In recent months, the poker industry has gone through some major changes. Online venues and poker download options became the norm for fans of the game, while land-based poker rooms closed down.
Experts believe that the poker world will never look the same, as online platforms are bound to replace live casinos sometime in the future. Those changes remind us of a time when online poker was a foreign concept and when people were mistrustful of placing bets through a computer.
But the gambling industry, and especially poker, has come a long way since those days. How did the poker industry change in the past decade? Before we welcome the future with open arms, it is time to take a look at the history of the game.
5 Noteworthy Changes in the Past Decade
- Live Streams – Nowadays, many poker games and events are broadcasted live, and the quality of the footage is unprecedented. But ten years ago, footage from major poker games and tournaments was hard to find. Most of the poker-related online content included videos shot in a studio or edited highlights from popular events.
But as technology evolved over the years, you can now watch complete tournaments – even WSOP events – and feel as if you're sitting at the table yourself. Those live streams greatly contributed to the rising popularity of online poker, as players now can watch and learn from the top poker pros without leaving the house.
- Segregated Markets – In the past, poker players from different countries could easily play and comepte against each other. However, in recent years, regulations changed in many countries, and now players are mostly limited to placing bets in local venues.
While the logic behind the new regulations is sounds, as the goal was to prevent fraud, it also diminished the number of participating players in every event. In turn, it also influenced the size of the prize pool at each event. Lately, some countries across the world started working towards shared liquidity, which means there is still hope for multi-national poker events.
- Lottery SNGs – In the past, fast-paced poker games were considered as inferior to regular games, as they were less predictable. However, in recent years, lottery Sit-n-Go's (SNG) became more and more popular. In this quick poker format, a random multiplier raises the stakes and makes the game more exciting. Now, many casinos offer players a chance to enjoy this exciting poker style with a rising jackpot.
- GTO Poker – As technology became smarter and poker got more and more popular, players looked for new ways to master the game with the help of new tools. That led to the creation of Game Theory Optimal (GTO) poker play, which raised the level and quality of online poker games by a mile. However, not all players approve of GTO, as they believe it compromises the integrity of the game.
- Twitch and Social Media – In recent years, social media platforms became prominent fixtures in our lives. Little by little, platforms like Twitter and Twitch allowed poker pros to share their love for the game with thousands of followers.
Now, poker fans can watch games, learn new tricks, and find out all about the latest poker news in no time at all. The direct and immediate connection to the game created a new reality, where it wasn't sufficient for poker pros to perfect their poker play: they also had to learn how to attract the attention of the masses and gain their approval.
Past, Present, Future
The poker world is constantly changing with every passing year, and nothing accentuates those changes more than a look at the past. What do you think the future holds for the poker industry?