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Old 05-15-2021, 05:05 PM   #1
tomshooter
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Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative of a

Personally I think they will spike and then go back to normal levels once people get over being stuck at home but I would be interested in what others think.

Last edited by tomshooter; 05-15-2021 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Tittle too long.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:08 PM   #2
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Sorry title was chopped. Is poker taking off again or is it just the we have been trapped for so long we would do anything that gets us out of the house.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Temporary spike. There isn't really a plausible explanation for why poker would have increased in popularity during COVID; if anything, you would expect the opposite.

Presumably it's pent up demand, which is a great sign that we didn't lose too many players forever, though.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

March was biggest month EVER for many casinos. seems to be huge pent up demand vs anything else. cant see why poker would be any different.



Quote:
And March was a particularly good month: 12 states reported their highest-ever levels of monthly gambling revenue...

“I do think we’re seeing more and more people feeling more comfortable coming out” to casinos, she said. “There’s a ton of pent-up demand out there. People want to go out and have fun, and that’s what you do at a casino.”
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-casinos-match-best-ever-quarter-with-11-1-billion-in-revenue-01620762130
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTLou View Post
March was biggest month EVER for many casinos. seems to be huge pent up demand vs anything else. cant see why poker would be any different.





https://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-casinos-match-best-ever-quarter-with-11-1-billion-in-revenue-01620762130
Hi Lou:

The reason poker will be different is that the rake is now so high in most places that this should reduce the number of games in the future.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-16-2021, 03:54 AM   #6
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

twitch, youtube poker, interest in the stock market and crypto (and then transitioning to other gambling/poker), and online games drying up will cause a live poker boom
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Old 05-16-2021, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Lou:

The reason poker will be different is that the rake is now so high in most places that this should reduce the number of games in the future.

Best wishes,
Mason
I respect your views of the poker economy, but wouldn't you agree that rake is largely irrelevant to rec players (both in perception in reality). Rec poker players (live or online) do not require positive expectation of win anymore than a blackjack or three card poker player.

Reg/professional players are certainly impacted by rake, but I'm not sure they are required to grow/maintain games.

Though many dynamics differ in Online world, when Stars dropped the amaya bomb on the online world and "killed the dream" there was a steady argument that without regs to start tables and with no shot at "the dream" online poker would suffer (some predicted even worse outcomes for online)

https://pokerindustrypro.com/news/article/212079-pokerstars-eyes-new-sunday-million-record-15th-anniversary

I believe the growth of Poker is not impacted if the house beats out the regs in collecting new player buyins. The more the house keeps in the form of rake, the more they will be able to invest to attract new players. Regs just use it for life expenses and contribute nothing to growing the game.
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Old 05-16-2021, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Lou:

The reason poker will be different is that the rake is now so high in most places that this should reduce the number of games in the future.

Best wishes,
Mason
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTLou View Post
I respect your views of the poker economy, but wouldn't you agree that rake is largely irrelevant to rec players (both in perception in reality). Rec poker players (live or online) do not require positive expectation of win anymore than a blackjack or three card poker player.

Reg/professional players are certainly impacted by rake, but I'm not sure they are required to grow/maintain games.

Though many dynamics differ in Online world, when Stars dropped the amaya bomb on the online world and "killed the dream" there was a steady argument that without regs to start tables and with no shot at "the dream" online poker would suffer (some predicted even worse outcomes for online)

https://pokerindustrypro.com/news/article/212079-pokerstars-eyes-new-sunday-million-record-15th-anniversary

I believe the growth of Poker is not impacted if the house beats out the regs in collecting new player buyins. The more the house keeps in the form of rake, the more they will be able to invest to attract new players. Regs just use it for life expenses and contribute nothing to growing the game.

The sooner it hits it’s peak and starts to decline the better and the better for the game.

Poker just doesn’t make as much per sq. ft, they want new players playing slots not poker
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Old 05-16-2021, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by kingweed View Post
The sooner it hits itís peak and starts to decline the better and the better for the game.
why?

if your measurment here is new player buyins why would soon to peak or any decline be better.

More player buyins will always make game better.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by PTLou View Post
I respect your views of the poker economy, but wouldn't you agree that rake is largely irrelevant to rec players (both in perception in reality). Rec poker players (live or online) do not require positive expectation of win anymore than a blackjack or three card poker player.
Hi Lou:

If you were to read my new book Cardrooms: Everything Bad and How to Make Them Better: An Analysis of Those Areas Where Poker Rooms Need Improvement Kindle Edition you would see that regular players are also very important to poker rooms. And excessive rake is slowly eliminating many of the weaker playing regulars which is affecting the poker games in many ways.

Quote:
Reg/professional players are certainly impacted by rake, but I'm not sure they are required to grow/maintain games.
They are needed to help start games and keep games going. If this group didn't exist, I doubt there would be many poker games.

Quote:
Though many dynamics differ in Online world, when Stars dropped the amaya bomb on the online world and "killed the dream" there was a steady argument that without regs to start tables and with no shot at "the dream" online poker would suffer (some predicted even worse outcomes for online)

https://pokerindustrypro.com/news/article/212079-pokerstars-eyes-new-sunday-million-record-15th-anniversary
I haven't read this but if that's the conclusion they're wrong.


Quote:
I believe the growth of Poker is not impacted if the house beats out the regs in collecting new player buyins. The more the house keeps in the form of rake, the more they will be able to invest to attract new players. Regs just use it for life expenses and contribute nothing to growing the game.
Again, let me recommend my book. For poker to be successful there needs to be a proper balance of luck and skill. This is also true of pit games where the house acts as the regs who win.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:18 PM   #11
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by kingweed View Post
The sooner it hits itís peak and starts to decline the better and the better for the game.

Poker just doesnít make as much per sq. ft, they want new players playing slots not poker
Do you think that if The Bellagio or The Southpoint removed their poker room that all of a sudden more people would be playing slots? I doubt it.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-16-2021, 08:02 PM   #12
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
They are needed to help start games and keep games going. If this group didn't exist, I doubt there would be many poker games.
I hear this often but have never seen any data to prove it true.

Intuitively I believe that its not necessarily true. Lets take vegas as an example. I'l guess there is a 80/20 ratio of recs/regs. Lets say there are 2000 poker players in vegas at any time. 400 regs and 1600 recs

If I understood the statement above correctly, and using an extreme example you are saying if all 400 regs stayed home for a day, then most of the 1600 recs would just sit around vegas, not play poker, wait for regs to come back and that there would not be many games ? Do you believe that is true?

In some markets or in some struggling rooms I can understand the importance of regs. But even in that case the house would be more profitable by just paying props to start games vs worrying about marketing to / attracting regs . Regs consume player buyins. Regs are in competition with the operator, not a requirement to operate.

p.s. this is all very similar to the endless argument after amaya killed the dream for online players. Online poker was supposed to die according to some regs. It didnt , that was the point of the link in prev post

EDIT

Quote:
For poker to be successful there needs to be a proper balance of luck and skill.
your quote above I totally agree with. But, regs are not needed for poker to have a balance of luck and skill.

Last edited by PTLou; 05-16-2021 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-16-2021, 08:12 PM   #13
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by PTLou View Post
I hear this often but have never seen any data to prove it true.

Intuitively I believe that its not necessarily true. Lets take vegas as an example. I'l guess there is a 80/20 ratio of regs/recs. Lets say there 2000 poker players in vegas at any time. 400 regs and 1600 recs

If I understood the statement above correctly, and using an extreme example you are saying if all 400 regs stayed home for a day, then most of the 1600 recs would just sit around vegas, not play poker, wait for regs to come back and that there would not be many games ? Do you believe that is true?

In some markets or in some struggling rooms I can understand the importance of regs. But even in that case the house would be more profitable by just paying props to start games vs worrying about marketing to / attracting regs . Regs consume player buyins. Regs are in competition with the operator, not a requirement to operate.

p.s. this is all very similar to the endless argument after amaya killed the dream for online players. Online poker was supposed to die according to some regs. It didnt , that was the point of the link in prev post
Hi Lou:

I think your numbers are way off, especially in the higher stakes games where 90 percent regs are probably a better estimate.

Another example is The Bellagio. They have lost their $4-$8 limit hold 'em games and their $10-$20 limit hold 'em games (which they tried to change to $9-$18). A $5 rake in these games is probably too high to produce any long-term winners (even for a small amount). So today, the smallest limit game is $20-$40.

The same is also true on the no-limit side. While the games still exist, based on my observation the stakes have gotten smaller over the past few years. And if this trend continues, I would expect to see less games in the future.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-16-2021, 08:19 PM   #14
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

yeah on all the above.

I guess when I think about live poker as a business , I think about 1/2NL and 2/5NL which is 90%+ of the market in some markets and ~80% of the market overall.

If we are talking about the niche markerts (high / mid stakes) uncommon games (limit, mixed) etc.... then yeah no regs no games as those games are 90% regs like you mention.

I'll check out your book. thanks for bringing that to market.
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Old 05-16-2021, 08:44 PM   #15
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Originally Posted by PTLou View Post
yeah on all the above.

I guess when I think about live poker as a business , I think about 1/2NL and 2/5NL which is 90%+ of the market in some markets and ~80% of the market overall.

If we are talking about the niche markerts (high / mid stakes) uncommon games (limit, mixed) etc.... then yeah no regs no games as those games are 90% regs like you mention.

I'll check out your book. thanks for bringing that to market.
Hi Lou:

I wish I was wrong. But I'm pessimistic about the future of poker and high rake is only part of it, but an important part.

I believe that what is happening is that the poker rooms are slowly turning poker into a "luck game" instead of a game with a proper balance of luck and skill. On the other hand, the expert players want to eliminate most of the luck. Either result is bad for the long-term health of poker.

Here's the link to the Amazon page for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Cardrooms-Eve...=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:56 AM   #16
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

The accounting would be interesting to see from various card rooms. What is the net profit per quarter or year? Per table? How does the rake affect the number of games and profit? Does a lower rake mean more volume and thus more profit?

One has to think the bean counters at Bellagio, Aria, South Point, Wynn, Orleans, etc. wouldn't put the game out there if there isn't money to be made. If poker adds people to the venue those increased numbers should contribute to the room/food/beverage handle also.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:46 AM   #17
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Hi Lou:

I wish I was wrong. But I'm pessimistic about the future of poker and high rake is only part of it, but an important part.

Im still not convinced that rake has much of any impact on growth or lack thereof in live poker Lets look at Europe where rake is absurdly high compared to even the high rake you mention in the US (5% 10 euro cap some as high as 20 cap. France I think used to have uncapped rake).

If what you say is true, poker should have died long ago in Europe. Looking at just the EPT numbers over the years, that hasnt happened nor has it shown any sign of a material decline.

IF we are only talking about niche games, then I really dont know. imo those are not an important part of live poker and if they die or decline it will be due to lack of player interest and small market of players rolled for mid/high stakes moreso than rake. Like you mention since those game are almost all regs, with little skill gap, I am sure they are very sensitive to rake.

Operators make most of their profit from the bread and butter of the poker business, low stakes NL and maybe PLO in some markets. Neither regs nor rake matter to that market. Demand among recs and their flow of buyins is all that matters and vast majority of them could care less about rake.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:00 AM   #18
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Multiple things, pent up demand, certain people have excess money due to stimulus, stock market, crypto, unemployment, etc... and more people probably have extra time on their hands working remotely or still on unemployment.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:56 AM   #19
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Simply put, there aren't enough new players being exposed to the game. The regs and rec players that evolved from the early 00s poker boom and before will always be around. How many players under the age of 30, or even 25, do you see in a poker room these days? No doubt there are *some*, but nothing like it was 5 or 10 years ago.
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Old 05-17-2021, 12:00 PM   #20
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

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Simply put, there aren't enough new players being exposed to the game. The regs and rec players that evolved from the early 00s poker boom and before will always be around. How many players under the age of 30, or even 25, do you see in a poker room these days? No doubt there are *some*, but nothing like it was 5 or 10 years ago.
The ones who are interested are from poor countries like eastern europe and parts of asia. Young people these days have social media, smartphones and other entertainment to keep them busy.
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Old 05-17-2021, 12:18 PM   #21
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Lou:

The reason poker will be different is that the rake is now so high in most places that this should reduce the number of games in the future.

Best wishes,
Mason
Inflation is high as well. Cardrooms raising rake to keep up with inflation wouldn't be a problem if stakes were being raised as well.

To some extent this seems to be true: there seem to be proportionally more $5 big blind NLHE games relative to smaller (1-2 or 1-3) than there had been before the shutdown. But anything larger than that is still sparse.

If there isn't a large enough population of losing players whose incomes rise with inflation, we could be in trouble. 2-5 will become the new 1-3, but the "new 2-5" will be a rarely spread 5-10.
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Old 05-17-2021, 11:28 PM   #22
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Should only get better now that face diapers are going away, casinos here in St. Louis no longer mandate them. The dehumanizing plexiglass is gone too apparently, hooray. I might just go once or twice a month now if I have nothing else to do. I'd never play with either of those two things being mandated, likely others feel the same way so you should see a bump in players.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:50 AM   #23
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Those stimulus checks were good for the game for awhile.
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:42 AM   #24
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

I was worried about the whole poker economy as a result of
covid.

But I actually think that there is so many degenerates out there, that poker
and all gaming will be fine.

Every time I go to the gas station I get stuck behind someone who has to play
649 and powerball and encore and scratch tickets. So people will always donate
to gambling even if its negative expectation.

A problem is as Mason said alot of sites and apparantly live poker rooms are trying
to turn poker into a pure luck game.

I'm surprised all the vegas games are increasing in rake? Do they not need to keep
lower rake to compete with other casino's. No one can increase the rake too much or
they will lose there customers to another casino.

Kinda sick really. This sites trying to make poker 100% luck. The whole poker world
is built on people knowing the game at least has some skill, otherwise why not just play a slot machine.

The rake on sites is way to high to begin with. The moves pokerstars has made well
taking in 500 million a year is kinda gross. Does it not occur to anyone else that the
world is ****ed because of **** like this.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:33 PM   #25
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Re: Are the numbers we are seeing in tournaments (and cash) since casinos reopened indicative

Poker will never die but I largely agree with Mason it’s going to continue to shrink after a burst of pent up demand.

Rake needs to be at an equilibrium, it’s true many recs don’t care, but people still notice the game bleeding faster. You can imagine a thought experiment of 50% rake where of course even the most casual rec would care. High rake is bad for everyone, including the house as they skin their sheep rather than shear them.

Crypto/options is the degen outlet for young people, you can much more easily “play “ Robinhood then online poker. Crypto and wallstreetbets is way more fun than watching some YouTube talk pio.

Pros like Jason Koon are a major problem as he defends tanking and is more concerned with trying to convince us he’s Magnus Carlsen . If you want the simplest explanation for why poker sucks now the transition from legends like Dwan Ivey and PA to narcissistic bros like Koon is a succinct answer.

Even if we got online back solvers have ruined it. And not having a good online option hurts in today’s world.

Besides training sites, even the quality of mobile training apps has increased the skill floor a ton. And yet replacements that are harder to train for like PLO don’t have the simplicity of tv factor of NLHE.

Finally casinos just feel very boomer-esque. And in California and Vegas they don’t seem very interested in modernizing that image. I live in SF and know many people working in tech making 300-500k a year but when I invite people to check out the closest cardroom (Lucky Chances) I always hear the same thing - “it looks like a dump.”

It’s just easiest for Vegas casino owners to cling to their slots and try to book EDM artists to appear relevant , and California rooms to cling to baccarat, then take a risk and try to revitalize poker. And it’s a too regulation heavy industry for anyone with new ideas to disrupt them.
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