Every year, for the past eight years, Bluff Magazine releases its choices* for the 20 most influential people in poker, the power players in the game. In past years the list has been predominated by players and online poker site owners, but for 2013, with legal online poker on the horizon across the United States, Bluff’s Power 20 list is very heavy on US lawmakers.
Four US lawmakers made the list (well technically three with the fourth being the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board): New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in at #12; New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak landed one spot higher at #11; the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board A.G. Burnett was #10 on the list; and Nevada Senator Harry Reid received the highest ranking amongst the four, landing at #4 on Bluff’s Power 20.
Actual poker players only garnered two spots on the list (three if you count Tony G as a player and not for his role with Party Poker and PokerNews.com) with Antonio Esfandiari taking the #20 spot on the list and Daniel Negreanu coming in at #6.
The rest of the spots are populated mostly by CEO’s and executives in both the live and online poker world. The #1 spot didn’t change from 2012; a very good sign considering what happened to the #1 spot back in 2011… Howard Lederer. In fact, a look at the list of 2011 and from 2013 shows just how much the world of poker has changed in the past two years.
You can see the full list of the Bluff Power 20, including who landed at the #1 spot, HERE: http://www.bluff.com/news/2013-bluff-power-20-pokers-most-influential-people-39651/
So who didn’t make the list? Surprisingly not a single entry went to a person representing a poker advocacy like the AGA or the PPA. There was also no mention of Mason Malmuth, the head honcho at 2+2; Phil Ivey who is not only back at the poker tables but also working on IveyPoker.com; or Jon Friedberg, whose AllVegasPoker.com website is the only legal US poker affiliate at this time. All of these people would have made my list. Another snub might be Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) who is perhaps the biggest champion of online poker in the US House of Representatives.
*Each year BLUFF polls a select group of people from across the poker industry on who they believe are the most influential people in the game today… Voters were given the following instructions “Vote on who you believe has the most positive impact on poker and rank them from 1 – 20.”
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