The online poker scene is, without a doubt, in a constant state of expansion. While some jurisdictions have chosen to ban it as a legal pastime, others have embraced it and freely offer it to residents. Of course, it’s always good to know what’s in store for the future. And while this can’t easily be predicted, it’s good to take a few guesses at what some experts will take place in the industry in the near future.
That’s why we’ve put together a collection of the top online poker trends for 2019. Maybe you’ll get to witness and experience some of these upcoming potential changes yourself as a poker player. Let’s see what next year holds for the world of online poker.
Pennsylvania Makes Its Move to Enter Interstate Network
The US has had a shaky relationship with the online world of poker since the infamous Black Friday events that took place in 2011. This forced so many poker operations to shut down across the country. However, it has slowly been working its way back into the United States, with three states there participating in a united multi-state network. These exist in the states of Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.
Yet, the poker communities in these states haven’t been enough to really draw in enough of a sort of revenue for them. They now rest their hopes for a boost from the state of Pennsylvania, which just recently legalised more gambling options for its residents. While an actual integration into the interstate poker network isn’t expected to fully complete until 2020 at the earliest, many believe that Pennsylvania will begin proceedings for this next year.
Whether or not it will provide the multi-state network with the much-needed boost that it’s looking for remains to be seen.
Virtual Reality Makes a Big Impact
If you’re not already aware of it, virtual reality technology is making big waves in the world of gaming. It’s already made an impact in the video gaming world, so another logical step to take is to invade the online gambling scene. Steps have already been taken with regards to this, with numerous casino games able to be played via VR today.
However, it’s possible that 2019 will mark a great start for virtual reality online poker gaming. In fact, it promises to be somewhat of an immersive and engaging experience for users. VR has the ability to take all of the social and fun sides of participating in a live poker game and combine that with the convenience that playing it online brings. In this respect, you’ll be able to make friends with other players at the VR poker tables and be able to interact with them and the croupiers on a higher level.
Not only that, but virtual reality poker will allow for spectators to have much more of an engaging experience, too. Standing by and watching a game play out won’t just be a matter of you sitting and watching a screen of a table and some cards. Instead, as a spectator through VR technology, you’ll be able to watch as though it were unfolding right in front of you in a land-based establishment. Who knows what 2019 could bring in the area of VR?
PokerStars Struggles to Remain at the Top
There’s little doubt that PokerStars exists as one of the world’s best-known and most-popular online poker rooms. It’s not difficult to see why, either. It has been facing tough competition from brands like 888 Poker and PartyPoker throughout 2018, so you can see how pushed it’s going to be in 2019, too. In fact, PartyPoker just scored a great victory with its MILLIONS online tournament, which now stands at the top of the events with the largest prize pool after it smashed its $20 million guarantee.
Will PokerStars actually lose out on its top spot position overall, though? It’s true that in 2018, the platform has lost a fair number of players due to several changes that have been made throughout the year. Some people predict that the number of PokerStars fans will continue to decline in 2019, although it’s thought that this won’t be by any significant amount to knock it from the prime position.
PartyPoker will doubtless remain as the number one threat to the number one spot currently held by PokerStars, although others like bWin and such have heavily stepped up their game this year. Some have also made mention of the Asian poker market creeping up the ranks in 2019, too.
Live Poker Games Improve in Popularity
We’re not saying that live poker is unpopular right now. Far from it. In fact, the live poker scene has grown in popularity as the years have gone by, and this potentially means that once 2019 rolls around, there will be numerous big win live events to participate in. If PartyPoker is able to provide a tournament with a guarantee of $20 million as it did this year, then there’s a likelihood of being able to involve yourself in events with even higher prize pools next year.
At the moment, there are various annual tournaments that attract masses of players to them, with satellites and such for these allowing entry for a small buy-in fee. Watch out for events like the PartyPoker Live Tour and the WPT Tour in 2019.
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is less than a month away, too. The first of its 41 scheduled events is due to begin on January 6. With no rake charge and a total of $9 million in prize funds – including a guarantee of $1 million for the winner of the whole tournament – it stands as being the first of several shining jewels for 2019.
Cryptopoker to Become a Big Deal?
There isn’t really so much to say about this, which is why we thought we’d just touch on it as a final point. While it’s true that cryptocurrencies are booming and are even being used now more than ever at online casinos, the same is not true for online poker sites. Only a small number of poker players actually make use of cryptocurrencies.
So, while some people have made mention of the potential for a cryptopoker boom in 2019, logically, it doesn’t make sense for it to happen. At least, not as early as next year. It’s more likely that standard poker rooms will start offering cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals on a higher level than they do now. Wouldn’t you prefer to play at a site that offers traditional and cryptocurrency deposits, rather than just cryptopoker?