To raise, or not to raise? That is the question.
With its mysterious origins that span nearly a thousand years, poker has come a long way sailing across continents and skipping across languages, only to retain its air of mystery to the everyday citizen. It has transformed into an umbrella term, sprouting new games that serve the preferences of its numerous players. Just the sound of the word, “poker”, worms its way into our imagination, painting a picture made hazy by puffs of cigar smoke, black-clad people huddled around cards at a green-top table. It is something that could easily fit right into Casablanca.
From brick-and-mortar to the screen on your desk.
The picture we paint, however, was vastly changed somewhere in the late 1990s, evolving first into IRC (International Relay Chat) poker, that survived only through the textual communication that IRC allowed. Shortly after, in 1999, Planet Poker, with its ability to place online bets quickly, swallowed up the industry, paving the way to the many online poker sites available today at the brush of a few keys. Today, the online poker industry is worth nearly 10 billion USD, making up just a 2.5% drop in the ocean of online gambling.
Online poker has proved itself to be more challenging than the traditional game, as the players cannot see one another, stealing away any ability to read body language or figure out ‘tells.’ The well-known poker face has become a mere expression to an online player.
Someone to pay the piper.
The skills of the player need to be harnessed and directed uphill, to be molded into a sustainable income rather than depending on unstable lucky streaks. As the industry continues to grow within the web, the demand for poker agents grows steadily along. Agents prove useful to players as they stabilized the players’ income by tying the game with the multitude of other industries available. Players stepping into the field of professionals are guided on by these individuals, who also perform the various technical and PR tasks that came with fame in the game.
Some of the duties of these agents include finding sponsors and negotiating contracts, crafting a “story” for the player that would attract further public interest, diversifying income avenues and offering personalized advice to boost the player’s career.
A game not ready to fold.
One branch of online poker that is steadily rising to popularity 99 domino poker, traditionally known as ‘kiu kiu’ or ‘qiu qiu’ (meaning 99). The origins of this game stem from Indonesia, where citizens began to shine the spotlight on this ancient game when online gambling was banned within the country. This, combined with its existing popularity as a family game, cleared the way to its fame within the country, and soon, around the world. International players are drawn to its ease of access online and free cash bonuses that cater to lower-income or struggling newbie players. 99 domino poker continues its reign in the online poker world, expanding its already large database of over a thousand games.
Online or traditional, a verdict remains strong: poker continues to be a game loved by many, even bringing together families for a recreational evening. However, the question that remains is, would you call your chances in the online world, or would you bluff where you can see your rival’s face?