Saturday, January 15, 2005

Gut Rot

“The only “real” name in poker”

That should read “The real “Moneymaker” in poker”.

Let us start by airing a few basic facts about Gutshot. Not malice or jealousy. Facts.

The Gutshot card club/internet cardroom is not the future or the saviour of poker. The game of poker and the huge majority of poker players were doing just fine long before the place ever sprung up. The brand name is making an absolute mint for a very select few people because of some admittedly very clever marketing portraying it as some ground-breaking set up which has the best interests of the club members at heart, and which is revolutionising the game. As a business, it has the interests of its OWNERS at heart, and the clever spin of ”Gutshot is proudly joining forces with”(insert any organisation that will bung them a few quid in exchange for distributing branded baseball caps/key fobs/whatever-but of course NO actual money for the poker players themselves by way of adding to prize pools) should not cut any ice with anyone with more than one brain cell who should see it for what it really is-gloss to get punters in and nothing more.
New players are made to feel very welcome, but are omitted from being told that they will soon be rubbing shoulders with every barred casino cheat, angle-shooter, nipper and general lowlife poker has to offer. To educate people would be bad business so we don’t want that.
You do not argue with Gutshot. You do not air opinions that are seen as contrary to the interests of the club. You do not swear on the forum(unless you are in the clique then your post may not be removed). You don’t promote charity work or any poker related events that will not make money for Gutshot. You should all know this by now. The recent TIME OUT article which portrays the club in a less than wonderful light(a not uncommon opinion) was instantly shouted down, and its author personally attacked in a pretty appalling fashion-mostly by ignorant unwashed student-types who have seen far too many reruns of Late Night Poker and Rounders, and are sadly living in the belief that they are themselves experts at the game. From my few visits to the place I‘d concede that there are some great players and nice people there, but they are vastly outnumbered by know-it-all wankers and 25 quid cash game merchants whose only experience of real poker is watching it on TV (they just don’t know it) and choosing sunglasses and loud poker shirts from C and A, whilst learning how to twiddle poker chips and practice their dramatic stare prior to folding.
The Gutshot forum used to be a highly amusing and informative place to go. It’s now a horribly watered down hive of double standards which is primarily used to further boost the bulging coffers of the empire. Pretty much NONE of the original forum posters bother with the place anymore and it’s easy to see why. Various issues including gross overcharging, collusion, overcrowding, player intimidation, and the fact the whole thing is NOT really a “collective” in any sense (the members get no sniff of the profits at all and probably never will despite hints about shares for the members) have been swept under the rug and generally ignored. As long as the punters keep playing and paying-that is ALL that is important, and luckily most regulars are too thick to see it. Barbed snipes at other poker websites and cardrooms, along with in-house generated self publicising question/answer sessions give the illusion of everyone being delighted with ”the best thing ever to happen to poker”.
The poor people who have never known poker outside the goldfish bowl of Clerkenwell can happily continue to put down the rest of the UK (non Gutshot) poker scene and crow about how they don’t want to be like the regulars at the Vic. This is fine, because the regulars at the Vic who generally ARE players would be horrified if they ever became the uninformed poncified average-ability tossers who constitute the “new breed of poker player”, who have indirectly created precisely the kind of old boys network they originally said they hated and wished to banish. Same thing, different label. What a laugh. The club will continue to make a packet. The players will continue to live in cloud cuckoo land. Ad nauseum.

The Camel’s views about Gutshot are not one voice. In fact a fair proportion of people don’t like the place, the “ethic”, or the way it quite shamelessly makes a small fortune whilst pretending it’s on a crusade of some kind. It isn’t. Except for its own profit.