If you go back a decade or so, poker was one of the most popular and fastest growing events on television. You couldn’t watch a 24-hour sports network for any length of time without seeing a high-stakes poker championship being broadcast. These games featured colorful personalities competing for large amounts of money.
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By the late 2000s, many poker players became celebrities across the world and more and more people responded by playing poker themselves. The availability of games and tournaments online made the game even more popular as people realized they didn’t need to even leave their homes to take part in poker games with high stakes. Instead of traveling to Monaco or Las Vegas, they could stay in their living room and play against players from all over the world.
But in the last decade, the poker boom became a poker bust and the popularity of the game faded a bit. There are several reasons for the decrease in poker’s visibility in recent years although there are signs that poker may be booming again soon. Here are three seasons for the end of the poker boom:
On April 15, 2011, a big scandal erupted in the world of high stakes poker that saw several of the biggest names in the sport get indicted in American courts. Eventually, three executives associated with poker served prison sentences and the courts tried to recover billions of dollars in assets from these people.
This tainted the world of high stakes poker not just in the United States but around the world. The fear that the games may not be on the level led to an immediate decrease in poker’s popularity.
Poker is a relatively simple game to play online. But as online technology got more sophisticated, it became easier for online slots and other popular games to be played virtually. Casinos in the U.K. and elsewhere started offering more alternatives to poker and with more choices, fewer people focused solely on poker as their top choice for gaming.
Lack of Confidence
Reports of unscrupulous practices in the industry undermined people’s confidence in the game. If you don’t feel poker is fair or on the level, you’re less likely to play.
There were many reports of experienced poker players purposefully playing at low or medium stakes tables to take advantage of inexperienced players who they would easily clean out. Nobody wants to feel taken advantage of and that’s what practices like these did.