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What’s Happened to the Recreational Player’s Interest in Online Poker?

Even if you do not frequently visit online casinos, you are undoubtedly aware that the popularity of poker games, online or otherwise, is no longer what it once was.

A decade or so ago, you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing an advertisement for online poker, and many networks broadcast late-night poker tournaments, frequently featuring celebrities from all walks of life.

Fast forward to now, and although poker hasn’t entirely vanished, it isn’t as prevalent in the media as it once was.

But why is that? What are the causes behind the decline in popularity of poker?

While online gambling as a whole has been soaring in terms of popularity year on year, online poker has begun to recede into the background, and there are a few reasons for this.

Hunting Bums

Welcome to a phrase and technique that is among the most obnoxious in the whole gaming business. A bum hunter is a skilled poker player that plays at low to medium stakes tables to prey on novice players. Many of these players, like it’s given here, will sit out a game until the proper opponent comes along, refusing to participate if more experienced players take their place at the table. Inexperienced players are easy prey for the bum hunter since they are forced into bets by the “weaker” opponent, and the bum hunter usually takes their chips without much difficulty. It’s a good strategy for individuals who want to earn a lot of money over time slowly, but it’s also driven many people away from online poker sites. When a table is vacant, bum hunters will sit there and refuse to play against anybody who enters until they perceive a chance to steal the other players’ chips for themselves.

However, in addition to being unpleasant for the individuals who have been victimized, it may also be tedious for those with more experience who are forced to wait out until the victim departs.

When a large number of bum hunters band together and place one at each table in the hopes that everyone will benefit, this tactic has the potential to rapidly take over an entire online poker room.

The harm has already been done, despite the fact that several sites have already outlawed this kind of fishing activity.

Live Games

Poker’s decline may be attributed in part to the fact that players prefer other kinds of gambling.

Casino games with a live dealer are a common cross-sell between poker and other types of gambling establishments.

While live dealer games have always been popular, recent advancements in the specialty have elevated the live casino experience to whole new heights. Live Dealer games have progressed far beyond simulating a land-based casino experience from home, and they now offer an experience unlike any other.

Most casual gamers have found that Live Dealer games may give them far more thrill without being preyed upon by those seeking to make fast money at the cost of less experienced players, due to bum hunting and the aftereffects of Black Friday.

In the realm of Live Dealer games, things are exploding, and it seems that this trend will continue for some time to come.

Online poker is unlikely to return to its pre-2011 heights until improvements in the game are on par with those in Live Dealer games, and bum hunting is eradicated once and for all.

Fewer Rewards

Internet poker providers used to be quite generous with promos and VIP awards in the early days of the game. Rewarding consumers was sometimes seen as a competition among sites, with the winner receiving the biggest Rakeback offers.

Some online poker sites offered Rakeback ranging from 50% to 70% at the height of the craze. Only when players flocked to the game was this concept viable.

However, traffic slowed down over time, necessitating a change in business strategy for operators. Paying back more than half the rake to players was no longer working for them.

Rakeback and other loyalty incentives have been drastically reduced on almost every site in recent years. The decreased prizes have, unsurprisingly, soured a few gamers on the game.

Casino Games and Sports Betting

Poker used to be the primary focus of gaming sites while they were in operation. However, they now have a far greater chance of succeeding by providing a wide range of gaming options.

The UIGEA, passed in 2006, was a significant factor in the decline of online poker’s popularity. It was Black Friday, though, that drove the market into meltdown.

Even after all of these unfortunate legal developments, internet poker continues to thrive. However, the volume of traffic is nothing like what it was.

As a result of the decline in traffic, additional problems have arisen in the online poker industry. To begin, the game is now regulated in several markets.

On the surface, regulation seems to be a wonderful concept since it provides participants with greater safeguards than gray markets. However, it also causes market fragmentation and a reduction in available liquidity.

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