Does Anyone Play Online Poker Anymore?

As long time readers know, I used to play a little poker.  And by “play a little poker” I mean “play in a privately organized daily cash game in New York City every day.”   This blog actually started almost a decade ago as a poker blog, when I decided to post my noob session recaps and questions where my friends could read them, instead of continuing to pester them with email blasts.   By the time I started playing poker more seriously, and then full time, I stopped writing about poker because I thought that I knew my opponents better than my readers did or could, and that I had a solid grasp on the situational decisions I was making.

Anyway, I was never much of an online poker player.  I’ve written about this topic before, but I could never pick up any sort of feel for the game or the flow online.   I had an account on PartyPoker, and on PokerStars as well, but before I could even force myself to adapt to the online game, which is really the only game choice I have up here in New Hampshire, the U.S. DOJ intervened and killed the online poker world.

For several years now, however, the online poker world has been trying to claw back in a legal, regulated, taxed manner. The folks over at have put together an interesting page detailing an overview of NJ online poker.  If you look at their numbers, you’ll see that the online poker population in New Jersey at any given time is a fraction of what it was back in the heyday: reports average players in the low single digit hundreds for most sites – a far cry from the thousands or ten-thousand players formerly seen online at some sites before Black Friday.

My understanding of the U.S. online poker landscape (which may not be accurate – please correct me?) is that a few states (NJ, Nevada, Delaware?)  have legalized online poker, but you’re basically only playing against other people in your state?  Is that right?  In other words, are those player pooled combined?  Can NJ players on a given site play against Nevada players on the same site? Or are they still segregated?   It will obviously impede online poker progress if the player pools are segregated…

Since I’ve been completely out of the loop, I figured I’d just ask my readers:  are any of you playing online poker?   I have a lot of non-U.S.-based readers:  how about you guys?  How are the player populations in terms of both number and skill?  I’m sure the games are nothing like they were 5 years ago, but are they juicy at all?    Most importantly:  what’s the current state of the future of online poker legislation in the U.S. ?   I had thought that once our legislators realized that they could get their hands on a piece of the tax revenues from online poker, that legalization would move forward.   This has certainly happened more slowly than I anticipated.

Although I’ve never been a fan of online poker, I think that if it were to make a comeback to a state of play resembling anything remotely close to how it was 5 to 8 years ago, I would certainly get involved – especially since I lack a good live poker option up here (NH has some tiny cash games ($2 max bet I think), and allows tourneys with huge vigs “for charity”).

disclosure: I have owned Party Poker’s U.S. Listed stock, PYGMF, for a long time now. Probably 10 years.  It’s been a massive loser, of course.




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