That increase has played out in a couple of ways. In the most obvious fashion, regulated online poker sites have experienced a jump in business as demonstrated by those April revenue figures. And poker websites that offer a platform for play-money private games have also seen a jump in popularity.
Professional Poker Players See Demand Rise
For instance, Andersen said she hosts a home game on the Internet with people she knows and combines it with Zoom. That way, Andersen, who lives in Las Vegas, and her friends get to socialize while playing low-limit poker.
Andrew Brokos, a professional player in Maryland, prefers playing poker online terpercaya, but he has done well at real tables, too. He cashed in the Main Event of the WSOP five out of six years (2006-2011) with three of those paydays in the top 100. He notes that in the online home games “you are not officially playing for money.”
But that’s just a technicality in many cases
“Money is exchanging hands,” said Brokos, who has been spending the pandemic writing his second book, “Play Optimal Poker 2,” and teaching other players. “For the most part, (transfer of money) is offline. … I get the impression that these were games that were previously home games that moved online so they’re playing among a group of people that have established trust among themselves.”
Todd Anderson, who co-founded the Heartland Poker Tour and currently produces Poker Night in America, also plays in his own online home game. In that case, Anderson and others (including former HPT television broadcaster Chris Hanson) didn’t have a previous home game; their new online game exists because of utter boredom.
“We started spreading the word and now we have 60 players,” Anderson said. “It started just as something to do but it’s a lot of fun.”
Bigger Than Live Poker Games
Danielle Andersen said that online poker would continue to be an attractive alternative for players because casinos’ games will be so unappealing.
“Poker is a social game. They’ll be playing four-handed, maybe five-handed and I don’t know if that’s feasible with Plexiglas (dividers). I’m skeptical and I’m really skeptical about higher stakes (games) like that,” she said.
Like Andersen, Brokos and poker pro Jamie Kerstetter said that they’d be staying away from casino play for a while.
While there has been a flurry of real-money action in the four states that have authorized online poker, the big question is whether there is enough momentum to put legal online poker on a faster track.
The immediate evidence is that the outlook is not so promising in the near term.
Pennsylvania has a Poker Stars cardroom and is soon to get an online WSOP site, but there’s no agreement with New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada to share the player pool. Michigan is scheduled to introduce online casino gaming soon, including poker, but internally it is prohibited from joining other jurisdictions, and West Virginia is too small to make much a difference in adding to the overall pool of players.
Stewart, the WSOP executive, remains an optimist
“Online poker should be bigger than live poker in the near future,” Stewart said. “It presents more options, more convenience and less erosion of a player’s bankroll. Right now it’s mainly politics standing in the way of another poker boom bigger than the first. Poker is simply a numbers game, and the greater the liquidity, the faster players will hop online, creating higher (return on investment) for themselves and additional tax revenues.”