The Impact of Traditional Poker on Online Poker & Vice Versa

For centuries, poker was played in traditional saloons and then casinos, drawing the crowds with its amazing combination of luck and skill. When online gambling burst onto the scene in the mid 1990’s, it was only natural that this game would take off on the internet.

The first poker sites were a far cry from what we know as online poker today. They offered a game or two at most, software was archaic and many of the great features found online today were simply non-existent. Today, however, it is another story.

There are hundreds of online poker sites on the internet, some of them naturally more popular than others. Some are part of a network, offering advanced technology and massive prizes that link together on different sites. Others are stand-alone sites offering quality proprietary software.

What happened to traditional, land-based poker when online poker was introduced? Is there now a clear distinction between the two? Or are the worlds of these two fantastic forms of entertainment intertwined.

We simply need to look at the facts to decide.

First of all, online poker sites would not have had that first burst in popularity in the 1990s if the game was already not such a hit off line. The very reason that poker took off on the internet was that poker players were simply looking for an extension to their poker fun.

As poker players began to appreciate the many advantages of playing online poker, many of them decided to stay. After all, they were now able to play their favorite game of poker at any time of the day or night, from the comfort of their own homes, selecting a wide variety of games that may not be available at their local poker rooms. Many poker players who visited Vegas once a year to have a poker blitz were suddenly able to play whenever they wished.

The impact of the online poker world on traditional poker (and vice versa) is keenly felt in major land poker events such as the World Series of Poker event. Many of the recent years’ winners began their careers as players online and were ‘fed’ into land tournaments thanks to satellite events played out on the internet. In the same vein, many poker players who grab multi million dollar guaranteed prize pools on the internet started out as traditional poker players. In essence, the poker industry has become a two way street.

Online poker sites regularly sponsor offline poker tournaments, unless this is specifically forbidden by law (as in the case of the World Series of Poker that takes place in Vegas). However, the European version of this same contest is regularly backed by online poker sites.

In answer to our question – the distinct line between online and traditional poker has definitely blurred over the years so that it is safe to say that the industry is made up of two halves of a whole.