Online poker is in a state of constant evolution. This flux can serve as both a positive and a negative influence on the professional poker player. While an unchanging landscape would permit us to master every facet of the online game, so too would it permit beginners to gradually improve their techniques. Our edge, along with our profits, would thus be reduced. It’s more advisable to think of changes as opportunities.
Whenever a major change takes place, embrace it as quickly as possible. These changes can be as minor as an alteration in SNG blind structures or as major as the much publicized U.S. player ban by PartyPoker (and others). Every change offers the skilled player an opportunity to exploit those who adapt more slowly. Major online poker sites recognize the importance of the professional (or semi-professional) player.
We are, in many ways, the bread-and-butter of poker sites. Players who play five or more hours a day, on multiple tables, generate the greatest amount of rake for a site like PartyPoker. However, to keep the pros playing, these sites must continually restock the player pool with beginners — individuals who play for fun instead of profit. Without the fish, good players would have a reduced edge and, therefore, a diminished hourly rate.
Remember, the number one reason most professionals play poker is for profit and nothing else. When the earnings no longer justify the time invested, professionals look elsewhere to make a living. Balancing the number of new and learning players with the ever-growing number of professionals will be the central focus of most future changes.
Major sites will look to markets that have yet to be tapped. Currently, most major marketing campaigns have focused on non-English European nations. While this has certainly proven beneficial (as witnessed by Party Poker’s increasing share price), most experts agree that the future of online poker (and online gambling in general) lies in East Asia. As China begins to loosen its censorship laws, and embrace pseudo-capitalistic values,