Monday, 3 August 2015

Is Online Poker Dead?

The Status of Online Poker #1


Players are complaining, the traffic is decreasing and the end seems to be near.
Well, not so fast. Every year people predict the end of the world. And everyday a fish complains about poker to be a big scam. It's easy to go down that road if things aren't going your way. In the next posts I will relay just on numbers and facts.
Today I want to focus on the history of poker and the start-up of online poker. In the coming posts we'll talk about the usage statistics of online poker sites and compare them to the overall internet usage.

Offline Poker and it's History

Source: Wikipedia
Poker is old. Very old. It is hard to say how old exactly. But at the time poker started, there was no electricity, no telephones and especially no internet.
People were riding on a horse or walking a long way to get to their game. Old western movies are telling the stories of the early players.
Surprisingly, Poker survived many jobs and inventions that were considered to be state of the art at their time.
If someone worked on a telephone switchboard in the early 1900s, the person probably wouldn't have guessed to be replaced by a PBX later in the 20th century. Poker existed before and after that era.
Of course, the rules were different. Nobody was playing Texas Holdem or Pot Limit Omaha. Even a 52-cards deck wasn't the standard in the first days of poker.
English actor Joseph Crowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829, with a deck of 20 cards, and four players betting on which player's hand was the most valuable. 
 Source: Wikipedia

Appealingly, it took until the early 20th century until Texas Holdem started. It became popular in casinos by the early 1970s. So, it is definitely more than just a new fancy invention.
Although little is known about the invention of Texas hold 'em, the Texas State Legislature officially recognizes Robstown, Texas, United States as the game's birthplace, dating the game to the early 1900s.[2]
About the WSOP Main Event:
After receiving only eight entrants in 1972, the numbers grew to over one hundred entrants in 1982, and over two hundred in 1991.[6][7][8] 
 Source: Wikipedia

Of course, the ability to find good and active games changes all the time based on regulations and the current popularity of the game. That is always the deal with poker.

Start of Online Poker

Online poker is the game of poker played over the internet. Therefore, the internet needed to be invented before people were able to play poker online. Indeed, when the internet boom reached the first private households in the late 1990s the very first poker site opened:
Planet Poker was the first real-money cardroom for playing online poker, opening in 1998.[1][2]
Source: Wikipedia

The number of online poker players grew proportionally with the exponentially growing number of internet users.
Christiansen Capital Advisors stated online poker revenues grew from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005,[1] while a survey carried out by DrKW and Global Betting and Gaming Consultants asserted online poker revenues in 2004 were at $1.4 billion.[2] 
Source: Wikipedia

Coming soon...

The next post will talk about usage statistics and overall internet usage. Be prepared for colorful statistics and diagrams.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, €1.00 BB (6 handed) - PokerStars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

Hero (MP) (€104.40)
CO (€101.50)
Button (€160.72)
SB (€121.72)
BB (€217.20)
UTG (€194.44)

Preflop: Hero is MP with J, A
1 fold, Hero raises to €4, 2 folds, SB calls €3.50, BB calls €3

Flop: (€12) Q, 4, K (3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets €6, SB raises to €17, 1 fold, Hero raises to €100.40 (All-In), SB calls €83.40

Turn: (€212.80) 10 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (€212.80) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: €212.80 | Rake: €3

Results below:
SB had A, A (one pair, Aces).
Hero had J, A (royal flush).
Outcome: Hero won €209.80