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By now you’ve probably heard what the 2005 World Series of Poker main event Champion Joe Hachem has had to say about the newer champions of poker. In a recent video filmed by the Bluff team at the 2014 Aussie Millions he claims that in his opinion “Gold And Yang destroyed the world champ legacy”

Those are some strong words right? He even goes on to make a lot more points about the state of the game today, so if you’ve not had the chance to watch it then do so now:

Mike Sexton: My Take On The Matter:

“I would agree with Joe Hachem that the World Champion should (or wish they would) be an ambassador for poker, but like he says, “You can’t make them do it. They have to want to do it.”

“I said for years that poker never really grew because the vast majority of past World Champions – just never gave back or promoted the game. They took the money and preferred to stay quiet – which was their right – but it didn’t help promote the game.

Joe said the last five champions (all pretty quiet & reserved) were under 25, so time will tell. But so far, it seems like they prefer to stay out if the limelight.

What we really need is for a bright, nice-looking, young woman to win the main event at the WSOP.  When that happens, poker will explode like you won’t believe possible.” ~Mike Sexton

Now it’s your turn

So do you agree with Mike and what’s your thoughts on the whole matter? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. I agree with both. Poker is indeed falling apart and thats very sad. But we have to keep going and do what we love most wich just is: Playing poker :D

      • Well, I’m actually playing poker for a month now and Im loving it. But when I go to friends and I say that I play alot of poker on PartyPoker, they always say “Why are you doing that, its addicitve” and “It will only cost you money”.

        And I think thats the problem. The people who are already playing keep playing because they know how the game works. People who are new are afraid to play this beautiful game because they think they will spend all their money to it. Even if you tell them you can also go for play money.

        That said, the thing about the younger winners in the Poker circuit these days is a very difficult issue. Loads of younger players like myself are starting to play because they want to make a profit out of it. But that is the wrong perspective. People should play because its fun and see it more as a hobby.

        I think there is one solution to this problem and this is the reason I went for PartyPoker to start with: Poker needs to be an open game. A game with high service and clear rules or requierments. Organising more live tournaments with very low buy-ins would be an option. More advertising with having fun instead of advertising with how much money you can win. Why would someone want to play a $2000 dollar buy in tournament when they know there are way better people then them in the field? Then they can not have fun, because the chance that they will lose is kinda big and they are thinking about the $2000 all the time. So they cant play 2-5 suited raising pre flop and then catching a 2 on the river to make a full house vs aces. Thats fun!

        I think advertising on the $1 or $2 dollar tournaments would be a very good one. “Hey, the tournament is only $1 dollar! I can have fun for like 5 hours playing a fun game and I have a chance to win 80 dollars as well!”. I think thats a better approach of the situation. Advertising with the fun of the game would be better than advertising with the money. But thats my point of view.

        Well that was a very long view from my own, but since I rolled into this game Im really trying to promote it to friends and other people I know and Im investing alot of time in it.

        If I can ever help you guys, please let me know cause I love you marketing strategies, ways of service, how the site looks and much more :D

        PS. What do you guys think of this issue?

  2. I believe poker is in a period of complete stagnance. Hachem touches on the negatives of Yang and Gold which is justified. However, those two winning also drives traffic to the game by inviting beginner/intermediate players to believe that they have a shot at winning major tournaments. Without question, wins by Gold and Yang is discouraging to professionals such as Hachem due to the fact they are perceived as undeserving of the glory and honor of the title. Winning a WSOP bracelet is a crowning moment and should be treated as such. The request of young players to become ambassadors is Hachem’s opinion which he is entitled to. One of the major points he makes is the importance of poker to be treated as a social outlet to expand the game. Yes, poker is work for some who despise the concept of a controlled 9-5 work environment with a boss to report to. But, in order to maintain that job many players, generally younger (myself included) must take responsibility to create a welcoming setting to entice weaker players to return to the game. This past main event final table displayed how poker is not growing. Much may be attributed to Black Friday but sites such as Party Poker’s emergence in New Jersey is a great opportunity to draw attention back to the game we love. Plain and simple anyone who considers poker to be their passion and form of income, must commit to stepping outside their comfort zone to invite amateurs to play!