FHM poker school will rid gambling of `the smell of old men'

The men's monthly wants to grab some Vegas glam rather than high street bookie gloom.

Girls in bikinis and pub humour are no longer enough to cut it in the world of men's magazines, prompting the leading men's monthly, FHM, to stake its future on the world of poker. Over the next six months, the title will attempt to turn its three million, predominantly 16- to 34-year-old readers into poker aces as well as hosting a "wooden" online poker competition (meaning no money will change hands).

The top 10 players will then be invited to London to battle it out for a pounds 10,000 cash prize, before gaining entry to a professional poker tournament where their progress will be filmed for a television show on Bravo.

The campaign is the brainchild of David Pullan, the new managing director of FHM Worldwide, who is responsible for the 28 editions of the men's title around the world.

FHM has teamed up with the US-based online World Poker Exchange as well as Flextech-owned Bravo and the London dance music radio station Kiss FM (like FHM, part of the Emap group) to promote the game.

Pullan deliberately chose a partner in America, where poker has achieved the status of a fashionable rite of passage. "One of the problems with a lot of traditional forms of gambling is the smell of old men associated with them," he says.

"American brands, particularly in poker, have a more aspirational sheen. It's that whole Vegas thing, Ocean's Eleven. The bookie on Streatham High Street doesn't quite impart the same feeling of glamour."

In the magazine, FHM readers will find "non-didactic" poker tips on the etiquette of the game and how to bluff, while online they can view tutorial videos "delivered by a model wearing an evening gown rather than a bloke in a tux".

Pullan says the TV programme following the FHM winners will be a bit like the Channel 4 hit show Faking It. "It's got all that dramatic tension around how our plucky amateurs will get on. But the difference here is you're not trying to win a horse trial or a cooking competition. There's a million-dollar pot."

Formerly head of marketing at Five, he admits that FHM as a brand has "probably not been fully exploited to the maximum effect". As part of his remit to create an FHM brand that stretches beyond the magazine, he is keen to expand further into television, as well as embracing the internet and mobile phones.

In another joint venture with Bravo, FHM has made a half-hour documentary about its popular "High Street Honeys" competition, charting the progress of the winner from girl next door to cover star.

Talks are also under way to create a fully fledged FHM spin-off show based around the magazine's catch phrase "funny, sexy, useful".

"The biggest problem is that replicating magazine content on television is hugely expensive. One feature in FHM is a half-hour documentary on Channel 4. You have to think laterally," says Pullan.

Promoting the magazine across a number of platforms has become more urgent in the face of fresh competition from the new men's weeklies Nuts and Zoo. Pullan insists that FHM has hardly been affected by the success of these titles, thanks to its decision not to take them on in the areas where they excel because of their quick turnaround - sport, topical news stories and entertainment.

"The strategy was to make FHM feel like an indulgence, something you buy because it sits on your table for a full four weeks, with different girls, time-relevant rather than topical information and we really focus on making it funny."

News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Content Manager

    £26000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Content Manager is re...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior .Net Application Developer

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    £14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...

    Recruitment Genius: Continuous Improvement Manager

    £41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee