All cruise boats have the Internet and people can conduct their regular activities while in a cruise. It is ideal for many as they can relax while remaining in touch with their regular business or pastime. Henceforth we see a lot of people playing online poker or casino games while on the ship. Here is a brief summary of this hobby.
For the past decade, the world of poker has changed immensely due to online poker. Online poker, best described as the virtual version of conventional poker, has helped some realize their financial dreams, while causing others to lose everything. It can be a fun thing to play, but it can also be highly addictive.
Nonetheless, online poker continues to be incredibly popular among a growing number of people in the population. To say that the world of online poker has exploded is an understatement. In 2001, online poker revenue sat at about $82.7 million. Only four years later, the online poker world was worth nearly $2.5 billion. It has grown to such a level that according to Joseph Eve, Certified Public Accounts roughly one out of every four dollars gambled is gambled away online.
One of the reasons that online poker has become so popular is because many novice players feel intimidated going into a casino to play poker against what they see as professional players. In addition, some casinos don’t offer poker as a game because it is difficult to make a good profit from. It is estimated that only one per cent of gambling revenue at a casino comes from poker. As well, online poker allows for extremely cheap bets, as low as one to two cents even. There are also tournaments that do not require an entry fee, attracting beginning poker players.
There is naturally some problems with it, and fraud is a big one. Collusion between players is much easier in a virtual environment despite collusion detection abilities put in place. One such technique is online poker rooms checking IP addresses in order to prevent players in the same household from playing at the same table.
Online poker came about in the late-1990s with IRC poker. Planet Poker came about as the first online cardroom, and the first money poker game online was held on Jan. 1, 1998. The online poker boom really kicked off in 2003 because of the practice of allowing online poker players to play in the World Series of Poker. Chris Moneymaker earned the right to play in the World Series of Poker in 2003 and went on to win the tournament.
This caused a huge ripple through the poker world and it caused online poker to explode in popularity. This impact even earned the name the Moneymaker Effect. In the 2004 World Series of Poker, there were three times as many players as there were in the previous year. Like in 2003, someone who qualified playing online poker ended up winning the tournament. This time, it was Greg Raymer.
As online poker grew in popularity, companies came knocking to cash in. The first was Sportingbet, which was the largest publicly-traded online gaming company. Sportingbet bought ParadisePoker.net for $340 million, making it the first online cardroom bought by a public company. In 2005, PartyGaming (which owns PartyPoker) went public after a market value offering of $8 billion. Currently, 92 per cent of the revenue of PartyGaming comes from online poker.
Today, the majority of online poker is done through major networks like iPoker Network, Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars. In all, there are 550 online poker websites, and within those, there are 24 stand-alone sites, while the remaining sites are skins that operate on 21 different networks, with iPoker being the largest as it has several skins operating. The largest online poker room is PokerStars.com, with 56 per cent of the market share. In 2013, 888 poker became the fourth largest online poker network, overtaking Party Poker.
In regards to how online poker sites make money, there are four ways:
- The first involves collecting money from real money ring game pots. This is called the rake, and it is calculated as a percentage of the pot based on a scale and a maximum fee. Each poker room uses its own form of the rake.
- The second is through schedule multi-table tournaments where an entry fee is charged. This can be an entry fee for someone to join the tournament, or it can be five to 10 per cent of the total buy-in at the tournament.
- Some sites don’t make money from poker, but make money from side games like blackjack, in which the player is playing against the house and in which the house has an advantage.
- Through the investment of money that is deposited by players, online poker sites can make money as well. There are several rules in place regarding this though to prevent people losing their money.