The 3 circle of Poker Blogging Hell looked to be a fountain of information for other bloggers. It consisted of the serious player who wanted to discuss strategy. Whether it be cash games or tournaments, this person was serious about their game. They wanted to improve their skills. They wanted to discuss poker. They also would do whatever was necessary to win.
That would be their downfall.
Some of these serious players fit right in. They didn't mind answering the questions others had. They got great enjoyment out of posting how a tournament unfolded, or how they made a tough decision. They admitted defeat and bad plays of their own. But they showed you it was a learning process that they were committed to. They put a lot of time into the game and strive to be a better player. They weren't afraid to admit making a bad play. If it cost them a tournament, they admitted it.
The cash players added a new dimension as well. They helped point out differences between cash games and tournament decisions. To me, it appeared the blogger community was mostly a tournament world. Everyone plays side games but for the most part you would read about tournament success. The thing was the cash player was mainly a live player. The cash player helped others cross over, especially when a trip to Vegas was looming. They others some great tips on where the best games were and when to hit them. They also pointed out some simple tells to help the net based player make the transition.
As I said, the influx of new players helped the community. But it would also begin the division. These players focused on winning. Problem was, it appeared they couldn't handle losing. Especially to players they deemed inferior. They didn't understand the sense of community the others did. It began to show as they started getting very judgemental. They had no problem calling people out on their blogs, blasting them for making a bad play, for getting lucky, for all of things playing the Hammer! They went over the line at times. In some cases it became personal.
Losing was not an option. They had to win. They had to prove to everyone they were the best. This caused a bit of a backlash among the others. For every blogger than provided useful information, there was one who couldn't handle losing and had to blame someone who they perceived had less skill. To point out they had less skill made them feel better. They could care less how others perceived them.
Thus it seemed like there were more bad beat stories than ever before. Hell, some people thought that was what a poker blog was. A place to post your bad beat stories.
The third ring is not filled with bad people. They are quite a mix. Not everyone acted this way. Finding out the truth among them is the hard part. Dealing with them isn't the easiest. It is a toss up. Very good advice versus people thinking it is acceptable to act like an ass. If you could get them away from the poker table and by the bar, you discovered they cool to hang with. They had lives as long as they weren't inhaling the dust from the felt.
This may be the reason why some have left the game or lost their zeal to play. They got sick of being blasted or reading about how others were blasted on blogs. A community that was always open to new people and very encouraging was becoming something different.