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Is Poker World being Hypocritical over Vicky Coren Decision?

by Jeremy Olson on November 30, 2014

Not long ago, we discussed Vicky Coren’s decision to leave PokerStars after they announced a mass rollout of casino games. At the heart of Coren’s dilemma is that she can live with promoting online poker, but she can’t endorse casino games as well.

It seems that the two-time EPT champion’s decision has went over well with the TwoPlusTwo crowd - a hard group to please if ever there was one. Many of the posters have a problem with PokerStars’ move into casino gaming, given that it takes up time/money from fish. Furthermore, they applaud Coren for not endorsing gambling. But isn’t there hypocrisy in excluding poker from the gambling world?

This is exactly what writer Lee Davy has struggled with when judging the reaction of the poker community. After discussing how poker is in fact gambling, Davy gets into the key issue in this excerpt of his column:

It’s blatantly obvious to me that one way of creating more recreational players is to introduce online casino games and sports betting.

Anyone criticizing this move should seriously question his or her involvement in the game. You cannot want the fish and then have an issue when you have eaten them.

Poker is gambling. People harp on about the skill element in poker. They use this as a convenient wedge to separate it from the chance dominated games like roulette and blackjack.

It’s a convenient excuse. If we were to place the challenge of making a consistent profit playing poker on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘insanely difficult’ and one being ‘a piece of piss’ - where do you think poker sits?

Many poker pros have criticized PokerStars’ decision to add casino games and sports betting to their client. And it’s no surprise that many of these same pros equate casino games to pure gambling because there’s a house edge present.

However, it’s easy to forget in all of this that poker is indeed gambling for the non-skilled. In fact, some recreational players are facing a worse proposition in poker because they are so overmatched. So it does seem a bit hypocritical to applaud Coren under the banner that she won’t support gambling, when indeed the very game she loves falls under the same category.


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