Today, Friday, October 4, 2013, a new poker movie hits theaters. It’s called “Runner Runner” and it stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake as opposite sides of a dispute about one man’s (Justin Timberlakes) loss of a great sum of money to an online poker site.
Calling it a thriller that set against a backdrop of online poker (actually it’s set in Costa Rica, although more of the film was shot in Puerto Rico) the movie is the most recent from the team of writers/producers Brian Koppleman and David Levien. The movie follows a ruthless offshore online poker site operator played by Affleck, lending to rumors that the film will shed a bad light on online poker and hurt the industry’s efforts to legalize in more states and then the whole U.S.. The producers’ answer to that is to look at the 1998 film “Rounders” (which was written, incidentally by the same dynamic duo) that rallied that same complaints, yet only served to bolster the game of real money high stakes poker, if anything. The writers/producers also swear that they were already working on the film before the 2011 Black Friday debacle hitting sites like Absolute Poker and Ultimate Poker took place, with those events merely serving as validation that they indeed had themselves an urgent and relevant story worth telling.
The Game Show Network offers many different types of shows, and one of the many includes different poker action. GSN definitely took notice of the boom that occurred from both live and online poker over the recent years, and they run a show called “High Stakes Poker”. This show has been running for six full years now, and drew quite a bit of attention especially with the always popular World Series of Poker picking up steam. The news was brought on as the site reported that their lineup for the January season will not include this show after the 2nd.
Unfortunately, this is not the first show to be axed from TV, as we have also seen shows like PokerStars Big Game cancelled, as well as the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship. The main reason for this is the large amount of revenue that was brought in from advertising from the huge poker sites Full Tilt and PokerStars, which completely stopped after Black Friday occurred back in April.
While these other two shows were cut due to the loss of online poker in the United States, there had been rumors spreading about High Stakes Poker for the past few seasons, as the ratings took a bit of a hit when they made a change to the host. The original host of the show was the well-known Gabe Kaplan, and he was replaced by Norm MacDonald.
But what does this all mean for the life of live poker cash games for the future? Well, it’s not looking good, and it seems that the only poker that United States poker fans and players will be able to get for the near future will be live poker tournaments such as the World Poker Tour, and of course the always popular World Series of Poker each Summer when it is played. The main issue was of course the revenue, but players were not able to wear the patches for the sites that they represented while playing the games either, as online poker in the United States is completely banned. We’ll keep you updated if any new live poker action comes to light for the fans to keep their eyes out for in the offseason of the poker tournaments.