Winning big from small stakes
Online poker has changed the way the game is played and has made it available to a wide range of players. If in the old days only the wealthy players knew how poker is really played and few amateurs dared to take part in the tournaments organized amongst the pros, the landscape has changed immensely over the past decade and it is all thanks to the internet.
We are not going to start a story depicting how amateur online poker player Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event back in 2003 and sparked the start of what will quickly become a huge industry. The fact that Moneymaker qualified to the $10,000 Main Event through an online satellite was enough to open the floodgates of recreational poker players dreaming to do the same.
From then till now, a lot has changed and probably will continue to change, but the interesting thing is that online poker owes most of its success to the micro stakes tables. Nowadays, recreational players enjoying poker on the internet make up for the majority of traffic the rooms get and the trend seems to be going further into the buy-ins worth just a few bucks.
Micro stakes tournament series
Tournaments have always been a great way to see what the players want and what the latest trends are. This can be seen from the ever-changing schedule of the WSOP and the professional players that grind the bit tournament series around the world. When talking about online poker, the same concept can be noticed and the success that micro-stakes tournament series have been having lately is astonishing.
Pretty much all the major online poker sites have some sort of series they hold regularly, giving players the chance to compete in large events for a lot of money. The fact that most poker rooms focus on the mid stakes remains a questionable decision. Recent micro-stakes series have attracted fields much bigger than the expectations and the traffic at lower limits is slowly starting to dictate the future of online poker.
This is not to say that mid/high stakes don’t have any action, but that purely looking at the numbers reveals that micro stakes players are the majority. There are a variety of reasons why online poker rooms should focus on these players. One of them being the fact that they are far more likely to come back after losing and it is easier to find players for micro stakes.
Tournament series with big buy-ins tend to limit the player pool a bit as the majority of players will not be able to take part in the action. However, they are very valuable to the poker site and will continue to be popular on the internet.
Options for every buy-in level
The best solution is to offer different levels for tournament series, something which has been put into practice by the leading poker sites with great success. Using the same schedule for the regular tournament series and only changing the buy-ins is a great way to show the community that it is the priority.
Tournament with buy-in less than $10 are becoming very big on the internet. While the amount to take a seat is lower than an average sports bets, the huge fields of players can make the prize pool quite significant without attracting pro players into the mix. This makes for great micro-stakes tournament action that can award thousands of dollars after a few hours of play.
And the tournaments are not just limited to No-Limit Hold’em. PLO and Seven Card Stud micro stakes events are just as popular and it is not uncommon for the winner of the tournament to say that they have never played short-handed five-card Omaha or other variations. This means that the field is filled with inexperienced players just looking to try their luck and have some fun. The large, soft fields make micro-stakes tournaments a joy to play.