If you have ever played in a card club, you know the legend of the $200 magazine. You know, the free magazines that sit by the door that you grab on your way out, thinking "well I might as well get something out of this trip." After dropping $200 on the felt, you get a shiny, beautiful color magazine....your net cost....$200.
Well, the good news is that there are now more magazines sitting by the door, waiting to be swept up. So, next time you are in the club, maybe each magazine you grab only costs you $50. Isn't this explosion in poker great!
Several new poker periodicals are on the shelves, and who knows how many more are to come. BLUFF Magazine is just out with its second issue, which has the imposing figure of Donald Trump on the cover. Bluff is a slick, color looking piece that clocks in at 114 pages.
Also just out, 5th Street Magazine has a lighter take on the poker world. Not as slick looking as some of the others, 5th Street focuses on features, and humorous columns.
Lastly, brace yourself for ALL IN magazine. This slick looking piece was founded by 28-year-old former dot commer Bhu Srinivasan. Srinivasan, the former director of business development with InfoSpace.com, has boasted in interviews that he will "guarantee" advertisers a circulation of 150,000 by February of 2005. Srinivasan has hooked up with the magazine division of media monolith Time Warner to secure distribution for his offering into the poker magazine landscape.
These new magazines join long time poker magazine world heavyweight champion CardPlayer, and the newly glossy (cover at least) Poker Player magazines, which have been providing "free" $200 magazines to poker players for years.
The first question is...even given the boom in poker; can all these magazines survive in what was once a niche space? One major thing these mags have going for them is the plethora of well funded and (in some cases) highly profitable online card rooms in play right now. Flip thru the pages of BLUFF, for example, and you will find ads for twenty different online poker rooms, which make up just under half of the ad pages in total.
So, when (not if, folks....when) the online poker boom settles itself into a stable business, and the profitable sites thrive, while the sites that never got going fade away, will there be enough people wanting to advertise to keep these beautiful magazines on the stands. Only time will tell. But for now, enjoy your four $50 magazines on your way out of the club!