Augmented Social Poker

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The very first moment I started to think about Onlive Poker, I faced the casino’s owners judgement. “We’ve tried the electronic tables, no one plays it so it’s barely profitable”.

It’s true, numbers speak by themselves : with an average €60.000 installation cost + monthly maintenance, running only low stakes game on Saturday night is not enough a good operation.

In fact, out of the 50 casinos I’ve been working with worldwide, very few have or have had an electronic table. Casino Cannes Croisette tried it for a year, I didn’t even notice it when I came to organize my yearly Unibet DeepStack Open. However I couldn’t miss it in Casino Barcelona during my event there in 2014 : the table was at the entrance of the poker room, with blinds as low as 50ct/1€.

During the 5 days I was in the casino, I saw this table running on Saturday night, and a bit on Sunday. I finally played on it on Sunday for a few hands with some friends. The experience was not the best : all players facing down their screen, no one talking or looking at each other …
I know a poker table is not always the place where you’ll speak the most even with cards and chips, but this was definitely worse.

We focused the development of Onlive Poker on the player’s thrills and experience : you don’t play poker in a casino like you play at home on any poker sites ! Facing the opponent, using and analyzing body language, the poker chats, the live tilts, … all those elements make the essence of Live Poker that we wanted to keep with our game.

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