Some are in it for the thrill, the adrenaline rush and some are just in it to make money. Every online poker player’s dream is to become someone like Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker Champion who won his spot in the tournament through online poker play on PokerStars online poker room and went on to take home $2.5 million.
“The adrenaline rush that you get when you think you have someone beat and they keep throwing chips into the pot, the sweaty hands and shaking legs, this is what it’s all about, it’s like playing in a big sports game.”
The play of online poker has spread like wildfire throughout the population. With dreams of “making it big” more and more college students are playing in hopes of that huge jackpot win or maybe just a couple of extra bucks in their pocket for the weekend. This play, however, has its disadvantages. The constant playing may cause some to become addicted to the gambling, interfere with studying and ultimately cause grades to decline, or even bankrupt and force some into insurmountable debt.
Bloomsburg University is no different than any other campus in that online poker play has taken it by storm over the past few years and has had the same repercussions on its students, “I sometimes lose control of my school work when playing because when I start winning I do not want to stop playing and do the work,” said Garrett Kroboth, a Bloomsburg University student. This addiction to the game can affect people to an extent when they are forced to borrow money or are simply unable to pay insurmountable debts that they accumulate.
“I’ve never had to borrow money but I know kids that have and it’s an awkward question to have to ask someone but they need to pay it somehow,” said Kroboth, “I’ve never became addicted to playing, I like to play but I don’t have to play, it’s something I do for fun.”
Poker has also caused un-necessary issues in students’ lives and can affect not only school work but also sleeping patterns. “If you’re in a tournament and you start to go far into it, you can be up all hours of the night, I was playing a tournament that I started at 8:00 p.m. and made it to the final table only to be knocked out at 5:00 a.m.,” said Kroboth. As we all know, time does not stop so these students need to get up for class at the same time.
Playing online has its advantages and disadvantages to the newer players and the veterans. Online play allows players to show emotion without having consequences in “tipping” a hand but it also allows the veteran players to “read” how a player is playing specific cards throughout the game or tournament. The tradeoffs are about the same when playing online as opposed to playing an in-person game but it also has caused major controversies in the legitimacy of the poker room sites.
“There are a lot of scams out there on the newer sites,” said Kroboth, “they will offer you $500.00 free if you deposit $500.00 into an account on the website but then will not let you withdraw the money if you start playing and decide to cash-out.”
Also, scandals involving ultimatebet.com, where an employee was playing high stakes poker and was able to view the cards of other players so that he knew when to “hold ‘em and fold ‘em.” Scandals like this scare some players off of new sites and make it harder for them to start up.
Online poker is something that has taken this country and world by storm, the play has spread from middle-age men to young teenagers lying about their age. It is just as dangerous to fall into addiction as in-person gambling but can be done from the comfort of your living room couch and can take you as far as the World Series of Poker Final Table for a chance at millions of dollars. It has its advantages and disadvantages but in the end it all comes down to the luck of the draw.
Images from google.com