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    What is This Online Poker Craze?

    Posted by PokerXanadu May 9, 2013

    2 years after Black Friday, 7 years after UIGEA, and 10 years after the original boom, online poker is coming back to America.

    As has been peppering both poker and mainstream media, last week Station Casinos opened Ultimate Poker, to become the first online poker site that is licensed and regulated in the U.S. to offer real-money games to American players. Even though this site is currently available only for players within the borders of Nevada, this is a historic giant leap towards U.S.-regulated, real-money online poker for most, if not all, Americans.

    By the end of the third day of operation, Ultimate Poker had dealt its 100,000th hand. That is quite a feat considering that the average number of cash game players was hovering around 100 and the peak was in the 200 range, and no multi-table tournaments had yet run. Doing some armchair orders of magnitude math, this works out to something like 500 players each playing 100 cash game hands over the three days (assuming half the hands were cash games and the other half played in single-table sit-n-go tournaments).

    All the while, Ultimate Poker was taking their small cut, ranging up to $3.00, from each hand played. If you assume a conservative figure of $0.75 per hand average rake, that means $37,500.00 in rake revenue generated, in just three days! For what will probably be the lowest number of players this site ever sees. And not counting any tournament fees collected.

    Right now, according to the statistics on PokerScout, there is something on the order of 70,000 cash game players at peak times across all sites. That’s 70,000 players, peak, across the entire globe. To put that in perspective, WorldWinner claims 30 million registered players and 1 million games played every day on average. Zynga claims an average of 7 million active players every day on Zynga Poker.

    You can easily get a sense of just why there are so many business and government entities chomping at the bit to get into this revenue-generating game in the U.S. But what makes online poker so attractive to players?

    People love to play games. And by “game,” I don’t just mean the kind where you roll dice, turn cards, move game pieces, kick a ball, master a controller, etc. I mean any activity which has strategy, risk, rewards and goals, from operating a small business to raising a family to leading a country.

    Online poker is a game in its most elemental form, full of complex stratagems and emotions. Each player gets to choose their own level of risk, reward and strategy. Playing your best requires your best concentration, or you can just relax and take big risks for the fun of it. It immerses you in a competitive world which whisks you away from all your mundane concerns and daily annoyances. It can be either recreation or an avocation, as well as an education for life.

    Now that the dam is broken in the U.S., the river will soon swell with sites, players and new authorizing legislation. Online poker was never a fad. It’s big business. It’s big revenues. It’s a widely and wildly popular game. It’s crazy that it has taken this long to get American corporations and legislators on board to make it expressly legal. But that obstacle has reached its endgame, and the new American game of legal online poker has begun.

    QuadJacks – May 9, 2013

    About PokerXanadu

    PokerXanadu is an avid poker player as well as an advocate for poker player rights on the legislative and regulatory front. http://www.pokerloversunion.org

    View all post by PokerXanadu Visit author's website

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