Sneak peek at Bluff Magazine's 2012 Top 20 and PokerStars' ZOOM poker

Bluff Magazine Top 20This week we take a closer look (again) at ZOOM poker and we look at the BLUFF top 20 of most influential people in the world of poker.

We start off with a subject we touched on last week and that is ZOOM Poker, PokerStars’ equivalent of RUSH Poker as introduced by FullTilt Poker three years ago or so. On the poker forums people have been trying out the game in BETA version as it has not gone “live” and the reports so far are a bit mixed.

PokerStars will undoubtedly be able to have an even larger player pool than FullTilt did. That is good for the variety of the games on offer, and this is seen as very positive by the (limited) amount of players that have tried it out in play money mode so far. A very worrying negative, however, is that the game seems slower than the original RUSH version. This could very well be due to the fact that the game is played on different servers than the “real money” games on Stars and this causes probably the slight delay that players have felt when moving tables. It looks like our Canadian friends and the rest of the world will soon be able to log 200 hands per hour on what is basically one table of poker. We can only imagine the amount of players PokerStars might get in the player pool and how many tables a player can have open at once, but it looks like 4,000 hands per hour will be reachable for the super grinders. Currently 800-1000 hands per level seems the limit on the test client, as one can only have 4 entries in the same player pool, but if you spread your limits 4,000 could very well be reached. Let’s hope the game goes live soon so we can all find out.

Now onto a list that is “just a list,” but one revered in the world of poker. The Bluff Magazine 2012 Top 20 list of influential people in the world of poker will be coming out in their next issue, but Color Up Poker Blog would not be on the ball if we didn’t already have the list.

Let it be known that the voters were asked to vote for people that have had a “mainly” positive influence on the poker community.

This means that 2011’s #1 Howard Lederer has disappeared of the list completely, as could have been predicted. More surprising is that Preet Bharara, the US district Attorney for New York, made it to the Top 5. Looks like some people liked that all the poker rooms got closed down for Americans!

The #1 on the list is Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars remains the best poker site in the world to play on for those that are legally allowed. Recently has made a large impact on the poker world, as this is the new client where Scandinavian players as well as Romanian, Slovakian and some other Europeans have been put together. They still play against Mexicans and Canadians, but there is no inter-client player-to-player transfer anymore, so for the staking community it has become a bit of a pain in the backside. Still, Isai Scheinberg is seen as a god in the poker community and without a big breakthrough in online poker legislation for the United States, it looks like he might hang on to the top spot for a few more years.

Places 2 and 4 are held by CEOs of companies looking to make an impact on poker in the States as soon as it gets legal with the Feds. Bwin.Party CEO, Jim Ryan, is at #2 and Caesars’ Mitch Garbe is at #4. In the middle of these two is Harry Reid, who is trying to make online poker in the States possible with a new law, and if he manages to do so Harry might just jump to #1 in the rankings by this time next year.

Strangely enough, there is only ONE poker player on the top 20 list this year, and Daniel Negreanu deservedly takes that place at #9. This is testament to his longevity in the poker world and the likeability he has amongst his peers and outsiders.

NEVER has a place on the Top 20 been taken by a Gaming Commissioner, but this year the Nevada Gaming Commissioner named Lipparelli made the top 10. This is mainly due to the fact that if Caesars and Bwin.Party (see #2 and #4) want to set up intrastate gaming in Nevada they will need Mr. Lipparelli’s approval.

All in all, it is easy to say that Black Friday has had a large impact on the list, and at least half of the names on the list would not have been there without Black Friday. This also means the fact that Scheinberg is yet again in the top 5 and that Daniel Negreanu is in the top 10 is something to be extremely proud of for these gentlemen, as they remained in spite of all the turmoil.

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