888Poker Launch Blast Poker; How Long Before We Are Playing For Rolls?

888Poker Launch Blast Poker; How Long Before We Are Playing For Rolls?

As 888Poker react to the need for their players to receive instant gratification with the launch of Blast Poker, Lee Davy wonders just how far the online poker market are prepared to go?

I was standing in the supermarket queue when it happened. This raving banshee was spitting all over me, hurling abuse, eyes glazed, mouth foaming.

888Poker Launch Blast Poker; How Long Before We Are Playing For Rolls?I only popped in for a loaf of bread.

It was 2008, and I had just ruined her life by making her husband redundant. We were at the peak of the economic downturn. I was the Area Production Manager for a freight company. Our primary customer was the steelmaking giant Corus {Now Tata Steel}, and we learned a painful lesson.

When the world stops buying anything made out of steel, it’s bad business to have a steel giant as your core customer. We were too reliant on their business, and whenever this happens you should be very wary indeed, otherwise crazed women stalk you at supermarket checkouts after laying off most of your staff when the revenue stops coming in.

Rush Poker is Da Bomb

Rush Poker continues to be one of the greatest pieces of art in the history of the game. The designer should waltz into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Full Tilt took everything boring about poker and put it to sleep like poorly cats and dogs. All that was left were the exciting bits. It was pure genius, even if it did make we want to puke up on my keyboard due to motion sickness.

The idea soon spread.

It happens like that in online poker circles.

They are like kids in the playground all wanting the same 12-inch version of Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna.

Zoom Poker, Fast Forward Poker, Fast Poker, Snap Poker…you get the picture.

Expresso Anyone?

Winamax went a step further when their boffins created Expresso, the net result of a torrid love affair between online poker and the lottery. It was a devilishly good idea and soon all the operators were joining the fray with PokerStars Spin & Go leading the way.

Rush Poker was fast.

Spin & Go made you a millionaire in the time it took you to tie your shoe laces.

Go on Have a Blast

888Poker is a little late to the party, but they are here nonetheless. They have created Blast Poker, which is essentially Spin & Go with the added edge that once the timer on your games reaches zero all the remaining players are all-in to determine the winner.

The new format has dragged a few fingernails down some people’s blackboards, namely the purists in the game. It’s a tough one. 888Poker and the other online operators are in the supply and demand business. They have been watching their customers, and they are well aware of our need for instant gratification.

They are supplying.

The minority is crying.

Stacks Anyone?

Professional poker players should be worried.

It took Black Friday for thousands of people to realise like I did in 2008, that to be reliant on a single source of income was deadly. PokerStars et all was there one minute. Then just like that, they were gone.

People emigrated.

People played live.

Others found another career entirely.

There is another tidal wave heading for the professional players, and I hope they see it coming. They aren’t the core customer anymore. A fat kid is sitting on the side of the seesaw marked ‘gambling’. People don’t have time to play 12-hour tournaments or compete with bots in cash games.

Online poker rooms know this.

Online poker rooms are reacting to this.

Where does the innovation end?

How far will the online poker rooms go to satisfy their newest recruits, and who will be left to put an arm around the old guard?

You only have to look at the early evolution of eSports to see the popularity of skin betting. It turned into a billion dollar business quicker than you can say Blast Poker.

Is that the next logical step?

Are we going to see online poker players competing for stacks at the click of a button?

I don’t know.

But if I were a professional poker player I wouldn’t hang around to find out.