What do Poker Players Really Want, Social v Cash.
Before the internet invasion this was rarely an issue as so many poker players simply popped over to their buddies place for the weekly game. It was a social event, something to look forward to and to break the working week up. A deck of cards, a few drinks and a good chat was the only thing on players' minds. Most of these games were played for small change, some for match sticks and some to decide who went to the fridge next! That's the thing with poker, most players have to play for something, even if it's just to make you do ten push-ups, something that signifies that you are the winner. Did online poker take that away from people? In many peoples opinions it didn't, it just gave you another option of where to play when you didn't have a poker night with your pals planned. Then, when the online game really kicked off we saw the start of chat at the tables, and small communities built up, with players arranging online games between themselves. All this is good for poker, and now we see the growth of social gaming for those players who simply just want to hang out online and play poker and maybe make a few friends while they are at it. I took a look around and here's the lowdown.
You can't talk on this subject of course, without mentioning Facebook. The biggest social media site in the world, combined with the most popular poker variation, gives you Facebook Texas Hold 'em. With over 35 million users worldwide and still growing it's the biggest out there. Zynga have done a great job in putting it together but I feel, that it takes something away from the game. Where's the forfeit? You lost, but only a few FB credits...big deal. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent application and anything that gets people playing poker is welcome in my world. However, with the success of FB the launch of a decent app will always get a few people playing, whether it be playing poker or building a farm. I suppose opinions will always differ, but most online poker rooms offer play money anyways so why not just go there? At least you get a solid platform and a wider variety of games to choose from. Social poker will always be around, and the online version of it is simply evolution from the game played at Uncle Bob's place, to logging in and chatting to your pals online, same difference? I am not so sure. In my humble opinion, the two go hand in hand, and both are for the good of the game.