As we are all well aware, the number of new players signing up to on-line poker rooms is accelerating as a result of the increasing mainstream publicity being afforded to poker.
A few months ago, I would have said that a lot of new players were being sourced from existing bookmaker accounts. In the UK for example, the major high street bookmakers, like Ladbrokes and William Hill, had a captive and willing audience - the huge number of account holders in their traditional betting markets. These people are often loyal, long-standing customers with an attachment to their bookmaker. No surprise then that the bookmakers created and promoted their own poker rooms and herded their customers into them! Now, stockmarket-quoted bookmakers are reporting bumper results because of the easy profits of their poker rooms.
In today’s market, the TV coverage and vast tracts of advertising devoted to poker are drawing in large numbers of new players, and a lot of “new blood” into the bookmakers arms. In contrast to a year ago, the bookies are probably sourcing more new betting customers from their poker rooms than the other way about!
So, what does this mean for the new on-line poker player? For many, probably a quick way of spending money. You only have to play in some low-stakes Texas Hold’em games to see players calling down a hand in every deal at least to the flop and often to the river. Some are even crazier and think bluffing is the only way forward!
These guys should stop and think. They enter a $1/$2 limit Hold’em table with $40. They bet $1 before the flop, $1 after the flop, $2 after the turn and $2 after the river. That has cost them $6 or 15% of their stack already and this assumes they don’t have to call a raise. They win the occasional hand to give themselves confidence but in half an hour they have busted out.
Realistically, this is easy money for the sensible player who is prepared to wait for the premium hands. Sure, it is frustrating to have good hands cracked by a crazy calling station but bite your lip, the odds are with you. If you are a new player with a moderate bankroll, think of your money management first. Then get to these tables and milk them with patient play. The fodder is coming down the chute faster than you can fork it into the truck! Play a sensible game and remember that this is real money you are staking. It is not a game of Monopoly!