The Americans invented the game of No Limit Holdem way back in the early 1900's and since then it has almost become a national pastime. The game's gradual spread over to Europe and certainly since year 2000 due to the massive exposure through television, internet and literature, has proven that our American counterparts no longer have a monopoly on poker expertise and success.
News came out this week that an Indian sports channel will be showing WPT episodes and this could represent the start of a colossal shift in the popularity of poker towards the Asian continent.
Looking at some basic figures we see that Asia has some of the largest and most populated countries on the planet and it is only a matter of time before poker becomes truly a global game. The game is slowly starting to take off in places like Russia and the far east but when India and China come on board then this represents about one third of the entire world population.
But the potential knock on effects of this are intriguing and especially for online poker. I have noticed many changes in the online arena over the years and the influx of European players definitely led to certain games playing far differently online. There is no doubt that the average European plays differently to the average American and vice versa.
Imagine what the added cultures of the Indians and the Chinese would bring to the online poker environment. This new breed of Asian and Indian player will almost certainly play the game a different way to what us Westerners have become accustomed to. This could lead to certain styles of play becoming ineffective and could also lead many professional players into giving their poker games a massive overhaul.
I for one simply cannot wait and given the recent press exposure on the subject, the expansion of areas such as Macau - becoming the Far East's version of Vegas, it is only a matter of time before these new territories become part of Poker.
Personally I would really love to see poker as a truly global game. I know anyone in the world can get a deck of cards and start a poker game (providing that you live in a country that allows gambling) but it is the underlying fascination and interest in the game that many areas of the world are lacking. Once this barrier is overcome then poker will truly become the one thing that it has been threatening for some time…..a global game!
Carl "The Dean" Sampson is sponsored by Cake Poker