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Home > Poker Pros > Articles > Steve Zolotow

Articles - Steve Zolotow

The Bald Eagle Predicts the Future of Online Poker
by Steve Zolotow

Bad Prediction No. 1 (made approximately five years ago): If online gambling — including poker, casino, and sports — becomes big, the U.S. government will make a very strong effort to shut it down. This will include arresting and/or seizing the assets of the principals who are residents of this country and putting pressure on credit card companies, ISPs, and phone companies to stop being facilitators.

Bad Prediction No. 2 (made approximately four years ago): It will be impossible for a new site to do very well, since all the players are playing on Paradise Poker. Any new site, no matter how good its software is, won’t be able to succeed. Players will log on, not find games with players, and return to Paradise. (I cited the failure of eBay’s competitors for the same reason as evidence of this fact.)

New Prediction No. 1: Any new site with excellent software and good publicity will be able to seize a market share. Right now, no sites that I have seen have uniformly good software. Most of the better ones have some good features and some major flaws. Tolstoy once said, “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Similarly, each poker site is flawed in its own way. I am available to consult with any site that wants to get in 5 percent to 10 percent more hands per hour and make its games more user-friendly at the same time.

New Prediction No. 2: The most successful software will be created by someone who realizes that online poker is not an imitation of live poker, but a different, more modern way to play. There are sites that advertise they have the feel of “brick-and-mortar cardrooms.” Some friends of mine are working on a new site. They are also following the brick-and-mortar model, basically imitating the other sites, but trying to do everything a little better. Hey, guys, it is time to wake up. No one wants a car with the feel of a horse and buggy. No one wants e-mail that works as slowly as the U.S. Postal Service. The first ones to make this paradigm shift will seize market share and revolutionize poker as we know it.





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