This is a serious question because it seems that there is less fun poker players playing and more live games taking precedent for the casual player. The opposing argument is that companies such as 888 are posting big profits so the game must be doing well. This maybe good for them, but, a lot of other comapnies are seeing a decline in profits.
The reason for this is that many recreational players are getting weary of online poker because of bots, scandals and silly laws in the US.
Lets deal with the US first. It seems that slowly but surely the US is inching its way to making online poker legal. It is taking ages but when the horse is screaming and kicking when being led to water then you have a problem. The US government is losing big time on easy revenue. The argument that it will lead to mass poverty due to people going nuts and losing their pension fund in cyber space may work if talking about bankers but it hold no water at all when it comes to the greatest capitalist game ever invented.
The next is scandals, which happen everywhere, it just shows up more in online poker. Yes there is the potential for a dodgy online poker firm not honouring its obligation to pay out when asked to, to go missing completely or even run a scam site in which people get ripped off chasing that bonus for depositing cash. The biggest scandal involved the US government and is still ongoing. Also the FBI raid on certain poker schools caused ripples of excitement amongst the world of online poker which will fully play itself out later in court.
Which brings me onto a very sore item after the last two – bots. After a while playing online poker it is quite clear when you are playing a bot. This can lead to the old ‘hit and run tactic’ which everyone hates but works in cash games. In tournament play it is almost impossible to play against these machines. as machines are good at grinding out results. I used to use the tactic of ‘irrational play, but even that is beginning to lose its potency. The problem of the machines will not go away.
Also another problem for online poker is what has happened to ‘Online Poker 2.0’? We seem to have got Online Poker 1.5 at the moment which is semi 3 d and anonymous poker. Not desirable but a slight improvement. If those who manage online poker, develop online poker or are entrepreneurs in online poker do not pull their fingers out I can see a new scandal finally sending the game into a death spin which would be a shame.