Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cardrooms of the Future? (Part II)

Having just spent three hours at the doctors office followed by welfare Walmart hell, I'm ready to work on the next part of my theory.

Tanya seems to think I put a pessimistic spin on things. I was trying to show the polar extremes of cardrooms. From the very worst stereotype (abusive patrons) to the polar opposite (passive dealers). I was actually GOING for extremes. All of us know that most people in cardrooms are in the middle (even ME!). Just relatively normal, poker loving human beings who enjoy a good game and some conversation.

But she is right about one thing, and so are many of you who regularly grumble about my personality either privately or on your own blog. I am crabby and irritable. I have a doctor who thinks experimenting with my hormone prescription following chemotherapy is cute, and wants to use me as his own, human guinea pig. My progesterone shot has gone from 150 mgs. down to 75, and now back up to 105. At first, today, he was going to give me 150 again, doubling my current prescription, until I went completely ballistic and said that doubling it would probably not be the brightest idea possible.

I'm telling you, rural Arizona isn't filled with the sharpest tools in the shed. I swear these guys got their medical degrees from some mail order catalog in Idaho. You know how every university class must have the highest echelon of graduates, and then you wonder to yourself, "but what about the BOTTOM 10%? What happened to them?" Well, I'll tell you what happened to them. They all came to ARIZONA to "practice" their medieval brand of medicine on rural, unsuspecting guinea pigs, that is where they are at! I'm thinking that I'm going to get all further medical care in Calfifornia. I just can't see letting this continue.

So if I've been rude, mean, irritable, crabby, abusive and uncontrollable lately...well, blame it on...ME, lol. This is normal, the progesterone just renders me bearable ;)

And now that I have the shot to keep me spayed for another three months? Well, I am limping around babying my left hip, but at least within 24 hours I should be almost human again.

Now, where were we? Ah, yeah, Tanya. The girl has seen the dark side of the moon and still wants to sing Kumbaya and hold hands. Fuggitaboutit! Joking, I actually like her a lot, even if she is way more PC than I could ever be. Scary thing is, she might end up dead in the desert before I do. I think people hate big winners even more than they hate someone who is constantly ranting, like me!
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Thanks for all of the comments, and I have to say, the person who parallels my own visions of live poker's future most is Peter.

"We've already got the electronic roulette (quite popular at Harrah's I recall), so I would imagine that the electronic poker will follow. I suspect that competition will also lead the rake to be lower than is charged for B&M."

I think the difference between this machine making it, and this machine bombing, is the fact of the rake. I really don't think, in the end, the other factors are as important.

"B&M games will survive, but the No Limit boom will fizzle. I don't see stud making a comeback, but the electronic aspect makes triple draw or Badougi possible "next big things" (or maybe Horse?)"

I have said this many times. But what actually gets me excited (and it takes a lot to get me excited these days, now that I've discovered the joys of cunnilingus), is the fact that games like Stud, Pot-Limit Omaha 8, Badugi, TDL, etc, can be RE-discovered in live cardrooms with much more frequency. Getting in virtually the same amount of hands per hour in a mixed game as one would in HE could be a boom to these "dying" games.

"Within 10 years the number of poker rooms in LV will have halved. Tournaments will continue, despite the ridiculous juice, because most live tournament players do not know any better (they are just there for the "fun", so whether they lose $15 to the house and $50 to other players or lose $5 to the house and $60 to other players makes no odds)."

Ah, words taken out of my own mouth...

Okay, so now that I have established for the 5,932 time that I tend to mesh well with Brits and they are my kind of people (except for their strange, twisted fascination with The Smiths and getting run over by a double decker bus), I can finish my thought on the future of live cardrooms.

First off, these tables would solve some problems in cardrooms.

1) The chairs could be permanently attached to the base of these tables with relative ease, thus preventing the table hog from taking up two spaces.

2) The increase of hands 50-60% per hour will more than make up for the reduced rake.

3) The machine will eliminate dealer abuse.

4) The machine will eliminate dealer error, player error, rake error, slow rolling, angleshooting, cheating (not via collusion), floor decision error and a myriad of other problems.

Are there negatives? Well, of course there are!

1) The screens are obviously going to have to be improved so that only the individual player can see what is on his screen, not his neighbors nor railbirds.

2) Tips for poker room personnel will be significantly reduced.

3) Collusion could be harder to detect and expose.

4) Initial investment would make the patron saint of cardroom managers have a coronary.

There are many more in each category that I could talk about. Obviously maintenance could turn out to be a monstrous problem. I am assuming that in ten years, the machines will be stable. I am also assuming that in ten years, most poker players will be more comfortable with "electronic" gaming and not be as concerned about the feel of the felt, cards and chips in their hands.

The personal part of a live poker game with all of its camaraderie and sociology, would adjust to the lack of a dealer at the table, and having random floor people walking the room all of the time. I have no doubt that if I can adjust, so can everyone (since I've often ranted and raved about how I hate online poker, and I can still see myself playing this game in a live setting).

A big problem that I can foresee is the one of player-on-player abuse. This would have to be addressed seriously, if these machines are to be successful.

The odd thing about my support of these machines is that when they were first discussed, I was dead set against them. Not only because it was "more like online poker," but because dealers would be forced to find other employment, and that saddened me.

Most dealers are great people. Unfortunately, they are also usually passive people, who let others run over them. They try to justify it by constantly quoting their bottom line, and how it hurts their bottom line to stand up for themselves. Some have told me in the past that it is not their "responsibility" to stand up for themselves when they are abused by players, that it is the responsibility of the OTHER players at the table to "protect" them. This is absurd, too, of course. I think cardrooms are simply going to have to post, then enforce the rules. No dealer abuse, period. This should spill over into no player-on-player abuse also, obviously.

So in conclusion, I think my outlook for the future of live poker rooms is a good one. At least, in my opinion it is. I think the good, patient, bright players will benefit from many more hands per hour in both live games and tourneys.

Whereas once I looked upon the invent of these machines with horror, and announced my own poker demise if such machines ever graced our casinos, now I am trying to see both sides of the coin. Until I actually experience one of them, I cannot say with any certainty, but the future doesn't seem quite as glum to me as it did, and perhaps, even in my most idealistic dreams, live poker will benefit and be the better for it!

How is that for optimism, Tanya?

Felicia :)