The Rise and Rise of Poker – An article by The Sportsman
The immense diversion of the gambling and betting industry over the last ten years has without question changed forever. The likes of football betting, online casinos and, of course, poker hardly existed on the betting landscape as horse racing was in a market of one. The internet coupled with the Lottery have transformed the industry permanently and it’s all the better for it.
The National Lottery place a crucial role in all this despite being hailed by bookmakers at the time as being the deathnel of the ff-course betting shop. The reality, and to be fair nobody, saw it coming, was that The Lottery sanitized the whole notion of betting – it was now seen as OK to have a small flutter for a bit of fun. The internet arrived simply as the rocket fuel to pour on the naked flame.
Nevertheless, the real product winner is without question poker. The exchanges have a case but they are still, at present, seen as only for the sophisticated gambler. No doubt as the rest of the world catches up with the UK the likes of Betfair will flourish more globally but perversely they almost need the traditional bookmaker to be established before them.
Poker however seems to have swept all before it and unlike Betfair it’s a multitude of companies that are seeing the benefit from online bookmakers to bespoke poker sites. But why has a game that has been around for hundreds of years suddenly exploded so much?
The reality is because it is, in fact, very easy to play, if you want to see exactly how easy then check out the rules of poker. True it does take longer to master as much of the marketing will tell you but, especially online, where your face doesn’t give you away those with the basics can still beat the best and the David and Goliath factor is what drives most people, especially when gambling. Whether it’s you versus the bookie, other poker players or other exchange users, the drive is the winning. Not necessarily the amount – watch a new gambler winning a long odds-on bet with £5 wagered – still delighted despite only collecting a matter of pence.
Now that so many people play can there ever be a true World Number 1? It is surely very unlikely from now that any single player will win the WSOP twice – ever! This is because te sport is now completely swamped with new players many of whom are very good at their craft but elements of luck will always play a part. Some will argue this is true of any sport but in most traditional sports the best players are there or thereabouts.
Nevertheless, the figures show the game to be in rude health and seemingly not showing sings of reaching a plateau which it must at some point but the figures coming out of Party Poker and 888.com show nothing but the rise and rise of poker. Nobody should be talking of flushing or folding just yet, just wait for the Chinese to get online and the sky will be small fry as far as limits are concerned.
The above article was brought to you by the The Sportsman.