The Price is Too High

I spent a great deal of time and effort on my blog last year giving a poker tournament a push and trying to generate a few extra players for the tournament. I really wanted to get as much buzz going as possible for the tournament because I was afraid that the casino would lose too much money on the promotion and would not bring the tournament back again this year. I do not know if my efforts were helpful or not but I did make six separate posts on my blog about the 2009 Jefferson State Poker Stampede.

The good news is that enough players entered the tournament to keep the casino from having to make up the $45,000 guarantee. I am sure it was close and the casino may have pitched in the last thousand or two. The casino was on the hook for all of the advertising and promotional materials. The casino gave away meals and shirts to every player and bought a gold bracelet valued at more than five thousand dollars. The casino spent in excess of ten grand hosting this tournament and there is no way the poker drop made up that kind of money. On the positive side of the ledger there was an increase in both the blackjack and machine drop. I am sure a small bump in food and alcohol sales was also generated.

The tournament brought out a number of poker players from the surrounding communities. I thought the tournament would have a larger draw and bring more out of town players from surrounding areas. I travelled the greatest distance driving over 500 miles from Fresno. I had a great time and the casino really came through with a very well run tournament.

While I was in Crescent City there was talk about bringing in a celebrity poker player to host the tournament in 2010. I was asked if I knew anyone or what it would take to get somebody to come to Crescent City. I mentioned that Jerry Yang and I have talked and he lives just up the road from me. I really do not spend time on the poker circuit anymore and do speak with any of the big celebrities on a regular basis. I of course committed to look into the matter and see what I could come up with.

I made a few calls and contacted the major poker players through their agent. Yes everyone in the poker world has an agent these days. Well suffice it to say the top guys in the poker world are getting paid decent money for making appearances. They are not getting six figure money but it is five figure money. I am not at liberty to get into specifics because every deal is unique and involves many factors. I made some calls and asked if there was a budget for this appearance and if so what kind of money was there to work with. As you can imagine when it was taken to upper management the answer was no. I went from having a very limited small budget to make this happen to having no budget at all.

If there is to be a celebrity at the tournament in 2010 it will have to be arranged through some other means than just an appearance fee. I have tried to think outside the box and find somebody willing to go play in a poker tournament. On the plus side is the natural beauty of the area. On the down side is the remote location and the travel difficulty. The tournament is relatively small to attract a name poker player. Finally, the dates being December 30 and 31 makes it hard for many people who prefer to spend New Years Eve in party mode. I even had a friend that was going to the Rose Bowl and could not make the tournament. The deck looks stacked against me and I have no idea who would make the trip to host a poker tournament in Crescent City.

The simple answer is you pay somebody to be there.

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