Will the world overtake the US in poker?

Black Friday has changed the poker world in a number of ways, and as more and more time goes by we are starting to see the effects in some unexpected, yet profound ways. Not only has Black Friday affected US poker players capacity to play online poker -or to even cash-out their funds-but it has also affected televised poker shows, sponsorships, live tournament attendance, and this trickledown effect has gone on to a number of other areas; one of which I want to talk about here.

With the pieces still falling into place after Black Friday I realized that I have not played poker in over a month, and one question may need to be asked: Will the online poker ban in the US allow the world to overtake us in poker?

It almost seems unthinkable that over the next couple years the majority of the best poker players in the world may not reside in the United States, but with online poker effectively banned in the US our young players have just lost a competitive edge to their European and Asian counterparts.

We are currently in a poker climate similar to the one basketball underwent after the 1992 Olympics and the Dream Team introduced the game to the world. While the US is still home to the majority of the world’s top poker players, there are a number of poker hotspots springing up around the globe. However, unlike in basketball, where we maintained our hold on the top spot, with online poker cut off will we realistically be able to maintain our dominance in the poker world?

While young European and Australian, and Asian players hone their skills playing millions of hands online, the young US players will have to play against smaller pools of online players -if they can even fund their account-or wait until they are old enough to play live  poker. So not only will the rest of the world’s young poker talent begin their careers sooner, they will also have the added advantage of playing online and gaining experience much faster.

An even more troubling scenario is that poker skill can be gained in just a couple of years through online play -Daniel Cates, Tom Dwan, and other young stars can attest to this-so the shift in power may come a lot sooner than anyone could ever imagine! If the current state of online poker in the US remains the same, my guess is that the rest of the world will have overtaken the US in terms of top-notch poker talent in just a couple of years.

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  • Posted in: Fun Stuff, Poker
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