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Spending time at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as I have done for the past seven years gets one rather acquainted with understanding poker culture and what poker players want. Whether you’re a star poker player or just someone who plays poker free on the Internet, you probably share a few personality characteristics. At the WSOP, with ESPN cameras crawling around everywhere, one begins to understand poker from a unique and intimate perspective that can’t be replicated from anywhere behind a computer.

Here, I’ll cover some of the key characteristics of the WSOP and poker players alike to help affiliates understand more about this culture and what their players want.

1. WSOP is chaotic.

I’ve never been on a Wall Street trading floor, but I imagine that environment to be pretty similar to the WSOP with the main difference being that everyone at the WSOP is concealing their frenzied demeanor behind a calm poker face.

Literally millions of dollars are changing hands every day at Rio in Las Vegas during the WSOP. Much of this equity is swapped directly in the WSOP events themselves, but quite a lot more action exists in smaller “non-bracelet” events as well as in the multitude of 24-hour cash games.

Most everyone at the WSOP is there on a mission to get their hands on a lot of money. This creates an environment where personal relationships and interactions are emphasized secondary to everyone’s own personal schedule. So despite being in the same room as thousands of like-minded people, the WSOP can be rather lonely.

An important lesson to take away from this chaotic culture is that poker players tend to have limited attention span. Everyone is on their own mission and agenda. Whatever free time anyone has is spent on their iPad or smartphone. It’s not nearly as much of a social event as it might seem to an uninitiated spectator.

I believe one common characteristic of any successful marketing effort aimed towards poker players is concision. Poker players generally found their way into the game as a result of their short attention span for a more “normal” money-making existence. With this crowd, make your point and make it quickly.


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