Webcam Poker

With so many online poker sites to choose from, it’s no wonder that so many of them are coming up with new gimmicks to draw in new players.  One site is borrowing a method occasionally employed by other sites as its way of bringing in new business.  Borrowing from 888 Poker’s cam tables, Pokerview has taken the webcam concept to the extreme, offering an entire online poker site built around the idea of being able to watch the other players in your poker game (and, in turn, have them watch you).  While this idea may be appealing to some, it’s downright abhorrent to others, so Pokerview’s future is uncertain.

The pros:

  • The Pokerview bonus is nice. That is to say, really, that it’s a Pokerview bonus, and any time a site offers free money, you’d be a fool not to take it.
  • The site offers a slew of incentives in addition to the Pokerview bonus. You can win free iPods, iPads, get $100 for referring a friend, and so on.
  • It’s better preparation for live play. Of course, if you play online poker because you like the privacy and anonymity of playing from home, this doesn’t apply to you.  Live play is a completely different game than online poker; the way players play is completely different, and Pokerview is offering a simulation of real life poker games.
  • You can have an edge in your games. If you can read people, then you’ll have a better idea of the kind of cards they’re holding, and you’ll be able to spot bluffs and slow plays.  This can mean that you actually perform a lot better in these sorts of games.

The cons:

  • It’s invasive.  Are there people in the world who are truly comfortable with being on a webcam, with their every move displayed for total strangers to see?  What if there’s an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction a la Janet Jackson at the Superbowl?  What if you forget for a moment that other people can see you and you resort to your “at home alone” behaviour?  What if you have to go to the bathroom, or the doorbell rings, or your partner or child comes into the room and looks over your shoulder?  Then you’re that guy, the one that everyone snickers at when he’s not looking.
  • No, really.  It’s invasive. It’s not just invasive in the simple ways where someone is looking at you while you play.  That’s only slightly more awkward than having a conversation with five other strangers, none of whom really want to be having a conversation with you.  It’s invasive in a bigger, scarier way.  This isn’t just talking to strangers; it’s inviting them into your bedroom/office/kitchen, where you may have photos or other personal affects.  Many people are looking at something around the room when they create their passwords, so not only do people get a look at your private life, you could ultimately be compromising your security.
  • Other players have an edge on you. If you’re not adept at reading people (which in this circumstance really just means “not better than everyone else at the table”), then you’re actually making yourself more vulnerable.  If you haven’t worked at concealing your tells or, worse yet, are so accustomed to playing online that you don’t know what faces you make or habits you have when you play, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.