Sweeping iPoker Changes To Transform The Online LandscapeNovember 4, 2015 12:08 pm
The poker landscape has changes dramatically since the “poker boom’ era of 2003 to 2006, and just as the online waters have become progressively more filled with sharks making a nice living from the game, so to has the incentive for recreational players to make a deposit and try out the once popular game for themselves. After all, whereas once they may have enjoyed some bang for their bucks, nowadays the overriding feeling amongst amateurs is that playing poker online is a no win situation, and even worse not a very satisfying one either.
As well as an unhealthy ‘pro to amateur’ balance of players, another main reason suggested for this untenable situation is the prevalence of heads-up displays (HUDs) in online poker, which give the pros an extra advantage on top of the skill set they already possess. This helps online grinders part recreational players from their funds in quick time, and even the world’s biggest cash game winner, Patrik Antonius, now concentrates mostly on playing live games. As he explained earlier this year:
“They are basing their play on what the software tells them to do so it feels like you’re playing against a computer these days. Software has changed the high-stakes game. If you don’t use poker software it’s not a fair game anymore.”
Needless to say, the ability to multi-play across a dozen tables while crunching numbers is in no way compatible with the “fun” game iPoker sites are trying to promote in order to raise the game’s popularity. As a result, a major shift is taking place in the online poker industry, whose business model is now beginning to cater almost exclusively to recreational players. Many of the advantages once enjoyed by the pros such as seating scripts, unrestricted use of HUDs, and lucrative rewards programs are now progressively being phased out, in the process reducing the number of pros who will be able to make a comfortable living from the game.
Nevertheless, providing a living for the pros no longer seems to be of any concern to the online poker sites who once promoted poker as a game that could provide life changing possibilities for those able to master its intricacies. Commenting recently on the sweeping changes recently introduced to PokerStars, the site’s most vocal sponsored pro, Daniel Negreanu, left online grinders in no doubt where they now appear on the site’s list of priorities. As the Canadian superstar explained:
“These changes will cater to the 98 percent rather than the 2 percent. Benefits the vast majority. I would have done it years ago.”