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Twitter sweeps the PokerRoad nation
With a little help from the increasingly popular social networking and micro-blogging service Twitter, PokerRoad has set about revolutionizing poker tournament coverage at the 2009 WSOP.
"We're really opening up the box, letting people behind the ropes and giving them a feel for what the World Series of Poker experience is all about," said PokerRoad President Joe Sebok, who co-founded the site with his father, legendary pro Barry Greenstein.
Twitter is a service for people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of 140 character messages called "tweets" that are viewable to anyone following you or searching your name on the Twitter site.
Twitter's popularity has exploded throughout the entire online world and began creeping into poker over the past few months with media outlets and well known players "tweeting" about life on the tournament trail.
Before long, top players were tweeting chip counts and the outcome of key hands, giving anyone following them on Twitter the opportunity to come along through the ups and downs of a high-stakes poker tournament.
Now, the PokerRoad Nation has brought them all together under one roof.
Using Sebok and Greenstein's cache in the industry, PokerRoad has convinced a bevy of top pros, including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke and more, to tweet throughout the events they're playing this summer in Las Vegas.
Fans can simply click through to the PokerRoad Nation Twitter updates page on the site and follow along.
"We're really pulling back the curtain and giving the fans a chance to feel what it's like being here," added Sebok.
Tweeting pros place an event specific hash tag and the end of their micro-blogs so viewers can follow particular tournaments.
Plus the site offers unique filters giving readers the opportunity to follow WSOP bracelet winners, traditional media sources like PokerListings or players in the PokerRoad family including Sebok and Greenstein.
"It's awesome," Sebok said. "You can really see who tilts, who can take beats and just what people are thinking and doing throughout a tournament."
Just the other day, Daniel Alaei kept up the tweets on the way to his second WSOP gold bracelet win in the $10k Omaha 8 World Championship and Greenstein and Negreanu were tweet-bluffing each other while sitting at the same table in another event.
But Sebok says the PokerRoad Nation is about more than just getting inside the minds of top pros.
In fact, anyone can sign up and add to the PokerRoad Twitter feed, commenting on pro tweets, critiquing plays from home or updating their own progress in a World Series of Poker event so friends and family can follow along.
"Every player has a voice; not just the notables and that's really what PokerRoad has really always tried to do," Sebok said. "We want to take fans into the poker world, not just report about it.
"The PokerRoad Nation is really the next step in that."
Sebok admits Twitter and the PokerRoad Nation will never replace traditional poker coverage and the work of hundreds of journalists who come to cover the World Series of Poker from all over the planet, but it can certainly enhance it.
"I think we are revolutionizing poker coverage," he said. "For the first time we're really giving the fans a chance to get involved."