A look ahead at poker in 2013

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  • Published November 28th, 2012 in Poker

Not too long ago I wrote a column on what I expect the 2013 World Series of Poker to look like; in this column I’m going to do something similar, only this time around I’ll be offering up my opinions on what poker in general will look like in 2013.

Online Poker in the US

It seems that the first US online poker rooms (in Nevada) will be launching in early 2013, and if all goes according to plan, and these rooms are able to draw in players at the same rate as European countries that have legalized online poker, my feeling is that at least a handful of other states will follow Nevada’s lead and pass online poker legislation in 2013.

If enough states pass online poker bills we could see the death of online poker bills at the federal level, with the federal government left to clean-up the edges by passing laws that would allow inter-state online poker, or simply a pooling of players.

Online Poker around the globe

With the US effectively cutoff from the rest of the world I suspect we will continue to see the balkanization of the industry across Europe, and potentially in other locales.

I further suspect that the online poker industry in Europe, Asia, and around the world will continue to consolidate, as smaller rooms are absorbed by larger rooms on their networks.

Live Tournaments in the US

A trend has been sweeping across the US tournament scene over the past couple years, and in 2013 I expect it to come to a head. So what is the trend? Basically, the end of $10,000 buy-in tournaments and a move toward Main Events with buy-ins ranging from $1,000 to $3,500.

There will obviously be some exceptions, but overall I would expect the US tournament scene to be dominated by events under $5,000, and for events with buy-ins over $5,000 I expect the attendance numbers to continue to drop.

Live tournaments around the globe

Interestingly, while the US market has seen a drop in buy-ins, new markets around the world have opened up and seem to be doing well attracting players for higher buy-in tournaments. Places like Macau and other Pacific locations, as well as new markets in Canada and Latin America seem to be the real markets for growth for poker.

Macau seems more than capable of supporting $10k tournaments, as does Australia, while Canada, Latin America, and Pacific Islands seem to be settling in with $2,500-$3,500 Main Events.


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  • Posted in: Poker
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