Future of (online) poker

    • MikesekCZE
      MikesekCZE
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      Joined: 01.11.2009 Posts: 1,059
      We used to run tournaments in our pub every friday, I would say the average attendance was 15 ppl (note: we are a small city), but the number of players attending keeps getting lower and lower to the point that there was no tournament in two weeks now (there were only like 3 guys who wanted to play), so I guess people just moved on...

      I keep wondering...if friendly live game can die out, can "boring" online poker full of software and mathematics die too?

      I read somewhere that the number of recreational players is in decline... maybe with all the theory and software poker is not that fun anymore?

      Just something to think about....

      Please discuss
  • 70 replies
    • conall88
      conall88
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      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 1,715
      Playing cards have been around since the 9th Century. You are totally underestimating the endurance of card games. What you are actually seeing is the end of the poker boom, because that's what it was. You can't expect it to last indefinitely!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playing_card#Early_history
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,070
      From what I see in how people bet on dog racing and so on where there is no edge posible, I still think people can do same on poker. At least they can imagine that they have some edge.

      We were doing micro reasearch on how people think when betting for dogs racing.

      They say - its not posible to loose :D or I did experimental bet, then I ask, is my ticket won, because I was not knowing that system, he looks at my ticket, says - dont bet on this. Dog number 6 is good, wins often, so bet on it, or someting like that he said :)

      BUt they don't understand that even if it wins, the odds are not at their side.

      SO therre are people who have no clue about odds and just gamble.

      Try to go to the local spot betting shop and predent you also dont understand those things and ask them how to win or so :)
    • mbml
      mbml
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      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      you don't need an edge to want to gamble. look at the number of people buying lotteries or going to the casino
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,070
      also there are some who think are good just because they have holdem manager and play 18 tables.

      I know one, see on the facebook he posts thing about poker from time to time and plays NL50, but I really doubt that he moved up that fast considering his mindest.

      Maybe I am mistaken, I don't know his actuall results, he was very lazy at univercity, and when graduated - is working the physical work. Of course maybe he was not interested but at poker maybe he studies a lot so I might be wrong about him.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      With all the push for regulation I'd imagine poker will be around for many years to come. Just have no idea what game will be the king after 10 years or so, doubt it's still going to be holdem.
    • MikesekCZE
      MikesekCZE
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      Joined: 01.11.2009 Posts: 1,059
      Originally posted by conall88
      What you are actually seeing is the end of the poker boom, because that's what it was.
      Hmm I guess you're right. :)

      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      Just have no idea what game will be the king after 10 years or so, doubt it's still going to be holdem.
      I heard this from several people already....maybe learning 2-7 lowball or Stud could be worth it...
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,070
      when bots will be perfect at holdem, we can change the game and they will have code bots from new which is lot of work :) of course mastering new game strategy is also lot of work.

      BTw - the difference between humans and bots are that bots cannot be creative. Human can create counter attact against certain bot move, while bot will just keep doing same move untill programmer changes that.

      So human still has advangage against bot. What do you think?

      Or maybe bot might be so perfect that there would be not space to create counter attack?

      For example in chess game - computer can just go over every posible scenario. In poker it still cannot, because he has limited info.

      He can use stats. But human for example folds to 3bet 50%. Bot sees it and uses strategy which is programed against 50% f3bet.
      But then human can vary this f3bet vs bot. Once he can fold 80%, few hands later he can fold 30%. And bot will not catch up this until he collects stats.
      ANd still stats will be the average.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
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      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Originally posted by SPeedFANat1c
      when bots will be perfect at holdem, we can change the game and they will have code bots from new which is lot of work :) of course mastering new game strategy is also lot of work.
      I think in order for a computer to solve the game of NLHE it would take it a couple of times more than to crack the most secure encryption that currently exists... Just a hunch I have.. :rolleyes:
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,070
      I think in order for a computer to solve the game of NLHE it would take it a couple of times more than to crack the most secure encryption that currently exists...


      Lets hope so :)
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      But bot doesn't have to play GTO to have an edge on humans
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
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      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Lots of optimistic people here.

      About bots: a bot doesn't have to be creative to beat fish. So the bots will emptying the fish. So do we, the regulars get the money from those uncreative bots. Short answer: no. Even tho good players will have certain edge over bots this edge will not be sufficient to beat our worst enemy - the rake. So why is this edge so small?

      You talk about bots making exploitable moves. Well, good bots dont. A good bot will have perfect ranges, and they also adjust to their opponents playing style. If we know our bot opponent will fold to our cbet with perfect frequency, what edge will it give us?

      And even if bots won't kill poker, unfortunately theres another problem: poker sites hate regs. During the boom when deposits came in from doors and windows they didn't care so much, but now when the fish are becoming less in numbers they have started making moves to make professional poker hard, if not impossible. I'm sure you have heard PartyPoker and Cake segregating players based on winrate. If bots wont accomplish ruining proffessional poker, those guys will. The online poker will survive, but without the possibility to make money with it. Just like casino games.

      This all sounds super pessimistic, but I have no other option than to feel this way, considering the facts and logic. I someone can prove me wrong or offer some solutions that will save professional poker, I'd be glad.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      I was thinking that regulation could possibly help with botting problem, especially if there would be more government run sites like SvenskaSpel. Not that it would make botting impossible or anything, but having police involved should discourage at least some people from doing that.

      But yeah, future looks pretty grim regardless.
    • OZSA
      OZSA
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      Joined: 18.05.2009 Posts: 804
      It is possible to create a perfect bot, one that has random timing, one that can change its play style every day, can read and react to your stats perfectly (and has all your hands in db), my only hope is, that they will be made by outsiders and not client owners, there are bots everywhere even now, some are good some are bad, at first I thought there are only cash game bots, but for example pokerstars has tons of tournament bots, I have not seen once a tournament that didn't reach the guaranteed money.
      However, if the management of stars would ever become a bit less greedy, they could own all online poker and help the regs easily.. I could say right now dozens of improvements that would drag everyone there and to be even happy about it. Most multitablers who have no skill at all could make reasonable profits just from rakeback alone, some people rather play 24tables for 6-8hours a day than improve their game, stars could benefit from them, just give a good rakeback, or rakerace based on each limit, not a range of limits.. but I dont think this will happen, because they are the biggest now, they have zero good promotions and still most people play there..its sad but if once some other site will come up and have better promos, maybe they will change too.
      I do not understand why the big names arent making a good site, lots of high stakes pros could join with only 1% or less shares and make a site that is unbeatable, ofc if you want to make the players happy you gotta think long term profits and give them big boost from the beginning till the end, not just first deposit and then nada like stars.
      For me the most stunning thing is, regs make the money for sites, fish gives money to regs so they wont run out of it while raking all their money...why is it so hard to understand, its regs you have to make happy not the fishes, fish is happy with freerolls and random presents, regs need money to play with.
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
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      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Originally posted by OZSA
      For me the most stunning thing is, regs make the money for sites, fish gives money to regs so they wont run out of it while raking all their money...why is it so hard to understand, its regs you have to make happy not the fishes, fish is happy with freerolls and random presents, regs need money to play with.
      For me the most stunning thing is how many people still don't get the fact that grinders don't "make" money to poker rooms. All that matters is sum of deposits and sum of cashouts.

      Fish deposit and put the money in the system. Fish usually don't cash out (or even when they do they will redeposit after a while). If everyone on the site would be fish, all the money deposited would end up in the pockets of poker room (as rake). Even when a fish runs hot temporarily he will just keep playing until its all gone. The money stays in the system untill the rake eats it all up.

      Regulars on the other hand make cashouts. They draw money out of the system. The money withdrawn can't be raked anymore.

      Many people seem to think that regulars boost traffic because they play lots of hands. Wrong. Let's take a hypothetical poker room who launces a big rakeback campaign to attract regulars. The traffic will skyrocet! But thats a short term effect. Regulars bust fish, fish will leave. Regulars realise they don't have an edge anymore and leave as well. The traffic cripples.

      To sum it up - doesnt matter if a regular plays 10 times the hand an hour. Without withdrawing regulars there would be 10+ times more fish playing.

      P.S. The reason why PokerStars is successful despite favouring regulars is: they are the biggest room. They are known to be "The poker room", they advertise a lot, run big live tournaments (EPT) etc, therefore many starting players will choose it because its "The biggest", therefore cool and trustworthy.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Fish >>>>>>>>> Regs when it comes to value for sites.

      With that said, poker rooms need regulars too. For table starting and keeping the action running as recreational player will def prefer a site where they can just open up a client and jump in action straight away rather than having to do all the boring work of starting tables themselves.

      Smaller sites even offer private rakeback deals sometimes over 100% for people willing to start the games and get the action running, cake offered similar deal few years ago or so if I recall correctly for PLO 200+ cash games starters for example.
    • patszerdonk
      patszerdonk
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      Joined: 19.05.2011 Posts: 834
      Originally posted by SPeedFANat1c
      when bots will be perfect at holdem, we can change the game and they will have code bots from new which is lot of work :) of course mastering new game strategy is also lot of work.

      BTw - the difference between humans and bots are that bots cannot be creative. Human can create counter attact against certain bot move, while bot will just keep doing same move untill programmer changes that.

      So human still has advangage against bot. What do you think?

      Or maybe bot might be so perfect that there would be not space to create counter attack?

      For example in chess game - computer can just go over every posible scenario. In poker it still cannot, because he has limited info.

      He can use stats. But human for example folds to 3bet 50%. Bot sees it and uses strategy which is programed against 50% f3bet.
      But then human can vary this f3bet vs bot. Once he can fold 80%, few hands later he can fold 30%. And bot will not catch up this until he collects stats.
      ANd still stats will be the average.
      Computer chess developed very fast because chess programmers working harder than poker programmer (and they colaborated/share source code).

      It's not because poker is a more complex game than chess or poker is game of limited information. If you compare poker and chess AI, you can see that poker AI is behind about >20 years compared with chess AI.

      I wouldn't surprised if in 3-5 years computer can beat high stakes NLHE Short Handed. But as we can see at chess, poker will not die just because computer can beat it.
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
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      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,070
      For me the most stunning thing is how many people still don't get the fact that grinders don't "make" money to poker rooms. All that matters is sum of deposits and sum of cashouts. Fish deposit and put the money in the system. Fish usually don't cash out (or even when they do they will redeposit after a while). If everyone on the site would be fish, all the money deposited would end up in the pockets of poker room (as rake). Even when a fish runs hot temporarily he will just keep playing until its all gone. The money stays in the system untill the rake eats it all up. Regulars on the other hand make cashouts. They draw money out of the system. The money withdrawn can't be raked anymore.


      Lets copare rake by hour. Lets say 1 reg makes 10$ of rake per hour.
      1 fish makes 1$ rake per hour.

      OK, reg cahsouts. MOney is gone from the system. Still reg is playing because he has enought bakroll and does same 10$ per/hour and same fish dos 1$ per hour.

      So site makes 11$ per hour.
      --------------
      Now another scenarion. Poker room hates regs, so it make it leave. There is not reg.

      Now plays one fish still making same 1$ hours. Now - who makes the other 10$ per hour rake instead of leaving reg? There should be 10 more fish to compensate that.
      Ok fish might understand that poker is softer so he invites 10 other fish to the site.
      The question is - is it realistic? Does fish invites more fishes because of no reg? Or does same fish play X times more to compensate the left reg?

      And also for one fihs it is not 1 reg. Its 5 regs to 1 fish. So if all of them leave - fish has to generate much more. Is it real?

      Of course my numbers about rake are from the air, I don't kwow exact ones.
      ----

      Yeah. eventually fish will loose the bandkroll and all money to the site. But what matter is $/hour. Site also wants per hour 'winrate' as poker players.
      DOes the site want to win 1$ per hour or does he want to get 10$ * number_of_regs_to_one_fish + 1$?
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
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      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      PFF... On a hypothetical 100% fishy site the extra traffic comes from fish playing for longer. On a reg-infested site, typical fish deposits 1 or couple of times, then either gives up or tries another site (because its rigged, you know).

      If regs dont clean the fish up and cash out, the money will be circulating the fish, boosting amount of active fishy players and thus the traffic.

      So many people who dont understand this.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
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      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      Originally posted by patszerdonk
      Computer chess developed very fast because chess programmers working harder than poker programmer (and they colaborated/share source code).

      It's not because poker is a more complex game than chess or poker is game of limited information. If you compare poker and chess AI, you can see that poker AI is behind about >20 years compared with chess AI.

      I wouldn't surprised if in 3-5 years computer can beat high stakes NLHE Short Handed. But as we can see at chess, poker will not die just because computer can beat it.
      found this post interesting.

      isn't chess against computers "dead"? i mean, while humans vs humans is and always will be whatever, any reasonable computer engine absolutely dominates pretty much any human player.

      and that's what we should be caring about, because at poker we won't be able to not play against the bots.
      maybe we will be able to get away at microstakes... but still, if it "kinda happens" that "anyone" can get their hands into a good bot, that could be pretty much the end of online pokers.

      i don't really see a super bright future for online poker either, whatever way you look at it. just enjoy it while it's there :f_biggrin: