The online poker world is dominated by individual poker rooms and networks that, for all practical purposes, do not have access to the huge numbers that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can provide. The question has been what kind of impact would an ISP have if they entered into the online poker battles. We will soon find out, at least in the European market, very soon.
It was announced on Thursday that Yahoo!, an ISP, will launch their own real money online poker room. The site, found at yahoo.co.uk., is a partnership between them and St. Minver Ltd., a gaming group located in Gibraltar. The poker site will be a part of the International Poker Network, which is owned and operated by Sweden's Boss Media AB.
This development could potentially make a significant impact on the online poker world. With the extent of the reach of Yahoo!, they could quickly become a huge player in the online poker world. As many online gaming companies have expressed, it could be only a matter of time until other major online players broach this idea as well.
While AOL runs online poker, because of its American base it is a "play money" only site, seriously affecting its reach and player skill levels. Could it be possible that other major online sources, such as Google or Microsoft (whose latest operating system, Windows Vista, does have a "play money" component to it) , are thinking of potentially entering into the real money arena, albeit on a foreign base? And what potential affect could it have on the online poker arena if these multi-billion dollar corporations did get into online poker?
These questions are only the tip of the iceberg but, with the step by Yahoo! into the poker world, we could potentially be on the verge of another huge worldwide flood of players into the game.