From South Africa and the Czech Republic to Australia and Germany, poker continues to enjoy an immense level of popularity amongst a growing number of players and spectators from all over the world. The concerted efforts of the World Poker Tour (WPT) and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) – particularly their commitment to providing extensive television coverage – have certainly contributed to the expansive global reach that poker now commands. Thousands of diehard poker fans from around the world witnessed history when Stuttgart, Germany’s very own Marvin Rettenmaier became the first poker pro in WPT history to win back-to-back titles. As the grandeur of live poker tournaments continues to soar through greater heights, there are millions of fans who are now getting exposed to the skill and strategy involved in poker. For most poker fans, playing online poker through their smartphones is a readily accessible and convenient way of gradually honing their game against other skilled players from across the globe.
Additionally, online poker rooms are packed with extra features that are designed to enhance the overall gaming experience. Poker journalist Nick Wright detailed some of the exciting features of the partypoker online game room: a one-click lobby for easy access to several existing and new games; 20-minute fastforward poker for players who want to skip all the inevitable waiting that comes with regular poker; loyalty points that players can use to purchase tournament tickets. There’s even a poker school that explains everything from the basic terms all the way to advanced theories and everything in between.
One of the primary differences between online poker and playing live is the speed – indeed, adjusting to the speed of online play can be quite intimidating. Tables that deal out at 80 hands per hour (compared to about 27 per hour live) are not uncommon. When spread out over multiple tables, the number of hands a player can see exponentially increases; playing three tables at the same time can yield around 240 hands per hour. Seeing so many more hands over a shorter timeframe will expose any weak links a poker player has in his or her game. Essentially, online poker is an effective way to sharpen a player’s intuition and substantially improve his entire game.
If there’s one advantage that online poker has over the land-based game, it’s the fact that it gives the dedicated player the chance to patch up any weaknesses in his or her game in only a few months, compared to the years it would take in an actual casino.