What Will Online Poker Be Like in 2033?
This week’s Twittertainment sees the poker community ponder what playing online will be like in 2033. The somewhat philosophical question was posed by the always-reflective Phil Galfond and, as you can imagine, it garnered some prophetic and some not so prophetic answers.
No one knows for certain what online poker will be like in 2033. However, if you’re betting on anyone to get at least a few things right, it’s probably wise to back those who grew up playing online. Galfond is someone to listen to, as is Isaac Haxton.
Online Poker Legends Look Forward to 2033
The American is a bona fide internet icon and made his name beating the highest stakes online during the Moneymaker boom.
He was the first to answer Galfond’s question. In his view, online poker could, and probably should, be played in designated areas. Why? Integrity.
We’re gonna need designated places that people go, something like Internet cafes run by the sites, to be supervised while they play to ensure game integrity. Frankly, we already do. By 2033 it might happen.— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) January 1, 2023
Bots, solvers, real-time assistance software, and outright cheating are an ever-present problem in online poker. With technology improving all the time, it may soon be impossible to detect cheating without physically observing it. Haxton believes a possible remedy to this is online poker sites opening cafes where people can be supervised while playing.
Steve Albini has similar concerns about game integrity, but he suggests that online poker could split into two distinct areas:
- Unregulated sites offering private games run by agents
- Regulated sites offering games for recreational players
Galfond fears this could happen but he’s also hopeful it won’t if the growth of regulated online poker in the U.S. continues. Mike Matusow was similarly pessimistic and took the nihilistic tone down a notch further by tweeting that online poker will be “gone” by 2033.
Not All Pros Are Bearish on Poker’s Prospects
The viral Twitter thread wasn’t all doom and gloom. Ryan Laplante expects online poker to be “alive and well” in 2033, while Melissa Burr thinks (in her dreams) that regulations will have swept across the US by then.
Online poker is legal in 40 states— Melissa Burr (@burrrrrberry) January 1, 2023
The players have formed an official union that is recognized by the govt
They consult on matters like security, structures and rules
We all operate under 1 set of tournament and cash game rules
Rake is fair, players have fun
Then we woke up
Technology will almost certainly change online poker over the next 10 years, and not all innovations will benefit cheaters.
Chris Colose chimed into the debate by suggesting that virtual reality poker will be the norm in 2033. He also thinks we’ll have more experimental variants to choose from.
On VR headset as the norm, 3+ blind NL and more experimental games, enhanced measures after near-perfect/instantaneous RTA destroys traditional online.— Chris Colose (@CColose) January 1, 2023
Joshua Tobkin is hot on the advent of provably fair games via blockchain and crypto technology. These types of innovations are already in the early stages of development, so there’s certainly merit to this prediction.
Some Innovations Could Surprise Us in 2033
JP420CA is bearish on the prospects of online poker but believes its death will spark another renaissance for live poker.
DOA - but the good news is that B&M casinos will be hosting 100m guarantees 💯. 🤣— JP (@JP420CA) January 1, 2023
Speculating is fun but forecasting the future with a high degree of accuracy is tough. It’s probably safe to assume online poker will still be around in 2033.
The naysayers, particularly Mike Matusow, are probably wrong that it won’t exist.
Range merge of live and online— Jaewoo (@jae_w0o) January 1, 2023
Metaverse Poker pic.twitter.com/SsnynQ9y5g
The question, however, is what form will it exist in? Virtual reality poker is fun but, as it stands, a little clunky. But, if headsets and Metaverse technology improve, plugging into a virtual poker room could easily become the norm.
There’s also a good chance blockchain technology will have a bigger role in the industry. Payments via Bitcoin et al are possible, but the applications of blockchains technology could extend even further.
Then, of course, there are the unknowns. Look at how online poker and the world at large has changed since 2013 or, more markedly, since the Moneymaker boom in 2003. Some of the changes we’ve seen couldn’t have been predicted back then. Therefore, online poker in 2033 might be full of surprises.
What we know for certain is that the industry is thriving right now. There are certain issues, particularly with bots. However, legit poker sites are doing everything possible to crack down on cheats. As long as this trend continues, online poker should remain vibrant, safe, and entertaining over the next decade.
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