The Billion-Dollar Industry that is Poker

Public Poker has shot up passed a billion dollars. With more than 500 California card clubs, multitudes of card clubs in all of the United States, and more than a hundred in Nevada alone, thinking of it as a billion dollar industry may be just an understatement.

But it takes a lot of marketing, advertising and promotion to distract people from realizing how much money they lose from the casinos and card clubs. If people realized this, the public poker industry would collapse like a deck of cards. So it's quite fascinating to think that the industry has lasted this long.

Moreover, if customers - a large portion of whom are losers - realized that it is inevitable and it is inescapable to be wearing the shoes of a loser, they would pack up and leave and never play poker again. It's better to save their time and money somewhere else. Some would quickly switch to private poker games to get rid of the rigged house cuts, professionals and invisible cheaters. Others would switch to playing other gambling games such as roulette and slot machines so they don't have to deal with good players and, again, with cheaters (what they don't know even slot machines and roulette wheels are rigged to favor the house).

Like it or not, gambling establishments were created this way. Legalized games, although rigged to be favored, uses a sound operating base that mechanically extracts cash from all players, which must be in a fixed percentage. But professionals and cheaters thrive from public poker because here is a game that does not have a house cut, you play against other players and not the house. Professionals and cheaters stay in poker because they don't have to lose against the house; instead they can win against opponents and extract as much money from them as possible.

The Public Poker Industry, however, was established in a unique setting for true professional players who earn their keep by using top-act poker strategies. The losers are those who make use of collusion and manipulation of cards or both to earn.

With this in mind, will the Poker Industry still survive if all customers know they are losers in the long run against professionals, cheaters and the house? That depends on the individuals themselves. To truly (and legally) earn at poker, they have to work hard, study the game and deny that they would stay as losers forever. So comes the marketing that perennially stirs its customers that they could be winners, that they can turn the tables around, and that they can win millions of dollars if they concentrate on the game.

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