No Second Poker Boom ImminentDecember 24, 2014 1:25 pm
An interesting article written by Steve Ruddock this week painted a rather realistic, if not gloomy, picture of the online poker industry going into 2015. According to the journalist, online poker enjoyed a boom between 2003-2006 thanks mainly to a unique “convergence of innovation and circumstances” which led to it being in the “right place at the right time”, something which cannot now be recreated. Therefore, Ruddock concludes, the industry should not look back, but forward as in attempts to maintain what it does currently have.
Circumstances are different now since new hole card technology was invented, and Chris Moneymakers’ 2003 WSOP Main Event victory via a $39 satellite pushed the novelty of online poker to a whole new level. For starters, gamers have a greater variety of online entertainments to enjoy now than back then, including Fantasy Sports, social games, apps, and streaming videos.
Another crucial factor is that the skill level of poker players is so much higher now, that operators are no longer able to market their product as they did in the past as a game which anyone could win. These days, poker is viewed more as a gambling game for skilled practitioners, something which is not lost on new players that soon learn that without serious study that they will lose their bankrolls at the virtual tables quicker than most other gambling games. This, of course, is likely to be a big deterrent for would be poker players.
Unfortunately, all the study and books written on the subject of poker has also taken away much of the mystique and romanticism associated with the game, and while the game is still more popular than its pre-boom days, it has certainly dropped off the radar of many young males. Even PokerStars has embraced casino games as a means of improving its base line, while land-based casinos have also cut back on the poker options they currently offer. As poker reporter Lee Davy wrote earlier this year:
“The brick and mortar casinos couldn’t care less for the poker players. They are at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to the ecology of making money. But for every tilted poker player there is a roulette wheel smiling and poking its tongue out of the corner of its mouth. Come and give me a kiss. They were never short of kisses.”