What are the effect of the UIGEA on online poker sites?
New players are commonly referred to as fish in gambling terms, and they are a very important aspect of online poker games. They tended to join poker sites after being influenced by movies like Rounders or from watching an exciting poker tournament on TV. Although they were not as experienced as a professional player or regular semi-pros, these fish were an essential part of online poker and casinos. There was a sudden climate change in this area after the UIGEA was passed in the US.
The UIGEA effectively scared off all of the fish, most of them not returning to the online poker scene. Because of this, there was a huge decrease in inexperienced players. This also lead to a smaller group of more dedicated players. At the same time, these remaining players at sites like Party Poker felt a sudden increase in the difficulty of the games, because the players that were left were either of the same skill level as them or could be even above it.
Party Poker after the UIGEA
Party Poker was one of the most visited sites before UIGEA was passed, and it suffered tremendously after it was passed. According to a recent study, Party Poker is still the site that has the most losers. The study showed that only 7% of the players who have played over 50,000 hands at Party Poker have done so profitably. In other words, about 93% players either lose or break even. In comparison, other poker sites have about 12% to 18% in winners.
With the data received from Party Poker, if 10% are winning players, that means that there is only 1 winner and 9 losers in a full ring game. Compared to this, Pokerstars has an astonishing 30% of winners at any table and at any given time. Even though there are multiple winners, this also means that if you are new to the game, it will be more difficult to win.
Daniel Cates is already a legend among online poker players, as in just a few years he has risen to the top of high stakes heads-up tables, challenging everyone including Phil Ivey himself.