What's next for the PokerStars Blog?
This week, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the PokerStars Blog with a series of articles looking back on the blog's history and the people who make it what it has become.
It's a curious thing. When you're working at an EPT for the PokerStars Blog you don't often plan anything further ahead than the article you're writing at that moment. It's only later that you sit down to consider the bigger picture.
But while the most important post is the one you're working on, working for the PokerStars Blog always includes time spent thinking about what could be better, what worked, what didn't, and how to go about improving it. The proof of that process is in how the Blog has evolved over the past ten years.
Back in the early days things were a little different, but only because the poker landscape was different. As that changed, with the birth of brand new tours and an enormous influx of players from around the world, so too did the Blog. It became a hub for news and information about the PokerStars world, which now features the biggest poker tournaments in the world. But we always looked for ways to improve because, well, we can't help it.
So as we round off this tenth anniversary week on the PokerStars Blog, clearing up the streamers and half eaten jelly and ice cream, it seems a good time to ask what's next for the Blog, and which direction we can expect it to go in the next ten years. What will we be remembering in April 2025 as the Blog turns 20?
So while we're in the mood to be fanciful, let's look ahead to that time, when cars drive themselves, the Wi-Fi always works and we each finally get our long-promised jet-pack. How different will poker reporting look?
New technology is already making anything possible. Theoretically at least the machinery exists to count chips, even report hands electronically, albeit for an impractical fee. So while Replicants might one day tell you how Daniel Negreanu busted from a Super High Roller, the old system of paper and pen, complete with a hieroglyphic scrawl set to puzzle archaeologists thousands of years from now ("Doctor Livingston, what do you think '++175 utg w AKo' means?"), will stick around for a while yet, and we'll kick Johnny 5 in the chassis if he tells you otherwise.
But how different could it be? Maybe one day you'll switch on your computer to visit an online representation of a live EPT tournament room, allowing you to follow the action on the table you choose, with each hand recorded automatically by microchip, noted for later scrutiny. And hey, let's put a swiveling camera in the middle of the table so you can watch too, whether at home, on a mobile device, or in the virtual reality goggles we'll all be wearing by then. Scratch that, drones. Let's have drones!
You get the idea.
The fact is we don't know how live reporting will change. But what we do know is that those moments, the pauses in play as author James McManus calls them, will be where the real story lurks, and where we'll be lurking too. After all, if we've tried to show anything over the past decade, it's that the story is not always about the cards, and the best story is not always that of the winner.
So while over the coming months you might notice a few changes in the way the blog looks and how you use it, the content will remain of the same high standard you've come to expect, holding firm to our unofficial maxim that it should be accurate, comprehensive, and entertaining.
But we want to hear what you think. Send us your thoughts and ideas about the Blog to our Twitter account (find us @PokerStarsBlog). What would you like to see, and how do you think things will change in the future? And remember, we requested jetpacks and drones, so why not be as optimistic as you like.
In the meantime, stop by and say hi next time you see us at an EPT or any PokerStars event around the world. Then tell us your story.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.