Saw this on Cardplayer’s website this morning: http://www.cardplayer.com/poker_news/detail.php?p_id=714
This article raises the question of why we who ordinarily play on the Internet would ever want to play live in a casino. Of course I enjoy the soft competition and the money-making opportunity that casino action represents. But my main reason for playing in a casino is more often to practice the social and psychological aspects of the game. More often than not, at the end of a live session my thoughts focus on my interactions with other players at the table, not the number of hands I was able to play in an hour (unless it was frightfully low, which in the small limits it usually isn’t). I like chatting it up. I like shuffling chips. I even like tipping good dealers (when they push me a nice pot, of course). I like to feel real cards in my hands and enjoy sweating that second hole card (after the first one is an ace!).
How can I enjoy these aspects of the game if I am sitting in front of a computer screen?
Playing poker in a casino is a ritual I enjoy like others might enjoy a Renaissance festival: sure, getting in a horse-drawn carriage and driving around the block is fun once a year, but most days I just want to hail a cab and get to my destination as quickly and odorlessly as possible. (Maybe a cab is a bad example for this.)
Playing poker in a casino reminds me of all the things I enjoy about the game other than the pure mental exercise I perform when playing online. Logistics make online poker superior to casino play on most days in my life, but there must be a reason that the view of Foxwoods rising out of the trees, or the Vegas strip shimmering in the desert heat gets my heart pounding every time. If I have the chance to play efficiently run, profitable poker online, why am I so psyched about my upcoming trip to Atlantic City? It’s not because of the boardwalk, let me tell you.
It is my sincere hope that these automated poker tables never become a mainstream casino standard. If I want to play poker on a machine, I’ll stay home in my pajamas. Playing in a casino is a special occasion for me, and I want to enjoy it to the fullest – dirty chips and misdeals included.