Texas Hold Em continues to be the most favored poker variant

image of texas hold em

A Texas Hold Em hand can be filled with thrill, with the situation changing every time a new card is exposed and the stakes get bigger and bigger. However, the dramatic roller-coaster ride of an online poker game is unmatched. Considered as the newest gold rush way back in 2003 when internet gamer Chris Moneymaker, who was then virtually unknown, bagged the top prize at WSOP, the game has been dealt both bad and good hands over recent years. Millions of dollars have been invested into creating and advertising this game, either in stand-alone websites or as an added service in an existing website. After web-based gambling was prohibited in the US in 2006, which was the world's largest market for poker, the industry has engaged in a legal battle just so it can exist. Several executives were put in jail for operating betting sites on the internet. Obviously, being the boss of a web-based gambling site is quite risky and experts have long debated whether there will be a time for the game to regain footing on the web again or it will sink into oblivion.

During a convention earlier, where all large British gambling firms were present, opinion was divided over the future of Texas Hold Em and other variants. Several claimed it to be just a fad and is now a dead industry. The real winner in real-life is PokerStars. Based in the Isle of Man, it is the biggest poker site in the world, boasting of about 50 million registered gamers. In a way, it is dominating the industry as evidenced by its 60% market share and proudly hosts celebrity players like Rafael Nadal, Victoria Coren and Boris Becker. Recently, it has acquired its rival company Full Tilt Poker, which was the second-largest site in the world only a few years back, welcoming over 100,000 players each day. Unfortunately for Full Tilt, it shut down at the early part of 2011 when the US Justice Department seized its assets and blocked the website over allegations of money laundering, violation of betting laws and fraud. Today, its new proprietors have come to an agreement with US authorities to give back around £114 million to the players and pay $731 to the US government to put an end to the legal scuffle. When Full Tilt finally reopened in November 2012, it automatically reclaimed its position as the second-largest website in the world. Now with two sites dominating the market, the future looks bleak for other sites. Progress over legalizing internet gambling in the US has been slow and could probably be done per state. But the real question is will Texas Hold Em and other poker variants be the beneficiary? Slots are quickly becoming the fastest-growing industry and investors might do better on fruit machine jackpots.