Victoria Coren's Decision To Quit PokerStars Sparks Gambling Debate

Victoria Coren's Decision To Quit PokerStars Sparks Gambling DebateSince British TV celebrity and poker pro Vicky Coren Mitchell left PokerStars in response to the site’s decision to introduce casino games, the poker community has been tirelessly debating her stance, with the highest level of criticism leveled at her coming from PokerStars’ chief sponsored pro Daniel Negreanu.
Vicky Coren’s point was that she had signed up to promote the “skill based game” of poker at PokerStars, and that she believed casino games would prove dangerous for poker enthusiasts and could ultimately lead to addiction, and busted bankrolls. There seems more than a grain of truth to her argument, too, as according to Amaya Gamings’ research 30% of its poker customers at Full Tilt and PokerStars.es now play casino games regularly each month.
Nevertheless, Daniel Negreanu has countered by taking a completely different approach to the game of poker than Vicky Coren, one that states poker is just gambling and belongs to the casino environment. As Negreanu then explains:
“I would personally feel like a hypocrite if I justified that it’s OK for me to take money from problem gamblers, but it’s not OK for the casino to do the same. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong no matter who profits. As much as we’d like to separate poker from gambling, poker played for money IS gambling.”
Elaborating on his thoughts, Negreanu explains that a recreational player gambling $100 at a blackjack table would win more often that at a poker table full of pros, but that he would still end up losing in both arenas, the only difference being who gets his money, the casino or the poker sharks.
Nevertheless, while PokerStars’ decision to offer casino games definitely makes business sense, it would appear few actual players seem to endorse Negreanu’s argument about poker being just another gambling game. As a result, the forums are currently buzzing with enthusiasts giving their take on the matter, and as Supernova Elite grinder, Mike ‘MeleaB’ Brooks, states responding to Negreanu‘s example of a blackjack player:
“Whereas really, poker is a level playing field where – all else being equal – players have the opportunity to be net-winners in the long-term; flair, work ethic, potential, and other factors permitting. So, it may be true to say a fish “at a blackjack table is going to win more often than he would at a poker table” but it’s really meaningless. One could of course counter that a skilled poker player is going to win far more playing poker than he would playing blackjack. The bottom line is that you can’t just analyze the difference (or lack of) between poker/casino games from the biased perspective of a losing poker player.”
To read more on the debate, follow the link here to the TwoPlusTwo forum.

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