· Gambling

Poker Online 

The largest market for tech in the poker space by far is in online poker platforms. America's Cardroom, Ignition, PokerStars, and many others spend a lot of time and money perfecting their platforms to cater to the players - with reason. 

Most online sites take considerable rake in the same way casinos make their money off poker tables, and it's tough to find a site with a rake of less than 5%. Some of these online poker rooms (ACR and Ignition) operate offshore since online real money poker is forbidden in many states, hence the player bases in these rooms are larger than something like PokerStars which only operates in 3 states.

Players simply accept this expense, with the understanding that this generated rake is a price worth paying to access a table and enjoy themselves from whatever remote location they might find themselves in. 

As a poker player, I would definitely love to see online sites improve their UI, as many remain buggy and outdated. While they all may get the job done, a streamlined interface in collaboration with the same capabilities of older programs would allow them to market and gain a user base.

Apart from online poker, some technology in live poker that could definitely be further explored. There is an industry standard for in-table, 2-deck card shufflers (DeckMate) that seem to work well and do necessitate improvement (picture below). While casino chips and live dealers work well, it would be difficult to implement automated dealers as there is a lot of change in a game's action based on player decisions (straddles, bomb pots, missing blinds, etc.), in addition to subjectivity on some decisions like "calling the floor"/escalating any issues. 

I do think there is a need for a better at-home monitoring system for current games and waitlists at a casino. There is currently one iPhone app that does this - Bravo Poker Live, which is well known among the poker community but is not the most user-friendly. Although it provides information on casino poker games in the area, how many tables are running, waitlist lengths, a direct phone number to the poker room, and any promos they are offering (jackpots and high-hands), the app is extremely outdated and buggy. 

For example, something as simple as entering a zip code causes the app to crash, and the waitlist times are often inaccurate. Many of the basic functionalities simply do not work in practice, in addition to the application’s inability to even fit on the larger screens of the newer iPhone models. 

Although Bravo recently came out with a long-awaited update, there is definitely much room for improvement for a streamlined application to successfully merge the worlds of poker and technology. 

Written by Arjun Madan

Edited by Jimei Shen, Christine Lee, Jay Devon & Luca Guerrini-Maraldi

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