Sunday, September 10, 2006

Milwaukee's Best Light Offers "PC" WSOP Promotion

Here's the tale of a poker-themed press release where you can smell the political pandering in the very first phrase. Surely, I jest? I think not; judge for yourself:

"Poker Creations, the leader in US-compliant online poker promotion tournaments...:

Yeah. It's always good when you start with the spin, rather than introducing it sometime after the matter at hand itself. What this release actually deals with is Milwaukee's Best Light Beer, one of the big corporate sponsors of the WSOP, coming back with a second year of their own in-house WSOP promotion. In this year's version, seven fully paid seats into the 2007 WSOP Main Event will be awarded, but after reading the release, I don't think I'll be trying for any of these seats... or drinking any Beast Light.

But it's how Milwaukee's Best Light serves this one up that gets my goat. Here's a bit more from the contest announcement:

"According to the New York Times, there are more than 65 million poker players in the US. But, live-money Internet poker sites are considered illegal. The US House of Representatives recently adopted HR4777, 'The Internet Gaming Prohibition Act'. This combined with US Attorneys arresting a UK-based sportsbook CEO, have caused US-based brand owners and media properties to re-evaluate how to align themselves with this burgeoning new audience."

Wow. So, to further promote Year Two of a contest that they were going to run anyway, Beast Light tosses its corporate hat into the "online poker is illegal" crowd, infers that the House bill has actually become law (it hasn't), and basically does everything it can do smear the general competition.

Promotions are supposed to be about good times and values, not about fear and divisiveness, and since the Beast Light game takes place on the Internet, they're starting out by alienating a large part of Beast Light's presumed target audience --- people willing to play poker on their computers. But, somehow, the asshats at Poker Creations and Beast Light don't seem to be able to think about that one --- they'd rather try to frighten people into drinking their cheap beer.

That's what cowardice will do.

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