Back when I penned my first poker blog post nearly 10 years ago I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. At the time my only agenda was to document what I was learning playing online poker and hopefully find some fellow grinders who might take pity on me and offer some advice on how to beat low-limit Hold’em.
Since that moment when I hit “Publish” on my first poker blog post, my game got a little better (that point is widely open to debate), I’ve made some incredible friendships, I was recruited to project/product manage the poker product at Full Tilt Poker, I ran the poker room at PartyPoker, after a brief hiatus travelling around Asia I worked for a few years at The World Poker Tour, and since the beginning of September I’ve been the Head of Online Poker at WSOP.com.
There have been some incredible moments over that time but I can’t remember ever being as excited as I am today. Because today the WSOP has launched it’s real money gaming product in the US. Granted, it’s only available for people playing in Nevada but it’s legal and regulated online poker in the United States.
To me, that last part of that sentence makes all of the difference in the world, legal and regulated online poker in the United States. Poker is, IMHO, a traditionally American game with a long history and online poker belongs in America. But even more importantly, US players deserve a well-regulated and safe venue to enjoy online poker.
Online poker is about to enter a new phase in the US. I’ve posted on here for years that players deserved and should expect the level of oversight that was only ever likely to happen in the US.
I’m proud today not only of the WSOP but also for Ultimate Poker and other companies that enter the regulated markets in the US. It was not easy sitting on the sidelines for nearly 7 years but those who did so have shown that responsible operators see the big picture and have a long-term view of online poker in the US.
Hopefully as more states see that online poker can be offered responsibly by companies eager to comply with regulations that protect the interests of players, we’ll see more openness to the game by lawmakers.