Poker has been around for decades, so why are so many people talking about it now? The evolution of the game has taken a turn toward the same phenomenon that influences most other features of daily life: Technology.
High stakes live tournaments like World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour have enjoyed widespread media coverage over the past several years. Previously unindoctrinated players have been brought into the poker fold by reality TV coverage that makes the game accessible to everyone. Texas Hold ‘Em has been embraced by the public as the standard-bearer for high-level poker play.
Professional players emerge as instant celebrities when they score high-profile wins. All of a sudden, poker has crawled out of the cigar-smoke filled basement game room, and into the pop culture spotlight. Pick-up games and loosely organized tournaments promote hands-on poker, for those who enjoy the camaraderie, but another milieu is attracting a new generation of players.
Online Poker Rooms
For better or worse, technology alters our behavior. So it is no surprise that more and more poker players are merging the pastime with the latest social advances. Online poker provides a modern platform that keeps people in the game, when busy schedules and lifestyle commitments get in the way of live play.
Brick and mortar casinos are perfectly augmented by online poker playing alternatives that can be enjoyed without leaving home.
Reasons to Play Poker Online
Poker Variety - Texas Hold ‘Em is always in demand, but other strategic poker games are gaining popularity among online players. Casinos can only host so many games, due to traffic count limitations; but online gaming sites support a greater variety of poker games, because the pool of players is larger. In addition to Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo and a variety of stud games are commonly found in online poker rooms. Even during off-peak gaming hours, you’ll find your favorite game somewhere.
Easy to Learn – Casinos can be intimidating for novice players, and the learning curve required to become proficient at the tables might blow the entire bankroll. Online poker sites offer learning opportunities that don’t require cash investments. Major online rooms offer free play that places you in genuine game situations – to sink or swim without losing a dime. Trial by fire keeps the learning curve short, and when you are ready to get some skin in the game, it is simply a matter of buying some chips.
High Level Competition – Poker success is based on landing a few pots, but it is also involves honing your game by playing against good players. The player diversity found in online games is unmatched in person. By expanding your pool of opponents, you’ll learn to recognize strong and weak players, and master strategies that increase your odds of winning.
No Travel – Casinos are widespread, but that doesn’t guarantee your convenient access to live games. Traveling hundreds of miles to the nearest casino is not a feature of online gaming. To play poker online, plug in and download some software; then buy some chips and go.
High Stakes – Online poker success is linked to big money potential. Tournaments like World Series of Poker use online qualifying opportunities to lure players to virtual tables. Scoring coveted seats in high stakes live games is possible by winning ’qualifiers’, or preliminary round tournaments, which are stepping stones to live Vegas showdowns. For a meager online entry fee, it is possible to advance to games worth millions.
Focused Play – Casinos, especially in Las Vegas, are buzzing (literally) with excitement. The titillation is welcomed, but not always conducive to putting your best poker foot forward. Liberal doses of hospitality can sway your strategic resolve, putting you in harms way at the tables. Online poker leaves the staging to you, so how and where you play are totally within your control. Keeping distractions to a minimum is a proven strategy for consistent online poker success.
Fame – Poker has become a spectator sport, so online poker mastery can lead to celebrity status. Major TV tournament winners become instant celebrities – leading to endorsements and other career opportunities. Your springboard to fame and fortune might be a $5 online qualifier tourney that shoots you into the big leagues.
Anonymous Gaming – Until you hit the World Series of Poker jackpot to become a household name, you might want to keep your online poker status on the down-low. Your online poker persona is usually defined by a clever avatar of your choosing, and by the moves you make at the tables. Your poker face is never tested online, because no one ever sees it.
Something For Everyone
Not every online poker player jumps in with both feet, so the flexibility offered by Internet poker rooms is appealing to experienced and novice players alike. For some players, online games replace live play; but for most, playing poker on the world wide web is a supplement to in-person games.
Whether you go all-in from the get-go, or wade in slowly, online poker sites provide comfortable matches for your style of play.