The emergence of a greater number of poker televisions shows and the airing of major competitions helped boost the card game’s popularity during the poker boom. The World Series of Poker and other select events had been shown on TV for decades before the game exploded in the internet era, but the lack of technology involved meant that it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable viewing experience. Various pieces of tech have crept in over the last twenty years, though, and these have served to make the game more immersive and engaging.
What Was the Turning Point Technology for Televised Poker?
Nearly every televised sport has undergone improvements for viewers at home over the last twenty years. Technology has transformed tennis, for instance. IBM, which powers all the tech for Wimbledon, has hi-tech cameras capturing all the action on each court and collecting massive amounts of data. This is all fed to the commentators who can provide viewers at home with detailed information. In addition to that, super slow motion cameras allow for excellent replays which show exactly where the ball landed.
The technology which transformed the poker viewing experience was the hole cam, which became popular in 1999 thanks to Channel 4’s Late Night Poker in the UK. This tech allowed viewers at home to see exactly what each player was holding, meaning that they could get a better understanding of why people made certain decisions in play. It also gave spectators a sense that they were playing the hands themselves, and they could see whether the strategy of the experts aligned with their own.
What Could Improve the Viewing Experience Even Further?
The world of online poker is progressing at a rapid rate, with poker sites introducing new games and exciting ways of playing each year. Poker online at Paddy Power, for instance, has been optimized for desktop and mobile, and the state of the art software used means that it takes seconds to find a poker game.
Because the sector is evolving exponentially, players expect similar advancements in their viewing experience. One of the latest additions to the poker scene is live streaming, and there are now more events than ever available to view in real-time online. But there hasn’t been a game-changing development since the hole cam was brought in.
One new idea which could shake up the way people view the game is to introduce technology that measures players’ physical reactions during a hand. For example, it would be interesting to know how much a player’s heart rate had increased after shoving on a stone-cold bluff. This would give an insight as to the techniques that experts employ in an effort to conceal their true emotions.
There is a lot of potential for introducing more technology to enhance the poker viewing experience. Bringing in new measures could help the card game challenge well-established sports when it comes to offering excitement for spectators.