Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Texas Holdem Poker - Today


The Texas Holdem poker phenomenon has taken the country by storm. There are reportedly over 100 million active poker players worldwide. Poker's popularity is largely the byproduct of technology and several recent trends: 1) online gaming, where players engage and socialize in real-time over the Internet, and 2) the broad publicity created by high profile TV shows like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and World Poker Tour (WPT).

With all the poker-mania, there's a modern day "gold rush" underway today. Analyst estimates are a bit sketchy, but some estimate that people will spend up to $4.5 billion U.S. in 2005 on poker-related items of every kind, including:

* Online poker room play

* Poker tournaments

* Online poker room financial brokers (e.g., Firepay, NetTeller, Citadel and others)

* Casino poker rooms

* Game units for your TV

* Poker chip sets and dealer buttons (you can even get "collector" edition dealer buttons signed by the pros - got some as Christmas presents this year!)

* Poker tables and instructions for how to build poker tables

* Poker software (poker odds calculators, poker games, home tournament organizers, tournament director kits)

* Texas holdem poker rule and starting hand cards

* Poker schools and training courses

* Poker books and strategy e-books

* Poker hats, shirts and clothing items

* Local poker clubs

* Free Texas Holdem poker stuff of every kind imaginable.

To give you an idea of how many people are now playing with real-money online, have a look at PokerPulse.com. PokerPulse keeps tabs on the top online poker rooms and tracks how many real-money poker games are running at any point in time. Some estimates based upon these statistics suggest that online poker room companies are turning over in excess of $110 million U.S. every 24 hours, with hundreds of thousands of online players active any given evening.

So, with the worldwide inertia that poker has today, how far can it go? Will it be like the CB Radio - a brief flash in the pan and then suddenly - poof! Will it be just another fad and memory, with occasional reminders like Smokey and the Bandit? Hard to say for sure, but with the momentum, advertising and so many young people, including many teenagers and children playing across the Internet, it could be that the poker big bang has occured and its expansion has only really begun...

As with many new, controversial phenomenon such as poker, there's the social morality aspect and question: Is playing poker gambling? Is it really just a game of skill? The question of whether online poker rooms are just as much about gambling as traditional casino games and online bookie operations is certainly one that is shaping some industries, and creating some others. Before we look for the answers to those questions, let's explore what the actions of certain parties might lead us to believe.

For example, the traditional credit card processors (MC, VISA, AMEX, PayPal, and others) decided to discontinue use of their credit card services to fund player's online poker accounts. Today, there's a whole cottage industry that has sprung up to fill the enormous demand for transferring funds between bank accounts and online poker room accounts, processing untold millions of dollars each day.

Try advertising a poker-related item through Google's AdWords or the Yahoo/MSN equivalent (Overture) and you'll quickly find they have a category known as "Gambling URL" that'll come into play. Any website that could be related to online poker rooms is considered a "gambling" site and advertising services are thereby refused. So, what happened as a result? Well, aside from these companies losing advertising revenues, it's forced the poker industry into fierce competition for the poker-related search "namespaces". Try searching for something using keywords like "Texas Holdem poker" and see what you find.

It's amazing at how clogged up the search engine namespace has become, with every search engine optimization (SEO) technique and trick known to man being used by poker website owners in an attempt to gain visibility, page ranking and routing of more visitor traffic to their websites.

In my opinion, the answer to the question "Is playing poker gambling?" is - it depends. It depends on the player's skill level. If you're a highly-skilled player, then IMHO it's not gambling - it's playing a sophisticated game like chess, where you not only must defeat the opponents but you must also use strategy and play the odds in order to win.

You beat the odds by playing only certain starting hands from given positions at the table, adjusting your play based upon the game situation, understanding other players' styles, and by developing a strategy for winning, throwing your weight (chip stack) around at the right times, and by sitting out at other times. No, it's far from gambling for many of us. However, for those who don't possess the requisite skills, it is gambling more often than it's not, since skill is much less of a factor for such players. Since the basic rules are deceptively simple, people often have no idea why they're beaten.

What makes it very different from traditional casino gambling games, though, is that you're not playing against the house. The online poker room takes a "rake", a percentage of the money that's in play (e.g., 10% or so), which is how the online poker room generates revenues. It doesn't really matter who wins or loses, since the poker operator always gets paid for hosting the game.

I'll cover popular online poker rooms in a future article in more detail, but suffice it to say, there's gold in them there hills and the claims have been staked by the market leaders, who are raking in fortunes providing their sophisticated online service businesses to millions of eager players worldwide.

Since these business aren't allowed to operate within U.S. borders, they're virtually unregulated (at least by U.S. standards) and new ones continue to pop up every month. Now I don't want to make it sound like everyone who plays online is playing with real money - quite the contrary. There's an enormous number of players who just use "play money" and have a real blast playing and socializing via the use of instant messaging and interactions through the online poker room site.

So, is the poker phenomenon a trend or just another fad that's destined to take it's place in our video library, beside Smokey and the Bandit and that CB radio wave that crested in the 1970's? Hard to say for sure. One thing is for certain. A lot of people are having fun playing in online poker rooms, at traditional casinos and in their own home games - while an army of others are supplying that demand, and making a boatload of money in the process.

Until next time - Good Luck!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem poker player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software helps people become better players. If you're a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem poker websites and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem poker, too.


MORE RESOURCES:

Casino.Org News

New Hampshire Casino Bill Advances to State House
Casino.Org News
While an increasing number of people in the state of New Hampshire have come out in favor of casino gambling in the past few years, there is sure to be considerable debate over the proper number of venues in the state. Some feel that the state should ...
Gov. Hassan says NH market will only support 1 casinoThe Union Leader
NH casino bill moves along to the HouseThe Daily News of Newburyport
Hassan says she's 'likely' to sign 2-casino billGreenwich Time

all 48 news articles »


Louisville Business First

Flanery: Lack of casino gambling could be 'death by a thousand cuts' for ...
Louisville Business First
In response to a question about casino gambling, he said Kentucky is losing out to states such as Indiana and Ohio that get the financial benefit from money spent by Kentuckians in their casinos. That is money, he said, that could be applied to roads ...



Bloomberg

Why Investors See Macau's 40% Casino Sales Drop as Good News
Bloomberg
The campaign has hurt sales of luxury goods and deterred high rollers from visiting the country's only legal enclave of casino gambling. A smoking ban in casinos and stricter visa rules have also damped business. The former Portuguese colony recorded ...
Macau casinos post their second worst declineSalt Lake Tribune
Las Vegas Sands Corp Stocks Drop At Hands Of Macau Gaming Revenue LossesInternational Business Times
Macau Casino Revenues Plunge 39% To $2.7bn In MarchOnline Poker.net
Las Vegas Blog (blog) -AsiaOne
all 78 news articles »


State House Dome: Casino gambling talk centering on two sites
The Union Leader
CASINO GAMBLING has flown under the radar this session despite plenty of media coverage, but that is about to change. Before last week's House Ways and Means Committee meeting to decide on the fate of Senate Bill 113, a pro-gambling telephone ...
Casino bill includes ample protectionsNashua Telegraph

all 3 news articles »


Poughkeepsie Journal

VIDEO: Theaters hit jackpot after taking on casinos
Poughkeepsie Journal
Casino gambling. Voters on Nov. 5, 2013, authorized up to seven private casinos in New York, with the first four to be built in the Hudson Valley-Catskill area, the Capital District-Saratoga area and the Central-Southern Tier. Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted ...



OCA News

Casino Gambling Coming to GTA Online
OCA News
GTA Online players will be excited to hear that the upcoming update for “GTA Online” is rumoured to be an entirely new Casino DLC, also known as the High Roller Update. It is thought that the update will bring four mini-games including blackjack, poker ...



New York Times

The Economics of Suspense
New York Times
In the context of casino gambling, our computations show that eliminating the ability to split and double-down in blackjack would reduce both suspense and surprise. In sports, elimination tournaments like March Madness are seeded so that the top two ...



WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Ted Nesi's Saturday Morning Post: April 25
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News
Happy Saturday! Here's another edition of my weekend column for WPRI.com – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to tnesi@wpri.com, and follow @tednesi on Twitter. 1. However you feel about casino gambling, you have to tip your cap to ...
TGIF: 20 Things to Know About Rhode Island Politics & MediaRhode Island Public Radio

all 61 news articles »


New York Daily News

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg slams Andrew Cuomo's decisions to expand ...
New York Daily News
ALBANY - Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday broke his silence on New York politics Wednesday —ripping Gov. Cuomo's decisions to expand casino gambling and reject hydrofracking. Bloomberg, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, said ...

and more »


Jewish Exponent

Luck Be a Philly Tonight!
Jewish Exponent
There was a time when Nevada was the only state in the nation that permitted casino gambling. That all changed on May 26, 1978, in the resort town of Atlantic City, N. J., when a venue known, appropriately enough, as Resorts Hotel and Casino, located ...
Job fair a hope for laid-off Atlantic City casino workersBellingham Herald

all 79 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.