In the last 24 hours, I discovered that Card Player Magazine and the World Poker Tour axed several employees, a trend that's been too common in the poker industry over the last few weeks. Many jobs in the once thriving poker industry have been lost due to the UIGEA and it seems that the two big giants in the poker world were not exempt from the fallout.
This has been happening a lot recently. Personally, in the last few weeks, I had to take a pay cut for my monthly column in one major poker publication, while I was let go by three different clients who told me that my services were no longer needed because they do not have any revenue coming in to pay me.
The majority of companies, sites, and publications rely heavily on advertising dollars to cover operating and distribution costs along with payrolls. Without the mega-dollars pumped in by online poker sites, the ad dollars are drying up in some areas causing devastating affects on several smaller outlets. I was not surprised to see smaller shill sites fold operations after the UIGEA went into effect.
However, I was shocked to hear that the big dogs... Card Player and the WPT... had to fire employees only four weeks before Christmas. Ouch.
Party Poker's dominance in the market vanished over night when they announced their intentions to pull out of the American Market in mid-October. Their advertising dollars, along with the other companies that pulled out such as Pacific Poker, were among the biggest in the industry and without their thick pocket paying everyone's bills, the industry is experiencing a ripple effect.
Party Poker's side project at PokerBlog.com had to let go the majority of their writers last month as they faced severe cutbacks. But not all publications are cutting back. Some are still thriving despite the UIGEA. According to Stan Sludikoff, editor and owner of Poker Player Newspaper, business is carrying on as usual. In fact he's added several writers to Poker Player in the last few weeks and expanded the size of the paper by a few pages.
But not everyone is doing as well as Poker Player. I expect more bad news to slowly trickle through the poker industry as more jobs will be cut in the upcoming weeks.
Ironically, in the last 24 hours, Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn) accepted the fact that his bid for the White House in 2008 was an utter failure. He announced that after his term is up, he will return to his home state and pursue medicine. His political career is nearly over, but not before he rammed the UIGEA down poker players throats. I don't know what's worse... the UIGEA itself or the fact that most of the politicians who orchestrated the UIGEA will no longer be in office, yet the law still sits on the books.
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