Are Vegas Poker Rooms a Thing of the Past?There have been some drastic changes to the world poker in the last decade. Most notably of course is the online poker boom that accompanied Chris Moneymaker's WSOP Main Event victory in 2003.
As the ultimate example of how an amateur player could qualify online for next to nothing and then proceed to win a major poker tournament, Moneymaker was a clear catalyst for much of what has happened with poker since.
And what exactly has happened to poker? For one thing, millions of people worldwide now take part in their favorite card game from the comfort of their homes and many of them are making a living, if not a killing, while doing it.
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So how has the online poker explosion affected Las Vegas poker rooms? Interestingly, the massive success enjoyed by online poker has bled over to live tournaments and cash games. Vegas poker rooms have never been fuller and Sin City has happily shared in poker's popularity boom.
In part this could be attributed to another major catalyst in poker's increased popularity, and that is poker being televised. The World Poker Tour brought poker to the masses with the popular inclusion of showing player's hole cards. The WSOP joined in as did dozens of other poker TV shows. With poker shows cheap to produce and gaining in popularity the airwaves became flooded with them and poker became irretrievably engrained in the public's consciousness.
But live poker rooms do seem to be taking a cue from online poker rooms. Increasingly, poker rooms are being automated with electronic tables that eliminate the need for a dealer.
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Trump Plaza recently automated its poker room and hasn't looked back. As have several other casinos across the United States. The question is whether poker players enjoy this hybrid of live and online poker. Responses seem to be mixed with owners enjoying the cost saving measure of not requiring a dealer and new players feel less intimidation having everything automated, but many veteran players have stated that the tables reduce some of the strategy and skill of reading opponents.
Concerning the growing numbers of automated poker tables being found in casinos, WPT host and poker pro Mike Sexton said in an August interview with Casino City Times that it's the "wave of the future, at least as far as low-stakes games are concerned."
So it would seem that although Vegas poker rooms are definitely not a thing of the past, in the near future they probably will see quite a few changes to adapt to the new habits of modern poker players.
Online gaming services like Bodog that provide sports betting, horse racing, casino gaming and poker haven't replaced Vegas. They have given gamblers more options and more convenience while helping to spread the popularity that many of us have already been enjoying for years.
by Bodog Poker at 1800-sports.com on November 20, 2008
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