Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited



  • Twitter Follow Name:

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Screen names


  • Worldwide


  • All-time high

    113 (2013)


  • Lifetime total


  • Biggest Cash All Time


  • Number of cashes


  • Average cash


Latest post

  1. Looking back at where online poker was five years ago, not long after Black Friday, it's not hard to see that a lot has changed. Even within the past two years, we've seen a huge number of administrative changes and industry shifts that are sure to change the future of poker. This is particularly true in the case of the MTT world. With online cash games having partially dried up over the past three years or so, more and more players are turning to MTTs as a source of profit, but the games are changing rapidly as a result. The landscape of available sites, games and live events has been transformed. With current trends in mind, I believe it's possible to take a look at how we might expect the tournament poker world to look several years from now. Whether it's one year or five years down the line, here are some things you can expect to see in future. Further growth in the popularity of Progressive Knockout tournaments Progressive Knockout (PSKO) tournaments have become a staple on the PokerStars tournament schedule over the past year, and they're not going anywhere any time soon. In fact, you may even see these tournaments overtake traditional freezeouts in popularity over the next few years. With participation in rebuys and hyper-turbos dwindling as sites begin raking rebuys and ROIs in hypers start to plummet, more sites are following PokerStars’ lead and adding PSKO variations into their schedules. You may even see live events beginning to invent PSKO formats as the game grows - live bounty events have been popular for years already. Finally, you'll see the standard of play in these events improve fairly dramatically once HoldemResources Calculator releases their first bounty-enabled calculator later this year. Once regulars begin studying the math of these events, ROIs will decrease, so it's time to make some money right away before that happens! No more HUDs in online games When looking at the trends in online poker over the past few years, and talking to recreational players about their motivation, one thing seems fairly clear - recreational players are less attracted to online poker now that they know there is a high likelihood that they'll be playing against professionals using tracking software. Add to this the fact that many recreational players are already convinced that the game is ‘rigged’ or that poker sites employ ‘bots’ to take their money away, and it's evident that the reasons for casual players not to invest in online poker are piling up. I'm fairly comfortable making a prediction that at some point in the next five years - possibly even in the next two years - a major poker site will take the leap and completely ban all forms of HUD software, in an effort to reverse this trend. They will be banking on the short-term loss of mass-tabling regulars being offset by other regulars sticking around to enjoy the softer games, and on a long-term shift towards a poker economy more focused on recreational players. This move will be received with heavy criticism from 90% of poker pros, but the other 10% will probably make more money once they adapt to the new reality. A global power shift at the top level of the game Ever since Black Friday, we've been seeing changes in the demographics of players dominating the games at the highest levels. Gone are the days when the WPT and WSOP, based in North America, were the pinnacle of tournament poker. For the last five years or so, we've been living in a tournament landscape dominated by higher and higher buy-ins - $25k, $50k, $100k, and even higher. The majority of these events have been taking place on the (now defunct) European Poker Tour, with some of the toughest fields imaginable. What this means is that many of the world's best European players are consistently getting better by playing against each other regularly in these events, while the North American pros, for whom constant European traveling is less practical, are less likely to be involved. Add this to the fact that almost none of the toughest online games in today's environment are accessible to American players, and we're seeing a seismic shift in the countries at the top of the poker food chain. Within a decade, Russia will surely overtake the United States as the global poker superpower, most likely followed by Brazil, Sweden, the UK and Canada. Top Chinese players may also start emerging. If the United States is to retain its stranglehold on poker superiority that has existed since the game’s inception, legislative changes will need to happen. Thinner and thinner ROIs at high stakes online This is something we're already seeing. Beyond the top 20-30 players in the online games, it's very hard to find individuals with an ROI above 10% in regular-speed MTTs at the $215 level and above on PokerStars. On other sites that might bump up to 15%, but it's hardly stellar. When we look at turbos, the numbers are even worse. ROIs at mid-to-high stakes turbos are mostly in the 2-5% range (NB: all this information is freely retrievable via SharkScope, for anyone with a subscription). We're at the point where a huge number of regulars or professionals are playing hundreds or even thousands of games a year in which they have a break-even or perhaps even negative ROI. After all, not everyone can be a winning player, and in games with no ‘fish’, the weaker pros become the fish. It's hard to see this phenomenon changing in the next few years. Staking groups are expanding and the upper echelon is getting better, but the players below that are being squeezed out as a result. High stakes online games aren't dead, but it takes an incredible amount of time and effort to beat them. For many people, it may be more effort than they're willing to put in. To end on a high note, the availability of live tournaments and cash games at casinos all over the world has probably never been better. Live games will always be soft, and they'll always be fun to play in. If you're despairing about the future of online MTTs, you can be sure that the same doom and gloom predictions are not applicable to live games.

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.