Venture capital may be on the rise again, but it's still a far cry from the heady dot-com bubble days. So entrepreneurs are relying on more clever ways of funding their startups. For example, one company claims they've sustained their company by playing online poker. If true, this would not only be one of the most loco funding stories, but it gives more credence to the idea of a poker bubble, in which everyone and their mother is either playing poker or launching some kind of poker venture. Of course, the story itself has the air of publicity stunt written all over it, like the myth of eBay's founding as a way to collect Pez dispensers. The idea that you could consistently win as much as these guys are claiming sounds pretty dubious. Maybe they're just seeking out neophytes, suckers, and drunk Americans at 4:00 AM, but you have to wonder how long that can last. The odds are just not that much in their favor. Regardless, the eBay example shows that a willing press can help propel an interesting story -- true or not -- to legend status. Even if it turns out to be false years later, oh well. The PR gimmick has already done its job.
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