Poker has changed rapidly in the last 20 years, what started as a single poker site with the most basic of cash games (paradise poker) has grown in to an industry worth billions each year. 100s companies compete every day to take a bit bigger piece of the pie, many fail while a couple get stronger. But, along with the failures and growing monopolies has come innovation and a boom in online poker that no one predicted would be so big and dramatic! When Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP over 10 years ago he didn’t realise just how critical his win would be in sparking what has since been referred to as the ‘poker boom’
After satteliting in to the WSOP main event on Pokerstars for just $27 Chris Moneymarker famously went on to take it down for a few $million. What was far more valuable to pokerstars was the insane amounts of PR they got from that event, Moneymaker’s win sparked an explosiion of growth in online poker as recreational players signed up in their 1,000s for the chance of repeating chris’s success.
Since that happened poker has gone through a lot, much of it bad including lots of scams such as the famous potripper superuser scandal of ultimatebet and the UIGEA shutting down several major players resulting in forefeit of millions of $ from legitimate players on FTP to the success stories such as major online poker series such as SCOOP and WCOOP creating millionaires in just a day of online play 1,000s of young internet kids making a fantastic living playing poker a few days week.
2015 is very diferent though, since the buyout of Pokerstars from what is essentualy an investment firm looking to recop their losses, we are seeing a tightening of loyalty rewards from almost all poker sites as they try and go after the recreational player rather than the big grinders and more and more people are not playing nearly as blind as they used to as people invest in poker training sites and HUDs to help improve their game. With more people getting better at poker and less fish to play them poke is getting incresingly dificult to beat. So if there are a future for online poker? will the hardcore MTT and cash grinders destroy and future value? It’s hard to tell at this point but with short sighted view from Amaya and less dead money it’s hard to stay positive!