that table had a bounty put on their head, and so players would fight over both that bounty and the primary jackpot. Which I thought was a really, really interesting format, they had it for I want to say a couple of years.

Then at the European markets they launched a more traditional game they called Jackpot Sit & Gos, which was just three handed and they removed the bounty component. They recently in the dot-com market scrapped both. I think they had both hero and jackpot and they rebranded it as SPINS which is very much another kind of poker stars name for the game and just they restyled it and they made it just three handed and removed the bounty portions.

It would be fascinating to see if PokerStars then kind of came back with a four-handed game with a knock out component. I think it’s a really interesting format. I don’t think it’ll be foolish move, and obviously it fits in with the theme really well. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

Mike: Another game that we’re seeing here another new poker variant— well it’s really not a new poker variant, because it was introduced a few months back is Six Plus Hold’em. The interesting thing that has happened with Six Plus Hold’em is just today, it was launched in the Italian market. We had been suspecting that it was about time for it to be replaced as it was running its course, but the launch in Italy seems to signify that maybe this one isn’t going away.

Nick: Yes. It’s very interesting. This is the first time since they’ve started creating these novelty cache game formats, this is the fourth in a year that they have put one of them through the steps required to launch it in a regulated European market which requires specific approval from the regulator to do. They didn’t do that with Fusion or Split Hold’em or Unfold, yes, that’s the other three.

They have done it with Six Plus Hold’em, which we’ve been talking about for a while, we knew that they were seeking that approval, and it certainly shows that they put more value in the longevity of this game over the other formats. With that said, we’re also sitting here expecting them to remove Six Plus Hold’em from the dot-com market because we think they will be launching Split Omaha soon, which is a game we talked about three or four weeks ago on this podcast.

Mike: It’ll be interesting to see if they actually run side by side two of these new poker variants. Six Plus Hold’em was launched on January 16th, so we’re what? 65 plus days, something around there, right?

Nick: Yes. These games have always lasted in the region of 55 to 65 days.

Mike: It’s it’s about time for it to expire if it is going to expire. That being said, there was plenty of speculation because of the popularity of the game, that when it first came out that it was going to be permanent and not temporary. I know that’s since then there have been press releases that have indicated that it is still a temporary game, but it’ll be interesting to see if it sticks around past next week, because if it’s not gone by Monday that will have been the longest than any of the four variants or five now with Six Plus Hold’em have lasted in the client and could be an indication that it’s here for a longer haul.

Nick: We both have said like it’s— can’t believe that they haven’t launched it for a tournament yet.

Mike: Yes, and that would be the interesting thing, and we were speculating in the backroom of the Pokerfuse headquarters over here about why they haven’t done that if indeed they are going to make it a more permanent game. I was speculating that perhaps it was bottlenecked with development, that maybe there was more development needed to implement this game into the tournament format then into cash games, but some of the feedback that I’ve gotten from you and Anuj seem to indicate that a lot of the components that would be required already exist in other MTT formats, so that may not be the case.

Nick: Yes, I don’t see that being an issue really. I think it’s probably more a marketing thing than anything that if you want to launch a new game you want to do it with a bit of a marketing push, a bit of informational push to make sure your ambassadors they’re playing, make sure you’ve got a big ticket tournament and get people filling seats. Maybe it’s a case they want to wait for Sunday Millions anniversary edition, maybe the new format doesn’t work particularly well in tournaments.

Again, maybe their data shows that this game has not been a success and they are going to be switching it out and maybe they started the process in Italy and they’re going to follow it through, but ultimately it is just going to be a game that only runs temporarily and it’s parts of their portfolio of games that they switch in and out. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

Global Poker Awards Suggestions

Mike: Last week we discussed the Global Poker Awards which were announced just prior to us going on the air or the day before. We talked with GPI President Eric Danis, discussed some of the things that they are going to be doing new this year. It seems, over the past week as the nominees were announced as well as the categories, that there has been quite a buzz floating around the poker community. Nick, what have you seen people talking about with regards of the Global poker Awards?

Nick: I’ll tell you what I’ve seen and what I’ve been talking about is that neither me or you is shortlisted for journalist of the year, so it’s an absolutely massive snub.

Mike: [laughs] And that’s it, we’re not talking to those guys anymore. Anyone that was on the panel, you guys are excommunicated.

Nick: Did you vote for me?

Mike: I did. I actually did. I can tell you and I am not— and I don’t know if it’s officially a vote or a nomination, I’m not sure, but the two people that were on my list were you and Steve Ruddock.

Nick: Yes I voted for Steve Ruddock as well. Broadly speaking, there’s definitely been a lot of discussion on Twitter, a lot of people have criticized those who have been shortlisted. Some of that blame goes to me and you and the other 130 whoever people who picked from a very long list of suggested people under each category. There was also writing sections, so absolutely— I did a write it and suggested Ramon Colillas should win an award [laughs] , forgetting that obviously the PSPC was in January 2019 and it was not 2018.

Me and you and everyone else should take some blame for some of the people on this nomination these people have criticized. In the vlogger category we have Doug Polk who didn’t release a vlog in all of 2018. Jason Somerville is shortlisted for streamer and he took a real step back from streaming in 2018. If you want to read more about people’s opinions on that, there is a lot of discussion on Twitter, there are good articles by Donnie Peters of Pocket Fives, he wrote an article up, You said you saw a piece from Lee Davy—?

Mike: Yes, of the critiques that I have seen and I haven’t seen a lot, I did read through Donnie’s piece. I did not listen to the Five’s Podcast yet that I think they discussed some of the issues in depth there, but Lee Davy did publish an article with what I thought was just a fantastic idea. As you pointed out, there are some responsibility to be had here on the nomination panel and what Lee had suggested is that there’ll be multiple nomination panels with expertise in particular categories.

I think anything other than that is really putting too much onus on the nomination panel, because there is such a wide variety of topics covered with these awards. I think it’s unrealistic to expect some people to have that in depth of knowledge in every category to be able to properly nominate.

Nick: Yes, or at a minimum, encourage people to not vote in categories that they’re not confident on. I’m not sure if it’s actually possible to submit it and leave some blank. It certainly wasn’t suggested you could do that, so I filled out all of them. I would have been more than happy to have left a bunch of them blank for the ones that I was not particularly knowledgeable on.

As you say, there is a huge— I mean there’s a country like best mid stakes poker tour. I haven’t been to a single one. This was another issue I think I had with voting was it didn’t really say how to decide, like how do you decide what’s the best poker tour? Are we looking at turnout? Are we looking at how well they’ve been run? No one voted them would have been to all of them to be able to judge which is best. Even when it came down to say the poker journalists, the four that we’ve got shortlisted we have primarily a photographer, a Head of Content of Poker Central, we have a live reporter.

Mike: Yes, I’m not even sure who made the final.

Nick: You have a big range of different jobs all falling under fairly indescriptive type of journalists, which I’m not sure if any of those four would actually call themselves that as a job title. Perhaps a better example is content. We have best content, and in the long list that we were choosing from you’ve got everything from— and in the short list there is a photo, a book and an article, and I think a poker central video or video series. I mean how am I to judge which is the better content a book or a video?

Mike: I agree with you wholeheartedly here, and you’re hitting on thing that hits closest to home for me in that there— and there’s many aspects actually that you just talked about. For one, yes, these photograph that absolutely 100% deserves its own category by itself, and we should pick the best poker photograph of the year every year. To lump all these things in together to me just makes no sense whatsoever.

The same can be said about long form feature articles, or the same could be said about aggregate news coverage. Because, for example, you can’t pick one news story and say, “This was the best news story of the year,” unless it was an exclusive or a scoop that someone got and then I could see that. Overall, these are very separate categories and if our intent is to recognize and award people in our industry, then I think we should do that. Instead, it feels like we’ve lumped everybody together and are just going through the motions.

Nick: I should absolutely say a couple of positive things here because I think that was presumed but we haven’t said it. I think an awards show in general for the industry is an excellent thing to have. I think bringing together the American and European Poker Awards completely makes sense and a lot of people have explained in detail why. The interest is entirely global in deciding who is in what continent makes no sense. Having one is very good. I think it’s a fantastic thing for PokerStars to come on as the sponsor of this event.

I think it’s a great thing to have and I think a lot of the criticism will hopefully shape it moving forward. This was felt very last minute, I’ll be honest, it was announced that it was happening a couple of weeks later there’s an email saying, “Okay, you have to vote on it.” To do it properly would have taken a lot of work. I think the timeline with five or six days get it turned in, and now obviously the event is three weeks away in Las Vegas and everyone who’s nominated is apparently flying out there. Hugely last minute, I think it would make sense either at the beginning of year or midway through the year rather than during the last year’s poker rather than in March, April time.

Mike: I want to also make sure that I present my balanced opinion in that yes I think this is a very good thing to have. I don’t want my criticism to overshadow the appreciation that I have for GPI and Eric Danis and the people that are putting this together and making this happen because I do think that it is not only a very good thing for our industry, it’s a necessity. It gives some legitimacy to the work that people do day in and day out and also to the industry as a whole. That being said, I don’t share the same criticism that I’ve seen a lot of people put out there, that the responsibility or that the fault lies largely with the nomination panel.

This is something that needs to be corrected from the top. I think what you touched on as far as not having criteria for a specific category, that allows people to pick and choose different things. I think we would be better served if that was specified up front and we had a very specific idea of what it is we’re trying to accomplish with each particular award. Who are you trying to recognize? I would definitely like to see more structure, more criteria put forward as far as nominations and votes go. That would be definitely something that we’d want to see.

Another thing that I am not quite sure on, this is not meant as a criticism or an accolade or a compliment, but more something that we should question and that is sponsorship. If we’re talking about an award show that’s going to recognize the industry, does it make sense to have a company like PokerStars sponsoring this? In this particular instance, I think it does. In the beginning, there’s enough momentum that needs to be generated and the only way to do that is through big sponsorship dollars. I understand that one.

Though I do have a bit of a problem with having sponsored awards, there is one company that is out there that is the sponsor of one of the awards and it’s a company that has people up for the award for different awards, for example. To me there’s just a feeling there of I would prefer there are some separation. I don’t know, I think maybe it rubs me in a way that— and makes me skeptical.

Nick: Well, another issue that we both have is that it’s very focused on live—

Mike: Another way to put it is, it is completely devoid of anything about online poker.

Nick: Well, it’s interesting, isn’t it? It’s a point that you brought up before that, the streamers. We have a category for streamers, and obviously what they’re doing is streaming online poker. That’s as close as we get to online poker in the awards at all.

Mike: There being no online poker awards at all, I can hear the argument that, “This is meant to be focused on live.” Well, number one, it’s not specified that it’s meant to be focused on live. Number two, you have this dreamers’ category. People are not at the Rio streaming the final table of some event that they’re playing in the World Series of Poker. This is online poker that they’re streaming and I think that there’s really a big blind spot missing when it comes to that part of the industry.

Nick: If you look to the long list, there was absolutely in categories you had a fair amount of online presence in the sense of in the journalist category there were— take Steve Ruddock, for example, he writes about the online industry and online gaming regulation. If you look at the short list, it’s almost entirely live. That shows that the vast majority of the 130 or so people who in the nomination panel, their focus is probably on the live. They’re just more familiar with the names of Poker News live reporting team than say Steve Ruddock which is a shame.

Then I don’t know, again, as you say if it was the Global Live Poker Awards or whatever, then that’s understandable and maybe, I would want to add in, best online poker room, up-and-coming, best promotion, best online tournament series, just as like you have best mid-stakes live series, best software development, that kind of thing, which you see in some of the industry awards, but aren’t covered at all here. Maybe that’s too broad for this award choice.

Mike: See, I don’t think so. There’s easily a dozen online categories that are as deserving if not more so than a lot of the ones that are already out there. You can’t tell me that online poker operator of the year isn’t deserving, next to something like mid stakes live tournament series, tournament director. That’s another— How do you judge how good a tournament director is on a year by year basis?

Nick: Yes, simply we have like— and this is where you definitely get blurred lines, so there is top poker executive and I know one there say Eric Hollreiser who’s head of poker marketing at PokerStars is on that list. He sat there next to Rob Yong, Ty Stewart and Seth Polanski. I think I don’t have a list in front of me, but they just have completely different roles. If it’s just a live Poker Awards, then what are some of these online people even doing on the nomination list? Because— I don’t think any of them made it through to the shortlist really.

Mike: Well, yes and that’s the area where I think that having criteria for each category is going to overall serve the awards well.

Nick: Maybe we can finish on this point, but I think we just spoke quite passionately about it for 10 minutes, I’ve listened to the Fives Podcast from Pocket Fives. They had talked about it for like half an hour and their podcast is normally only 40 minutes. They took up— their podcast run an hour, so many Twitter threads about it, news articles about it, form threads about it, shows that people really want an awesome awards show that there is a real desire to see it. They’re never going to get it right first time. I think it’s quite a bit off the mark this time around. The fact that there is so much response to it shows that there’s a demand for people to see it and it can only get better and move in the right direction.

Mike: Yes, I agree. It’ll be something that I will be looking forward to see how it turns out. I will I’ll also be looking forward to next year and the changes that are implemented.


All right. Well, that wraps it up for this week. I think we got pretty in-depth and even passionate on some topics. Nick, any special plans for the weekend?

Nick: I feel passionately that I’m not going to go on the Two Plus Two Poker forums for the remainder of the week.

Mike: [laughs] I think that’s your good idea, correcting people on the Internet doesn’t sound like a fun activity especially if it’s going to be a nice and sunny spring weekend in the UK. I hope you enjoy it. I hope everyone else enjoys their time away from the tables as well, we will see you next time.