Is Online Poker Still Worth it?

    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
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      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/10/22/sorry-mr-online-poker-nobody-cares-about-you.aspx

      A super-interesting artile written by Jeff Hwang. Particularly the "skill gap problem" section, which basically summises that online poker is killing itself (too many regs, too few fish).

      There are too many professionals in the online space, and not enough fish. Thus, the game has gotten too tough to be interesting for the casual player, resulting in less overall activity.

      Walk into any locals poker room in the country, and you are bound to find seven or eight regulars at the table. Back in 2006, when the average skill level of such regulars wasn't that high, this would be no problem for any reasonably skilled player. But in 2012, everybody is better, and the average skill level of the regulars has risen considerably, to the point that I think the average professional-level player in 2006 would be a fish in these games without having made similar advancements in his/her own game.

      Consequently, the games today have become uninteresting to many former professionals -- even to those good enough to still beat these games -- because no matter how good you are, win rates will decline because the regulars aren't as bad as they used to be, and the fish are in shorter supply.

      Meanwhile, the casual player today has no chance.


      Do you think it's still worth putting serious effort into online poker? Does the effort/reward ratio still make sense?
  • 21 replies
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
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      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      Yes. Because you can always be better. :)
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
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      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      I play because it's fun. It is a game after all.
    • gp00053
      gp00053
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      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      I think depending what you are trying to get out of the game will determine the amount of effort you put into it in most cases.

      There are poker hands you should always get involved in; then there are hands you should never get involved in; and there are hands may or may not get involved in depending on the circumstances The difference with most players is after you learn what hands you should always play and which ones you should never play is the amount of effort you put into the hands you should or shouldn't play depending on the circumstances
    • JonikoP
      JonikoP
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      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      I play because it's fun. It is a game after all.


      Me too - but I don't like losing and I'm not a big fan of studying!
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
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      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      Originally posted by JonikoP
      I play because it's fun. It is a game after all.


      Me too - but I don't like losing and I'm not a big fan of studying!
      Oh, well, the studying is as much part of the fun for me as the winning. :f_cool:
    • jules97
      jules97
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      Joined: 10.06.2012 Posts: 1,449
      Originally posted by JonikoP
      I play because it's fun. It is a game after all.


      Me too - but I don't like losing and I'm not a big fan of studying!


      If you find a way to get these two to work in any field, let me know!
    • gp00053
      gp00053
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      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      ![/quote]Oh, well, the studying is as much part of the fun for me as the winning. :f_cool: [/quote]Me too. I review every hand I play after each session. I watch other players at the level I'm playing at when im not playing and take notes on obvious mistakes or miss steps as well as watching solid players. i also watch traing videos. I also use a coach for the limit I'm at. I enjoy all of that as much as when I'm playing, whether I'm winning or losing.

      So I guess it depends on your definition of effort
    • maythany
      maythany
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      Joined: 18.10.2011 Posts: 1,189
      I used to play very seriously until I realized how difficult it is to make a living from poker. Maybe it's just me and my lack of ability but online poker is pretty damn hard (even the micro sngs!) and it takes a certain type of individual to battle through huge downswings and dedicate themselves to a continuous cycle of learning.

      I just play for fun now with the intention of making money but not in the amount that would allow me to live off of poker. If I can make like $75-$100 from poker every month then that is some pretty good pocket change.

      And you're right, casual players don't really have a chance but don't tell them that and I don't think they really care because they just play for fun. The site I am currently playing at has a lot of fish/casual players and less regs compared to PokerStars so I shouldn't have a problem making some pocket change every month.

      MB
    • vmarqui
      vmarqui
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      Joined: 25.01.2010 Posts: 4,816
      lots of fish and bad regs, dont worry
      ofc i was way better back in 2006 (from what i heard), but the field is still somewhat soft at midstakes
    • mateuszrybinski
      mateuszrybinski
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      Joined: 20.02.2012 Posts: 78
      things never stay the same, definitely not in Poker. As the skill increase the rewards become greater if you can stay ahead of the pack. many players today, start to play with a basic understanding of the game. I didn’t play in the gold era but as more people get access to the internet in China and other countries the poker population will rise very fast. The fish will have better weapons to defend themselves against sharks with the help of the internet, but if you keep learning, reviewing our own game, and exploring your opponents strategies you will never need to worry about finding a job in the future.

      What you can do to make it easier

      Change game - Just change game to a newer game. Become an expert on speed poker or maybe start playing limit Omaha. The rule is: If you don’t find much info about a specific game, you probably fishing in the right waters. If you have the energy and dedication to make our own strategies and explore the game by yourself, that is.

      Change approach - Change your approach to the game. Next to everybody focus on the technical side of poker. Focus on your energy on everything outside of normal domain. Become an expert on table selection; mental side of the game; become a promotion hunter.

      Change your learning - remeber new player maybe have good technical skills and even mental skills after some tusen hands. But few people today focus on increasing other skills that few can relate to poker. Speed reading, mental math, NLP methods to increase focus, learn to how the brain learns new things and apply better method. Everything else being equal if you can increase your learning speed by 20% you will far surpass anyone starting with 0% advantage. Learning have an accumulative effect where you can learn more advanced strategies sooner than your opponents there by when they each level 5 - you will probably be at level 8. That is with just 20%, research show that you can increase the learning above 300%.

      Great books
      The New Learning Revolution 3rd Edition (Really good overview)

      The Accelerated Learning Handbook: A Creative Guide to Designing and Delivering Faster, More Effective Training Programs (Long time I read this books, but I remember is was kind of easy to apply)

      Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It (I put this book last because it is the best I have ever read about learning!)

      Have a wonderful day!
      MR
    • Toothless32
      Toothless32
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      Joined: 10.01.2011 Posts: 210
      I feel the same last few days, maybe the zinga thingy will make a difference
    • lorenzoa
      lorenzoa
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      Joined: 29.06.2008 Posts: 249
      Where did you get these books?
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
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      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      Originally posted by mateuszrybinski
      Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
      great book!
    • gp00053
      gp00053
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      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      For all you IPhone people there are also some great free memory improvement apps as well.
    • Targetme
      Targetme
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      Joined: 04.05.2009 Posts: 1,888
      no although if your already near the top it aint bad
    • franeczek
      franeczek
      Global
      Joined: 22.03.2009 Posts: 2,439
      The ideas in the article are flawed.
      Badically when we take a look at the whole e-gambling the business is growing. There is still huge increase in betting and casino revenues for sites. The problem is that in poker fish are just getting crushed with no chance of winning and that's the issue.
      There is more and more fish just they don't want to play poker.
      Firstly baning tracking software would for sure help (so no more HM/PT) then we have networks like Ipoker that actively support bots and bots providers. They do nothing to fight against the issue (the only site sucessful in this fight so far is pokerstars).
      One of the reason Omaha is still soft is that there isn't yet sucessfull bots but in Holdem we have bots crushing midstakes and networks like Ipoker that support it...

      There is enough fish for poker for years just they don't want to play it the way it is now and at the end of the day if we want to play this game we need to listen to them.
    • ExternalUseOnly
      ExternalUseOnly
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      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 3,373
      Originally posted by DrDunne
      Originally posted by mateuszrybinski
      Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
      great book!
      +1 awesome book

      Also how to develop a super power memory is good too
    • zilltine
      zilltine
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.03.2010 Posts: 395
      No Money In Poker
    • Crox1710
      Crox1710
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      Joined: 11.10.2012 Posts: 22
      As others have said, try changing game. NLHE is very popular, especially amongsts those who like to learn basic strategy. Learn Omaha or a draw game to open up the field. I recommend 5 card draw as it is a game that everyone knows how to play and so attracts HE players looking for a different game, and casino gamblers.

      Also be aware that the higher the limits doesn't necessarily mean the better the player. I find micro stakes to be jammed full of regs who are trying to build a bankroll, whilst medium tables have more gamblers.

      Try other sites as well. Stars (and now fulltilt) are so glossy so it can be weird playing a basic HUD, but a site like CarbonPoker is a goldmine when compared to Stars.

      Finally why have seemingly maniac players like Durrr, Patrick Antonius, Gus Hansen etc become so successful (aside from their genius)? It's because the majority fo NLHE play TA top 10% of hands only. And so a manic loose aggressive strategy is very effective, if your good enough to do it that is!
      Basically if everyone is reading the same basic strategy then it will be very hard to win.
      Adapt your game.
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