Online gaming might already be 30 years old, but it still feels very fresh and new thanks to the speed at which technology develops.
Gaming is a mature market, but it has only recently become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Of course, the recent pandemic and shift in leisure behavior has helped drive it forward, but ever since the turn of the century, it has grown and evolved significantly.
In today’s world, every major console release seems to have a multiplayer option, linking friends around the world, whilst eSports draws millions of gamers to their screens as viewers too. Online poker has also become much safer and offers the aspirational player a route to fame and fortune.
Who can forget Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 WSOP winner, who qualified online at home for the event? He took away a huge prize and helped spark the original poker boom. Thanks to the pandemic and the improvements made by online providers, online poker is on the cusp of a second boom.
Could you become your generation’s Chris Moneymaker? It’s possible, if you follow our guide to being an online poker success.
The obvious starting place with online poker is to find a provider and sign up to play. It is quick and easy to sign up for an online poker site, and it is now safer than ever before. However, do not think it is just as easy as randomly picking a provider – you should do some research first. Few people know that Moneymaker was not even aware he was qualifying for the WSOP – he thought he was playing a sit’ ‘n’ go table with a cash prize. It worked out for him, but you should be more careful when choosing a provider and signing up for an account.
If you are a poker player looking to move online, you may find the concept of time a little different. In a real-life event, you may well have a couple of minutes to act before making a play, but online the timer can be unforgiving. For this reason alone, you may have to adjust your strategy, making some quick decisions. In terms of time, make sure you also take some to understand the site you chose, the interface it uses and the lobby too. Do not rush into the game head on and find yourself at a disadvantage because you did not take time to work out how everything works.
Online poker allows you to play multiple tables at once, something those who make a living on the sites understand, but as a beginner stick to one table at first. Learn to play one table, work out how to win on one table, and then scale up as you feel comfortable, otherwise, you could be in danger of being swamped. Remember, there are several poker variants to get to grips with like Texas Hold’em. You also need to learn how to play Omaha if you want to juggle more than one table at a time or just mix things up. However, when you’re starting off, it is probably just best to pick one variant, a table and master the craft, then scale up when you are comfortable.
Around a real table, it might be easier to drop into ‘the zone’, but playing at home is not so cut and dried. If you lounge on your sofa with a laptop on your knee, the TV on and a family argument raging in the background, you are never going to be a success. Find a space, away from everyone, and make sure you can focus on your game.
Use the Tools
Your provider may allow you to use additional software to help you play, and a serious online poker fanatic should consider investing in one. Good programs can help you track players you have met before, leave notes on their style of play and even replay whole hands to look at your own tactics and style. Your provider may not allow this, but they may have certain functions you should use, like a note-taker. You can then leave a note on a player if you wish, for instance ‘likes to bluff’, so when you encounter them again you are prepared for their plays.