Future of the Duke/Pollack Poker League

April 21, 2011

Although there are still online poker sites that take USA players, the recent shut down of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and UB.com to USA players may be a blessing in disguise for the brainchild poker league of Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack.

Duke and Pollack have been ironing out the details of this unnamed poker league over the past couple months, but the plans for this league may have just gotten a lot simpler. The competing tournament events in the USA are no longer, including the PokerStars NAPT and the long awaited Full Tilt Poker Onyx Cup that was going to be all the buzz in Vegas. Neither of these tournaments will take place, leaving pros with few choices for live action.

The effect that the giant poker sites departure from the USA market will have on the industry will ultimately trickle down to offline poker business. Duke’s pro-only poker tour now has little to no competition and with no affiliation with any online entity, has a very nice chance of receiving a lot of attention and attracting a lot of interested players who don’t really have their choice of tournaments anymore. With the void left in the market by the withdrawal of Full Tilt and PokerStars, there will be many players and pros looking for tournaments to make their living at, not to mention all the pros who are facing losing their sponsorships. Imagine a WSOP, a mainly USA televised event, with no PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com, Absolute.com, or UB.com patches, hats, and shirts to advertise to the US market.

The future looks bright for the Pollack-Duke poker league, and they could even be in line to land a big television deal, which will only make it even more attractive to the biggest pros in the world. FOX and ESPN will now have to fill the spots after having to cancel PokerStars Big Game, PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge, PokerSTars NAPT, and the ESPN Poker Club.


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