The World Poker Exchange, the online room that will be hosting the 2005 London Open in August, constantly is surveying their players to see what course the online game is taking as well as what their players may want. They recently conducted a survey of American players with some fascinating results.
The basics are quite interesting. It was found that seventy five percent of those that were surveyed play poker at least three times a month, with thirty nine percent stating that they play at least five times a month. In another interesting angle, fifty nine percent of online players stated that there is a predominance of skill over luck; that figure rises to seventy four percent when the same question was asked of those who predominantly play in casinos versus the online arena.
The breakdown was about even as to the preference of where people want to play. An equal number of players said they preferred to play online as those that said they preferred to play face to face (45% in both cases). Overall in the United States, three out of four stated that they play online regularly each month.
The online game was said to be less intimidating than in the casinos according to the sizeable majority (77%) of those that responded in the survey. It was the choice of many because of the convenience and availability from their homes. It was also preferred by many because of the ease of finding a game at anytime. Over three out of five liked online poker because it didn't require a "poker face", and nearly half thought that playing online was a great training ground for face to face action.
When looking at the breakdown in that classic category of men versus women, it was surprisingly found that the two are equal. The percentages of men playing at least four times per month were virtually the same as that of women playing an equal amount of time. Where the percentages make a change is in how these same players determine what type of player they are. Nearly half of the women in the above statement consider themselves "social" players, whereas only about a quarter of the men look at themselves the same way. One in five men rate themselves as "serious" players, but the women take a different course in that only seven percent of them say they are "serious".
One thing that has been talked about by the number of women's poker groups is that women seem to be intimidated by the casinos, and this was proved out by the survey as well. Whereas almost three out of four men say that they were comfortable playing in the casinos, women were definitely lower, as only half said that they were comfortable in the same setting.
Finally, and on a fun angle, women would most like to play poker against George Clooney, Ben Affleck or Brad Pitt (Clooney won out as the top choice of all players who responded to the survey). Among the men, they would prefer to play against Jennifer Lopez, Shannon Elizabeth and Mimi Rogers (interesting because Elizabeth and Rogers have some excellent poker skills, as they have shown in many competitions).
It is always interesting to check the pulse of those who play the online game, and the World Poker Exchange has to be commended for continuing to keep an eye trained on the people who play in the online arena. It can be easy to forget that you are playing against people from around the world when you enter into an online poker room, and surveys such as this remind everyone of the fun of the game and that, as throughout the history of the game, poker is a social sport!
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