Will PokerStars’ Purchase of Full Tilt Poker Be a Good Thing for Online Poker?
If reports that have been circling the internet in the last few days hold to be true, PokerStars will soon be purchasing Full Tilt Poker for a sum of $750 Million and will effectively solidify their position as the top online poker site in the world. Not only will this happen, but they will for all intents and purposes solidify themselves as one of the top poker entities in the world.
Think about it. When you think of major poker events, you think of the WSOP, the WSOP, and the European Poker Tour. While there are indeed others, these are the ones that the majority of players go out of their way to play and try to dominate.
In regards to online poker events, PokerStars has nearly cornered the market on the industry now. If they purchase Full Tilt and reopen the site, they will have every major event in online poker with the exception of those on PartyPoker. With their massive player database they will easily continue to have the largest poker tournaments online.
With that said, one has to be concerned that PokerStars is becoming too big for their own good. The reason that live poker tournaments have become so popular is that there is strong competition between the major tournament organizers. PokerStars will have really only PartyPoker competing with them.
When online poker is legalized in the United States, Partypoker will benefit greatly from the traffic boost and PokerStars will face a bit more competition, but by and large they will still have the majority of online traffic. With that said, one has to wonder if players will benefit as since one site will have the majority of traffic, they could nearly dictate their own terms.
Hopefully some of the smaller sites will either find a way to be competitive or maybe even merge together in a way to give them a competitive edge over their current state. Monopolies and companies having a major portion of a market can cause problems for that market. How things unfold in the saga of PokerStars purchasing Full Tilt remains to be seen.