Why is online poker still so popular?
Online poker’s heyday has long since passed. However, the game remains extraordinarily popular, especially in Indonesia and other eastern countries (Source: poker online terpercaya). Throughout the boom of the early to mid-2000s, the game rocketed to a level of popularity that poker had never before experienced in its almost 200-year history. Even with poker’s steep decline over the last decade, the remnants of that boom period have continued to fuel a multi-billion dollar industry and a base of dedicated players who are among the most loyal customers in any industry.
The Moneymaker effect
To understand why online poker remains so popular today, it’s crucial to take a look at the seminal event in online poker history, Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 World Series of Poker win and the subsequent explosion in the game’s popularity.
Chris Moneymaker, yes, that’s his real name, was an underemployed accountant, a Joe Average from Middle America, who won $2,500,000 when he took down first prize at the 2003 World Series of Poker. Normally this would have been just another curiosity, a random guy off the street wins another poker tournament. These things occasionally happen. But on this occasion, Moneymaker had gained entry to the $10,000-per-seat tournament by winning an $86 buy-in event on PokerStars, at that time a mid-sized online poker room. This fact, combined with Moneymaker’s use by PokerStars as a promotional figure, spawned what could only be described as a poker gold rush, as millions of American players deposited at online poker rooms for their chance to get rich, just as Moneymaker had done.
This set off what industry observers refer to simply as the poker boom. The boom began in 2003 and accelerated, peaking somewhere in 2006. There is debate about when it officially ended, but it certainly ended no later than April 15, 2011. On that date, known in the industry as black Friday, Preet Bharara, the district attorney for the Southern District of New York, seized all the U.S. assets of the major online poker rooms, effectively ending the online poker industry in the United States.
This was a devastating blow to online poker, the negative effects of which almost can’t be overstated. Online poker in the United States went from a low ten-figure industry to virtually nothing overnight. And the U.S. market made up a huge portion of the global online poker business.
It is a grand testament to the game’s inherent allure that it remained so popular, even after its largest market was left in shambles.
Today, online poker is still an extremely popular form of recreation throughout the world. One factor for its success is that it is just a whole lot of fun to play. In a game like No Limit Texas Hold’em, literally anything can happen at any moment. You can win or lose all the chips in front of you on any bet or any street. Many people who play the game liken the adrenaline rush to that of jumping out of an airplane or being in a high-speed car chase. In fact, seasoned players know that there are few activities that can really compare to it.
Another factor is the element of gambling. All poker variants allow even the least skilled players to at least have some chance of winning. This can hide the skill disparities and give losing players the false impression that they have a chance.