Right now there are millions of dollars passing back and forth at online bandar slot pulsa tables. In single pots, multi-millionaires win and lose their fortunes, trading bankrolls with competitors across the digital divide.
This is the world of Zynga’s Texas Holdem, a Facebook app that enables anyone to play the game we know and love for free. Players can sign up and receive a handful of imaginary chips, with the option to purchase more for real money at any time. The principle is the same as with PokerStars and Full Tilt, play good poker, hope your luck holds, and collect big pots.
For grizzled online veterans, this instantly seems like a complete waste of time. Why spend hours grinding for fake money when you could win the real thing just as easily? Any two-bit laptop with an internet connection can get you online in no time and the quality of micro-stakes play isn’t much higher than the Facebook equivalent. It’s certainly true that experts have little to gain from time spent with Zynga’s offering, but they may benefit from it without realising.
The most obvious boon is the influx of new players. The industry feeds off low stakes players with little ability. As much as we would like to think that online poker is about skill and finesse, the bottom line for big sites is getting as many players playing as many pots as they can. These companies make their money from rake and tournament fees.
Zynga is undoubtedly introducing a horde of new players to poker and a decent sliver of these newbies will make the leap to cash play. From the perspective of raw capitalism, Facebook poker is a great thing. The big sites, and by extension the pros they sponsor, reap these benefits.
There’s another apparently obvious blessing: More new players means more bad players. A pile of dead money for skilled grinders to snaffle up.
However, this boon isn’t as self-evident as it first appears. New players will enter the fray at the micro-stakes level, with a few richer souls opting to jump straight onto the low limit tables. By the time they move up they’ll be just as skilled as every other amateur on the network. The average joe who’s been playing for years might find that his regular game gets a little softer, but he’s going to be the only beneficiary.
Phil Ivey won’t see any change at his nosebleed tables if an influx of Zynga veterans hit Full Tilt. If any of these players ever manage to filter through to the highest echelons, they’ll know enough to present serious opposition.
There are more left-field ways in which Facebook poker can impact the game at large. This month an unexpected bridge appeared between “real” and “fake” online poker in the form of the the Zynga Poker Con in Las Vegas. This expo that brought together players and industry figures from varied fields, demonstrating that Zynga has a willingness to engage with the poker community at large.
They even ran their first real money poker tournament, paying out a post-chop $15,200 to Phoenix Software Consultant Aaron Alanen. The 29-year-old, who is a member of the PPA, is a good example of how Facebook poker and legalising the game in the U.S. can dovetail effectively.
The act of player poker on a social networking site, with nothing but imaginary chips to gain, might not be benefit the industry in and of itself, but taken as a whole Zynga’s Texas Hold’em is a real star in the poker universe.