Six Things to Expect For Poker in the US in 2012
But alongside all the bad, poker has proven resilient as evidenced by increased live tournament attendance and record breaking numbers at the World Series of Poker.
Today, let's take a look forward at some things you can expect for poker in the United States in 2012.
1) More Live Poker Series
With the shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet for US players, many former online players have been forced to move into live play.
This has caused a noticeable increase in live poker events.
New tours such as the DeepStacks Poker Tour and the Native American Poker Tour have already begun to crop up.
Expect more of the same in 2012.
Tours will not be the only growth in live poker.
Many live venues will look to capitalize and increase the number of live tournament offerings through 2012.
2) Social Media and Subscription Sites Will Continue to Grow
While the recent Zynga IPO may have been less spectacular than hoped, the outlook for social media poker sites and subscription poker sites will continue to grow in 2012.
As players look for a safe alternative to real-money poker and others look for a way to gamble without the legal risks, social media and subscription sites will carve their own nitch.
Don't be surprised to see certain sites target online and live pros in their endeavors.
Also, look for some sites to get creative with their promotions.
A seat to the 2012 WSOP Main Event for free on a social poker site?
It's not outside the realm of possibility.
3) Nevada Goes Online - More Will Follow
Nevada will become the first state in the US to run legalized intrastate online poker starting in 2012.
Once this starts, progress will be slow but there should be more states to follow.
Iowa looks promising after the State Legislature's study of the game and we wouldn't be surprised if at least one other state jumps online by the end of 2012.
4) Live Poker Sponsorships Trend Again
The Jamie Gold Poker Room is regularly made fun of by Poker Junkie blogger Compncards, but it may just be the first in a trend of live poker room sponsorships that you may see coming.
With the options for online poker in the US dwindling, pros are going to get a deal where they can. Expect some of these deals to have online components with them, especially in Nevada once sites go online.
5) Groupe Bernard Tapie Will Become the New UB
Now that it appears the GBT will officially take over the assets of Full Tilt Poker, expect them to either be online or close to it by May or June 2012 at worst. At that point, expect many naysayers to mark the "New Full Tilt" as the "UB for 2012."
Many will be slow to trust a company with the history of Full Tilt, even under new management. Expect the rumors to fly and different accusations to be made by various players even as players return to the site.
The new Full Tilt will have to watch closely as every software glitch and every abnormality will be heavily scrutinized. Also, expect the new Full Tilt to be in the top 4 online poker sites by the end of 2012.
6) Younger Pros Will Dominate
For years, the younger pros by and large did not really step up their live game because online poker was so much more profitable. Since moving is not an option for many of these pros, they are going to start moving to live venues.
What this means for the live "old timers" is that they are likely to be replaced soon by young guns. Many older players have a hard time transitioning to playing online and adjusting their styles.
Now that they will see this all the time, the ones that fail to adequately adjust will become like Tom McEvoy and Dan Harrington - good poker players that the game has passed by.