A look back at the 2011 in poker

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As we near the end of the year, it always seems natural to reflect on the past 12 months. We especially like that this period of reflection comes just after Thanksgiving, because despite whatever troubles we’ve endured over the year, there’s always more of which for us to be thankful. Here’s a look back at 2011:

MORE POKER ON LAND …: We saw poker rooms open in Louisiana, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere, proving demand for poker is anything but waning. And new games were dealt in Atlantic City, Florida and beyond, introducing players to alternatives to no-limit hold’em.

… AND LESS POKER ONLINE: Black Friday and Black Monday turned the poker world upside down and we learned which online companies had players’ best interests at heart and which did not.

BIG TOURNAMENTS GET BIGGER … : A rejuvenated World Poker Tour introduced its regional events, bringing the WPT experience to thousands of more players, while the World Series of Poker Circuit events continued to shatter attendance records.

… AND TOURNAMENT RULES GET STRONGER: The Tournament Directors Association held its once-every-two-years summit and refined the rules that ensure we get a fair deal when we enter a tournament anywhere TDA rules are used.

HEROES WERE HONORED … : Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, while Margie Heintz, Phyllis Caro and Kristy Gazes were added to the Women in Poker Hall of Fame. Worthy recognition for five who deserve it.

… AND POKER ROOMS WERE HEROIC: Floods devastated towns all along the Mississippi River, a hurricane threatened the Eastern Seaboard and a tornado devastated Joplin, Mo. In every case, poker rooms and their employees stepped in to help those who needed help the most.

ANTE UP EXPANDS . . . : Your favorite poker magazine is available coast to coast, anteupmagazine.com has added new features and our cruises have explored new destinations.

… AND WE’RE NOT DONE YET: No two people are as excited for 2012 as we are. We enjoy working hard to inform, engage and entertain players wherever they play. We’ll see you at the tables in 2012.

— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long