The problem with the World Series of Poker is because there is no barrier to entry beyond a fee, the tournament is flooded with amateur competitors, and the law of averages invariably finds many of them, and not the sport’s best, in the final, big-money games. Jeffrey Pollack, a veteran of Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and NASCAR front offices (as well as the American Jewish Congress’), is looking to change that with his new Epic Poker, which invites only those who statistically qualify as among the the best.
Today in Tablet Magazine, Steve Friess gets to the heart of this indelibly Jewish innovator. “The professional hockey, baseball, and basketball leagues are all helmed by Jews, who have all brought to the promotion of sports a legacy of entertainment management,” Friess writes. “Growing up watching sports from the stands may have given executives like Pollack a broader view of the product—and what the viewer wants—than the athlete-focused marketing of the past.”