Chinese poker rooms: a new step in the development of modern online poker?
For almost 20 years, all poker rooms were based on the same principles established at the beginning of the online poker. And before the Chinese boom, there were no signs of change:
- Play was only available on a desktop PC;
- Each player can only have one account and multi-table with it;
- Access to the games and logistics were provided by the same organization;
- The number of visible tables depends on the number of players, empty tables were automatically added;
- The player has access to the entire pool;
- The cashier was integrated into the room and its client;
Chinese poker rooms changed all those principles and, with that, the concept of traditional online poker. The reason for this was the particular environment in which they were born: we cannot say that its intention was to improve the games, it was simply to fit certain conditions. Bottom line, Chinese poker rooms will only complement the classical rooms but never replace them.
With this in mind, mobile poker applications could be considered as a new stage in the development of online poker in one region, which should become huge in a short time.
How has Chinese poker rooms evolved?
In just two years, this market has followed the path that took many years to the rest of online poker rooms. All the changes in Chinese poker rooms could be divided into two large groups:
- In-width — The number of applications is exponentially growing despite the struggle against them in China. The total number of Asian poker rooms is unknown to us, but we can assume that there are much more of them "at home" than we know now;
- In-depth — we will separately study each topic because those are the key factors of Chinese poker evolution.
Main trends in the development of Chinese poker rooms:
- Field increase;
- Going beyond Asia;
- Changes in the club system;
In the beginning, Chinese poker rooms were a kind of "weirdo" for non-Asian players. The number of rooms and clubs grew very fast, and the lineups were very weak at all stakes. With the time, the most popular Chinese room, PokerMaster, faced the problem of strengthening the field. Local players didn't like that much — of course, they began to lose more often — and the foreign regulars were not delighted with the increasing number of regs.
In addition, due to the advertising of these poker rooms over the internet, bot organizations and other dishonest actors began to look closely at them. As the Asian poker rooms were not prepared to face that issue, it certainly affected them more.
This led to the reaction of the game organizers and affiliates. So far only PokerMaster is affected, with some clubs allowing only Chinese players (requesting Chinese IP) and players paying a higher rake at the tables. The latest software updated of some rooms affected the tracking software operation, so we can even say that the developers are concerned by the situation.
From a month now, Worldpokerdeals has been working in private with Chinese rooms (in order not to strengthen the field) and applying a more rigorous selection of players (in order to protect themselves from bots and frauds).
Going beyond Asia
One of the main reasons for the widespread development of mobile poker applications in China was the need for access to high stakes games from wealthy players of the country and the strict prohibition on their organization from the authorities. Developed for Asia, the game system suits perfectly to other "gray" and closed markets such as United States, Australia, Russia. PPPoker became a leader in this field.
Changes in the club system
On the one hand, there is the creation of private clubs with very strict entry requirements, which means the tightening of the club system. On the other hand, PokerKing Asia, owned by a casino in Macau, has a single game organizer and therefore it doesn't use the club system.
Until now, only cash games players were able to play at Chinese poker rooms. Tournaments were organized on a very irregular basis. Now PokerClans was created having only SnG and MTT traffic (MTT tournaments with over 1,000 players).
What awaits the Chinese poker rooms in the future?
Based on all we commented before, we can assume that in the near future new rooms will keep appearing but in smaller quantities. Most likely we will see applications working with players from other regions. But, in any case, the strengthening of the fields will go faster than their expansion.
Therefore, more and more rooms will adopt the PokerMaster model: creating private clubs only for Chinese players with highly restricted access, and this will create stronger lineups in regular clubs.
The expansion of the applications will not only be reflected in the appearance of new rooms from other regions but also in developing the games (new formats and tournaments), more changes in the club system and the rake structure. It is likely that the user interface evolves too.
Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong in this area and even the change in some external factors as new regulations may affect the development of Chinese poker.
The Worldpokerdeals team is ready for various possible scenarios on the Chinese poker market. In our opinion, in 2019 the opportunities to play at any stakes with very weak opponents will remain, but only VIP-players will get access. We are constantly working on finding new rooms and testing them every day. We invite you to contact our team for more detailed information.
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