Celebrity News: If you thought the Kardashian/Jenner clan had infiltrated just about every aspect of entertainment and pop culture they could, you may want to think again, because some of their latest headlines concern Khloe Kardashian and celebrity poker.
As it happens, poker as a pop culture phenomenon is perhaps in a little bit of trouble, and celebrity interest can sometimes give it a boost. It’s quite clear that poker isn’t as popular as it was in the early-2000s when World Series of Poker events regularly occupied prime hours on ESPN’s family of networks. Now, we’re seeing things like the recent launch of Poker Night LIVE, a CBS Sports Network project that by all accounts has done rather poorly. The idea was to regularly televise poker with a talk-show aspect, as well as celebrity guests. However, ratings are sparse and disappointing, despite the fact that the idea for the show came about because of poker’s ongoing popularity as a spectator activity on Twitch.
The show’s struggle could also be indicative of broader changes in how the public thinks of poker these days. While the game remains immensely popular and likely will for a long time, it’s now thought of as much as a digital game as one played on felt tables between famous figures. The number of poker sites and casino platforms online and on mobile app these days is astounding, as is the convenience with which people can play with real money gambling. Some sites allow you to deposit via your phone bill, and others take third-party payment providers such as PayPal and Skrill, making it easy for amateurs to play electronic poker in a way that imitates the real thing. This is about playing and betting more than watching, but it still warps how people think of poker. It’s not necessarily the same game we were all watching on TV 15 years ago in a lot of people’s minds.
But that can change quickly when celebrities get involved, which is why it’s of interest when someone with as big a name as Khloe Kardashian has anything to do with an event. Recently, she did just that, heading to a Hollywood celebrity poker event with her friend Scott Disick (and showing off her impressively slim and trim body post-childbirth in the process). She also sat down at a table to play with Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent recently. We don’t know of any further plans, but judging by these summer appearances in celebrity circles, Kardashian appears to be poised to become the latest A-list celebrity who’s known for her love of the poker tables.
That isn’t to suggest that she’ll revitalize poker as a televised sport by herself. But given that Kardashian is about the biggest name in the world in pop culture and entertainment, she has the power to give it a boost just by showing up.