5 Things That Didn't Exist Before Poker Boom
While it's true that the way the game is played has evolved dramatically, so has the industry in general.
A regular player from 2003 would be surprised at many of the things that are considered common in today's game.
Below are five things that are currently commonplace in poker that didn't exist when the Poker Boom began.
1. Mixed Games
At the onset of the Poker Boom mixed games didn't exist outside of the World Series of Poker and a few select tournaments.
You had various non-Hold'em events, but seldom did you run into a H.O.R.S.E, H.O.S.E or a H.O.E. tournament.
Starting around 2006 mixed-game poker really began to take off thanks in part to the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event at the World Series of Poker.
Online poker also contributed greatly to the growth of modern mixed games. Just to show you how different things were then, variants such as 8-Game, 10-Game, etc did not exist back before 2006.
Mixed-game poker has resurrected games such as Seven Card Stud, Stud Hi-Lo and even Draw poker games. It also helped to introduce games such as Triple Draw and Badugi.
2. Deep Stacked Tournaments
When the Poker Boom first hit you needed to build a stack in order to play "deep stacked" in a poker tournament.
Then a couple tournament directors decided that it might be a good idea to give players more chips to give them the appearance of playing deep stacked.
This gimmick took off to the point where deep stacked tournaments are commonplace events and some tournaments such as the WSOP try and start all events with deep stacks.
Of course the majority of "deep stack" tournaments are setup with a fast structure that negates any initial advantage enjoyed by players. However, players still like starting with massive amounts of chips so this is a gimmick that will continue.
3. Re-Entry Events
At some point during the evolution of poker post-Boom the concept of "rebuy" tournament poker developed a negative stigma.
Some point to past WSOP rebuy events where Daniel Negreanu once bought in 25 times, causing some to think that players could "buy" a bracelet.
Later on the concept of re-entry was developed where players could buy back into a tournament at any point they are eliminated. Instead of a rebuy period, they have a re-entry period.
The difference is that if you bust out in the first hour, you can go away and take a break and come back anytime during the re-entry period. For events with re-entry until the start of Day 2, some players elect to not even re-register until the start of the second Day.
In reality this equals a re-buy but for whatever reason organizers think that it sounds better than re-buy. It is a concept that has stuck, especially for pros that have no issue with firing multiple bullets.
4. Late Entry
If you played poker at the start of the Poker Boom you had to register for a tournament prior to the start or until the end of the second level (or the end of the rebuy period for rebuy tourneys.)
Of course, what happened in a lot of tournaments is that pros would register and sit out for several levels before coming to play. The blinds were typically low enough to where their stacks weren't that hurt and they could play as normal.
Eventually it was decided that registration should just be extended until later in the tournament to allow the pros to come in when they please and to allow for the possibility of more entries overall.
This concept works well for major series such as the WSOP that has multiple events running each day and is something that pros love to take advantage of.
5. Super High Roller Tournaments
Back in the day the $10,000 Main Events held on the WPT and the WSOP Main Event were considered "High Roller" tournaments. With the explosion of poker came the explosion in these types of events.
Pros started clamoring for higher buy-ins and the success of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2006 WSOP helped to usher in the era of the Super High Roller event.
Now you find "high roller" events in the $25,000 and $50,000 range with Super High Roller coming in at $100,000 and up.
While it is truly one of the ultimate gimmick events, they tend to be highly entertaining affairs with the best players in the game taking their shot at millions.