Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is Poker Over?

I don't really think so, but I have been surprised in the past couple of days to find my editors at The New York Times and Newsweek completely uninterested in next week's start of the World Series of Poker's Main Event. All good fads must come to an end, sure, but I suspect that the ESPN's WSOP broadcasts get better ratings than some of the sports covered regularly by the Times -- tennis and NHL hockey come to mind. Plus, this year has so many great themes going on, what with the return of poker black sheep Jamie Gold (the NYT did let me break the story of his confessing to breaking rules last year) and the superhot question of just how the Congressional ban on Americans using their credit cards to play poker online will lower the WSOP Main Event population. Only USA Today really seems to "get" it -- they've run a special section at the onset of WSOP Season two years in a row.

We still care, of course, and I've got a really big piece on the Venus-and-Serena of poker, Annie Duke and Howard Lederer, coming out in this Saturday's Boston Globe. (They grew up in Concord, N.H., part of the Globe's New England reach.)

We've now posted both the Duke and Lederer interviews, both of them with a lot of interesting discussion of their odd childhood, their careers and the state of poker these days. Hear Annie here or right-click here to download it and listen to it whenever you want. And hear Howard here or right-click here to download it.

What do you think? Is disinterest from the mainstream media a sign that poker, at least as a national craze, has run its course?