Subscription Poker: The Future of US Poker Online?

September 16, 2010

A new form of online poker introduced by Intelimax Media allegedly doesn’t violate the UIGEA while still making available to online US players a competitive arena to play ring games and tournaments for cash online. Subscription poker in theory is excluded from the laws in the US that define online gambling. Intelimax isn’t the first company to introduce subscription poker, they are the first to present the concept as an actual replacement for the illegal online poker play that US players have come accustomed to.

Here’s how it works: For a monthly fee (a subscription), players have access to the poker games. Rather than chips that equate to a real money value, the chips are backed by a prize for the tournament or game winner or multiple prizes for a pool of winners. Alternatively, credits are accumulated by players by spending time on the site, which can be redeemed for merchandise and even cash.

While many serious players who desire to play online poker as a profession claim that subscription poker isn’t and never will be as profitable as cash-value poker, many casual online poker players have embraced the concept, especially attracted to the fact that it is in fact legal. One pro to this form of online poker is that the operators of such sites would have no useful purpose to rig the games and tourneys on the site with bots and other forms of game control.

If nothing is ever resolved with the illegal poker saga in the US, or if the end result is not a positive one, subscription poker could very well be the future of online poker in the United States. While it’s not technically the same, it’s better than nothing and makes the game more of a social sport than a fiercely competitive activity that is often associated with compulsive gambling and destructive behavior.


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