Poker Central and ESP Gaming are taking care of their children, building a 10,000 sq.ft multi-purpose studio at the ARIA to record and broadcast live poker and esports events.
The world is changing, folks.
I sit in Starbucks 8:18 am on a Sunday morning tapping away at the keys that pay my rent, the sound of Ólafur Arnalds tickling my tinnitus. A couple of grandparents in their 50s sit opposite me. Both spectacled; hiding from the world like Clark Kent. Like most couples, they look the same. Only those bits we shall not speak of are different and the beard.
Two cups of coffee sit in front of them, steam rising into the ether. Neither of them speaks. There is no eye contact. Both have a mobile phone in hand.
She is no doubt Googling ‘How to help someone wean a child off the breast’ so she can give tips to her daughter (she never breastfed), and he is likely trawling through Instagram gawking at the jiggly bits of faux-models.
Maybe he is a wife beater.
They hate each other’s guts.
But I know this.
The world is changing, folks.
A Boy is Hiding in His Nan’s Playing Video Games; Poker Central Create a New Studio
Yesterday, my sister babysat so I could watch Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. One of her sons accompanied her. The other had been locked in a room at his grandparents since the Easter holidays began of his accord.
This kid, barely into his teens, doesn’t much care for the world. He finds people and the things that people do – boring. He lives inside a digital world, playing Overwatch, Players Unknown Battleground, and watching others do the same on Twitch and YouTube.
And we laugh at him.
At social gatherings, we talk about him as if he isn’t there.
And he isn’t.
He’s checked out, secretly hoping that there is poison in our Ruby Murray. He will cackle when he leaves, the cable from his Turtle Beach Recons tickling our corpses.
And this is why Poker Central’s decision to create a new studio in partnership with ESP Gaming is the right thing to do.
It’s what their audience wants them to do.
The New Studio; ARIA and The Word ‘Poker’
The engineers have constructed the new gaff at the ARIA Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The home of Poker Central. Word on the street has it that Poker Central was always going to have a custom-built studio for PokerGO exclusives, when someone said, “Hello, what happens when everyone realises that poker as a form of entertainment is as barbaric as reading Herge’s Adventures of Tintin in the public library?”
ESP Gaming, who we learned was a part of the Poker Central team at Christmas, got hold of the blueprints, and now the studio is multi-purpose. It’s a quaint venue (10,000 sq.ft) can house 300 people (120 fans). It will become the home for live esports events like the Vainglory Premier League (the mobile esports league created by Super Evil Megacorp). Esports tournament organisers can film esports events at the studio and beam them live. ESP Gaming Prez, Jeff Liboon, said the decision to create a smaller venue allows them to focus on a more VIP experience.
Maybe it’s time for poker companies with plans of grandeur to stop putting the word ‘poker’ into their branding?
The Global Poker League walked into a problem when its founder, Alex Dreyfus, realised that poker was a mere beauty spot on the decadent face of esports. Poker Central and PokerGO are figuring it out, also. Expect a change of name within the next few years.
A bottle of champagne will strike the temple of the new studio on May 16 when PokerGO broadcasts live coverage of Poker After Dark.
It’s the second esports arena in situ on the Las Vegas strip, and the other one also has poker running in its blood. The Esports Arena Las Vegas at The Luxor is the result of a partnership between MGM Resorts International and Allied Esports. The latter is a subsidiary of Ourgame International Holdings Ltd, the owners of the World Poker Tour (WPT).
Adam Pliska and the gang have plans to use the venue for WPT action later this year. And Pliska has mentioned that part of his 2018+ brief is to learn how to integrate esports and poker to provide more value for the kids who hide in grandparents homes, as the flagrantly hypocritical occupants sit in Starbucks ignoring each other in this ever-changing world of ours.