US Online Poker Expanding – What This Means for Poker Professionals
The state of US Online Poker is at a very crucial spot at the moment. We only have a handful of states that currently offer the game in a regulated market – New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. More states like California, New York and even Maryland are looking in to their own regulated markets, but this is down the road.
With very few places to play online poker, poker professionals have looked elsewhere to play the game and continue their jobs. Most either moved to Mexico, Canada or other popular destinations. Others have chosen to play live. Some have just given up and looked elsewhere for employment.
There’s good reason for this too. Most players can’t make the kind of money they were used to since the player pools are so small. At peak hours, only around a few hundred, if that are playing at the biggest sites. This ranks at the bottom of overall world poker traffic.
A poker professional player needs to be able to play many tables and get in a lot of hands (Random Number Generators). Unless they play the highest stakes, playing just 1 or 2 tables on a small site won’t cut it. And most professional poker players aren’t playing these high stakes online.
With this being said, there is good news on the horizon.
For one, the current sites are looking to ramp up their offerings, especially during the WSOP. Sites WSOP.com will be having their WSOP.com Online Championship Series which will have 15 days of tournaments and over $550,000 of prize money over the course of the event.
This is a far cry from sites like Poker Stars who offers millions in guaranteed prize money during their tournament series, but tis a great step in the right direction.
It’s important to get the professional players back in the market. And this is a sign that the current US online poker rooms are aiming to attract the big whales.
The next few months will assuredly decide the fate of online poker in the US. While it won’t make or break the system, it will tell us what can expect in the next few years. There are many states that have dwelling on the idea of online poker and none have acted. If they don’t do anything soon, it will likely mean they won’t do it anytime soon.
This is bad news for the poker professional, but not the death of it. I don’t really feel that this will be the case though. It’s a great way to bring money for states and everyone is clamoring for it. And with a recent push from the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) and the PPA, it should help to get the ball rolling a little faster.