Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Our Roots In Poker - Now Growing Macintosh Apples

As noted in A Sovereign Speculator's title, exploration of fads is one of our objectives - The Sovereign Speculator started as a poker blog.

Back when A Sovereign Speculator was The Tsunami Hitchhiker we compared finance and poker - and we rode the early ripples of poker awareness.

One way to tell when a fad has reached a peak is to visit a large news stand. When we started covering poker the only poker magazines available were the free ones at poker rooms. Today Several new glossies have been started, the fad has taken hold.

(Look for magazines on Precious metals and coin collecting today - when there are three or more for sale it may be time to trim your gold and silver positions.)

Today is past the early days of fad, and that has changed the texture of the poker phenomenon.

Poker is mainly a solitary pursuit, kids are bowling now for community recreation. Poker is however great training for speculating, and you do not have to play for money to learn some important speculation rules.

Understanding concepts such as expected value (ev), protecting your bank roll, and pot odds should make today's youth better speculators.

That brings us to another sign that poker is maturing as a fad - universal access. Apple Macintosh users have had limited options in accessing poker sites - most of the options poor.

That has now changed for the small but influential Mac users group.

Full Tilt Poker has designed a version of their popular online poker room as a poker site for Apple Macintosh users. This is the first poker site with fully functional and compatible online Mac poker. Full Tilt is the first to innovate in this way, but they are one of the best poker sites for a reason.

Reaching to ever smaller market segments means the easily available fruit is vanishing - growth of the poker fad may have passed its peak. The casinos of course will keep building new poker rooms until the floor space is better utilized in other ways.

Banks will of course lend to build poker rooms until they get some back in foreclosure. Banks are usually about as good a contrary indicator as governments - making the right move at the wrong time and in the wrong direction.

I would expect poker to stay around for a long time, I think it will be more like base ball card collecting than tickle me Elmo.

It will be interesting to watch.

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