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Ante Up canceled its February print edition, but its co-founder tells CardsChat that it hopes to be back up and running when the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.
The magazine, which has published for 12 years, recently sent out a notice to its customers saying that not enough of its distribution locations have reopened, and it will not publish its planned February issue.
“We’ll continue to hope our country can turn the corner on this terrible virus to allow enough poker rooms to reopen for us to be able to return to producing the quality product we insist on producing,” the notice reads.
Rest of Ante Up’s Operations to Continue
Ante Up plans to continue updating its website, and co-founders Scott Long and Chris Cosenza will continue their weekly podcast, which they’ve produced for 15 years.
Magazine subscriptions will automatically renew for one month, although Long indicated to CardsChat that the hiatus could last longer than that.
Ante Up is tracking poker room reopenings on its website, and Long said that 211 have started back in some capacity. But, not all of those carry Ante Up magazine. Long said current distribution levels won’t provide enough value for advertisers, so he decided to stop publishing for now.
When will the magazine return? He’s not sure.
“It depends on how quickly poker rooms reopen and people feel comfortable going back to the rooms,” he said.
Ante Up was distributed in 282 poker rooms before the pandemic, Long said.
“Hopefully when we resume publishing, we can get that number up to 350 or so,” he said.
Magazine Enjoys Decade-Plus Staying Power
Many poker magazines have come and gone over the past few decades. Some, like Poker Player, started well before the boom before fizzling out in recent years. Others, like Poker Pro and Bluff, started after the Moneymaker boom and had good runs for a few years before the slowing market took its toll.
On the other hand, Ante Up has enjoyed staying power (along with Card Player). Long said the magazine’s regional focus has helped – players who cash in smaller events get to see their name in print, and writers focus on the happenings of smaller poker rooms across the country.
“We run a really lean operation too,” Long said, “so we’ve been able to publish without great expenses.”