In Part 1 of this post, I described the new marketing ploy by Dr. Jack Berdy, a New York City doctor of aesthetic medicine, to boost BOTOX® sales by claiming it will help poker players hide their “tell” more effectively. Read it here to learn the details. And now, onto Part 2…
Calling Berdy’s Bluff
So how do poker players feel about Dr. Berdy’s new “invention?” So far, the response is an overwhelming “Don’t believe the hype!” It been more than two weeks since he’s started promoting “Pokertox” to gamblers, and not one poker player has called him to schedule a procedure.
Ouch. Dr. Berdy was hoping poker players would go all-in and help him rake in the pot. Despite tremendous upside to this gimmick (which theoretically can still pay off for him), it seems like Dr. Berdy will walk away from this gamble with nothing more than the shirt on his back.
Several professional poker players have commented on the idea. The reviews all sing a familiar refrain – Pokertox won’t improve your game or help you win big.
Josh Hale, a player who competes on the World Poker Tour, believes “Pokertox” is about 15 years past its expiration date. “The game has moved on from bluffs, and is more analytical these days,” said Hale. “Players might look at physical tells, but they are relying more on betting patterns and bet sizing.”
Jay Melancon, a professional poker player for more than 10 years, believes the cost of “Pokertox” will ultimately ruin its chances of success. “Plastic surgery is expensive,” he said. “You’d have to play in very high-stakes games to make it worth it, and if you have a ‘tell’ that is that obvious, you shouldn’t be playing in those games.”
Melancon’s logic is very sound. After all, you will need to go for “Pokertox” injections every 3-4 months in order to continue reaping the benefits. That gets pretty pricey.
Money for Nothing (and Your Chicks for Free)
Let’s be honest here. Dr. Berdy has not created anything new. “Pokertox” is not some revolutionary innovation that is going to take the gambling world by storm. He hasn’t invented some new technique that has never been done before.
“Pokertox” is Botox. He has just given it a fancy new name and marketed the procedure to a demographic of people who have never typically valued it. And judging by the overwhelming response to Berdy’s promotion, they still don’t.
I credit Dr. Berdy for trying to earn a little money for nothing, but at the same time I’m glad his bogus idea crapped out. I mean, it is a really silly idea.
But let’s look at some other examples of people who essentially earned money for nothing. By that, I mean they rehashed an idea already out there and tried to peddle it using another name:
- X Factor – Is it just me, or did Simon Cowell quit American Idol in order to start a new show that is EXACTLY THE SAME but with a different name? Why does no one else see this? Why do people watch?
- Star Wars “Special Edition” – For those of you who think The Phantom Menace was the beginning of the end for the Star Wars franchise, I would argue that its demise began a bit earlier. Just like millions of other people, I was duped into spending money to re-watch the original Star Wars trilogy in the theaters in the late 90s after George Lucas claimed his “Special Edition” version contained significant improvements from the original versions. To my dismay, all I saw was a stupid additional scene between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt and a few revamped explosions that were marginally better than the original ones. The end result for Lucas – millions of dollars in movie sales and a new generation of kids to sell Luke Skywalker action figures to. The worst part of this “remake” is you can never find the original versions on TV or DVD anymore.
- “Ice Ice Baby” – I still laugh when I think about Vanilla Ice’s defiant insistence that “Ice Ice Baby” was original and unique because it had a rhythmic variation in the song’s sample that only he could detect. Sorry buddy, you ripped off “Under Pressure” note for note and in the process, you made a mockery out of a classic.
- The entire Tom Cruise movie catalog – For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, Tom Cruise got rich by making the same movie (Top Gun) over and over again. Same plot arc, same cheesy drama, different names and locations. Consider the evidence (to name a few) – Cocktail is Top Gun in a bar, Days of Thunder is Top Gun in a race car, Jerry Maguire is Top Gun in a sports agent’s office, and A Few Good Men is Top Gun in a court room (sort of ). At least he gave us a bit part in Tropic Thunder to buck the trend.
Poor Dr. Berdy. He wasn’t as smart as Simon Cowell or George Lucas or Vanilla Ice or Tom Cruise. But you never know, maybe a couple of down-on-their-luck poker players will still bet big on Pokertox out of desperation. And if by some chance one of these sad sacks gets lucky and wins the World Series of Poker, Dr. Berdy may actually hit the jackpot.
If you are a poker player in New York City who actually thinks BOTOX® may help give you the edge you need in your next tournament, you should probably look for a new hobby. But if you really want to give this crackpot method a shot, please find an experienced facial plastic surgeon or med spa to schedule your initial BOTOX® consultation. At least you can be confident your injections will be administered safely, even if you are still destined to lose at poker.