The State of Online Poker

Every poker player over the age of 23 I think really understands the effect that Online Poker has had on the game in general. Just the quick pace and tournaments that are always readily available have made for more aggressive games. I think what players spend less time thinking about is the game within the game and how the online phenomena has effected poker decisions in the static environment of one particular tournament…

And by that, I mean that because of Online Poker, these MTT sharks do not, or very rarely, think of one tournament as a static situation or this isolated poker vacuum บาคาร่า . If you play a live tournament, and go with some kind of borderline decision, you make that decision with the understanding that if you are on the wrong end of it, you will be powering down the IPOD, wrapping up the ol’ headphones, saying your goodbyes, and leaving the casino – the next opportunity to cash in on some dough being unknown hours away.

Obviously, if you bust out of the Nightly Hundred Grand on Pokerstars, yeah your bankroll is dented but so what? More than likely you will still be battling away in 6 or 7 other multis at the same time.

And even more obviously, if you were playing the Nightly on your last bullet, then you have no business playing in the first place.

So what does all of this have to do with the earlier point? How does Online Poker and the format effect in game decisions strictly because of its format?

I argue that the MTT shark is not that far off from the average MTT grinder in terms of pure skill level. Especially in 2010 where the average poker player knows all the basics: when they should be shoving, generally when it makes sense to call, pot odds, and the like. But what that MTT shark has mastered is how to make VOLUME of games work in his favor. Also, the shark makes the format of Online Poker work for him as well. How?

Let’s say the shark opens in MP with 4c4d. The button 3 bets with whatever. Air, or a monster. Who knows? The shark sure doesn’t.

As a poker purist and long time player, I am no longer at all one bit surprised to see the shark shove all in knowing he is getting called in this spot. Or see the shark snap call a 3 bet shove. It happens over and over and over again. The railbirds all chime in about how sick the shark is.

Is he really that sick?

Or has Online Poker made it actually kinda easy to make this kind of move? If you win what turns out to be a coinflip, you look like a genius. You went in with the best hand, it held, and you won a ton of chips. If you lose, oh well that’s poker, they’ll say. If you get your chips in dominated, well, they say you need to get lucky to win MTTs and its actually right to get your money in bad, or rather, if you never get your money in bad, then you are in fact, PLAYING bad.

Online poker has been around for over a decade now and its come a long way over the years. Initially poker sites could barely function due to the computer requirements that were needed to run the software. The design of poker sites was also dreadful, but that wasn’t that big of a concern back then because almost every site used a basic design that wasn’t appealing at all. Nowadays poker rooms are able to use extensive software suites and heavy loading graphics because computers are much more powerful.

During the first 5 years roughly, online poker sites were not very well known amongst the mainstream crowd and there were only a few thousand players playing at the time. Once Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event in 2003 there was a rush of players looking to begin playing poker so that they could become the next Moneymaker. Since most people don’t have access to a casino on a daily basis due to where they live, online poker was a genius idea because it allowed them to play poker from anywhere they wanted as long as they had an internet connection.

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