There’s been a lot less poker on television since Black Friday, but if reality TV’s your thing, you might enjoy the Survivor-style deception going on in Black Hawk lately — even if the victim of that deception does not.
The Isle Casino at Black Hawk has been making a big push to increase its presence in the Black Hawk/Central City poker scene, an initiative helped by landing Colorado’s first World Poker Tour regional tournament. The event runs Oct. 5–12, and satellites are running now.
However, if you follow Internet buzz, you might have thought the tournament was off. The confusion originated from a post that appeared on Backpage.com under the title “WPT not coming to Colorado!”
The author of the post claimed to be Matthew Dodd, the Isle’s poker manager, though a close reading makes it clear that’s false. The post claimed that the WPT had pulled out, with the pseudo-Dodd providing all sorts of mea culpas, including apologies to Black Hawk’s Golden Gates Casino and links to the Gates’ tournament websites.
The sham was pretty transparent, but it looked believable enough at first glance to have the discussion boards abuzz.
For the record, it was all bogus. Dodd confirmed the tournament was never in jeopardy, though he couldn’t comment specifically on the misinformation campaign, which suggests the Isle is taking this seriously. That’s understandable since even a few potential entrants failing to participate because of fraud affects the tournament.
“I cannot discuss the disinformation at this time,” (the actual) Dodd said. “The entire situation is under investigation. Rest assured, the WPT is going on as scheduled and as planned.”
He went on to note the Isle was running sit-n-go satellites daily beginning at noon, and that advertising efforts have been effective in generating buzz from players in Colorado and out of state.
To be clear, there’s no suggestion the Gates had any involvement with the fake post, though the poster certainly tried to imply as much. A call to the Gates for comment was not returned, though we’ll try again.
Meanwhile, it so happens the Gates put on a big event, too. The Mile High Poker Open marked the 10th Heartland Poker Tour event the casino hosted. The main event, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 2, will be nationally televised in December.
— Rick Gershman is Ante Up’s Colorado Ambassador. You can email him at email@example.com.