The year was 2003 and the video game community was anxiously awaiting the don of a new era in mobile phone technology. No longer would wireless gamers be forced to stare at a miniature cell phone screen with only the directional pads as buttons. But what was to bring on this exceptional advance in the industry of wireless gaming? The answer was the Nokia N-Gage, which combined the entertainment of a video game console with the practicality of a cell phone.
As the beneficiary of free advertising across the board in the form of extensive media coverage, the N-Gage was a "can’t fail" device. However, three years later, Nokia is still reeling from disappointing sales of the graphically challenged, and ridiculous looking device that is the N-Gage. So while the video game market still searches for a way to take the biggest piece of pie in the mobile phone entertainment industry, plenty of other crowds are taking aim as well. And the most notable of them all seems to be the poker industry.
Already a partial success in the cell phone market, poker reaches more and more phones by the day.
Through its use of various games like the popular "Poker Superstars" and "Phil Hellmuth’s Texas Hold’Em", poker has grabbed a decent sized share of the wireless entertainment market. These games allow players to match the wits of computer controlled poker stars or even go at it with their friends in multiplayer mode – all of this from the convenience of a cell phone!
However, despite poker’s acceptance by mobile phone customers, the line between poker and video games is quite blurred; and has even caused the game of poker to simply fall into the video game category. This has prompted many to question whether cell phone poker will ever truly take off and jump to the forefront of mobile phone entertainment. But as a rebuttal to anyone who doubts that mobile phone poker will explode and become one of the world’s favorite pastimes, the answer is yes, poker on cell phones will be the wave of the future.
Wireless poker doesn’t have to rely on graphics in order to succeed as a valid recreational activity unlike the 12-bit video games that are floundering in the market today. A second point to look at is just how poker crazy the world has become. With the option to play poker on your cell phone, a person will never be left without an avenue to play their precious game. The main advantage that wireless phone poker has acquired that looks to constantly keep it on the public’s mobile phone screens is simple: money.
While players still have the option to just play a friendly little game against some friends for play money, they also have the option to link up to Internet rooms and battle it out with real money at stake. With the success that the Swedish site has experienced in their cell phone-based gambling, others are already starting to follow in their footsteps and are making provisions to join the mobile market as well. Other card rooms have also made indications that they will be making their way into the mobile phone market.
Still don’t think that the prospect of wagering money at anytime, at any location, will lead to a monumental change in the way poker is played? Mobile phone poker means that people will no longer have to be glued to their desktop computer when they get the urge to play, or have to lug a laptop from room to room while trying to get house their chores done. Poker will now be completely mobile.
A person could be sitting in their car and waiting for fast food, while at the same time going all-in with a full house. Someone could be hanging out at the swimming pool while also being faced with the decision of whether to see the flop with their suited 9, 10 pair. Really, the scenarios are endless, and so are the possibilities for the growing number of companies that are choosing to jump on this ascending bandwagon.
So while the pitfalls and mistakes of others who tried to grab the mobile phone entertainment industry by the horns remain, it seems as if poker has a real chance at overcoming the failures of its predecessors. Especially now that gambling has entered the arena and gives the already prevailing game of poker just another advantage in its march towards cell phone dominance.