Taking the Game to the Next Level

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Poker Hotspot Germany Set to Test Emerging Online Poker Techs

About a decade ago, poker wasn’t as hot a commodity as it is today. People were aware of the game, but it wasn’t exactly something that bleeped on the collective radars of the general populace whenever leisurely activities were brought up.

Fast-forward to today, and poker has arguably become a huge part of the current culture that some celebrities are even joining poker tournaments to increase their exposure. The sport has become so popular that even its online equivalent is picking up steam. Officially sanctioned online poker tournaments held by PartyPoker in conjunction with the WSOP have recently become a thing. Moreover, online poker has even gotten the “seducer of the innocent” treatment in the form of the movie Runner Runner; and as Batman and Grand Theft Auto can attest, you aren’t big-time pop culture material until you’ve been slammed by supposed “experts.” Ludicrous accusations aside, when taken in moderation, poker is just like any other enjoyable and harmless pastime.

Land of Great Philosophers, Sauerkraut, and… Texas Hold ‘Em?

In recent years, Germany has become a veritable hotbed of poker activity, and aficionados of the game would do well to visit the country. No doubt spurred by poker superstars like Pius Heinz and Tobias Reinkemeier, as well as their online counterparts like RedIceRap and LeChiffre19, Germany is quickly gaining a reputation as the world’s next poker Mecca. And in a country where most cities have at least one casino, who’s to say that this isn’t the case? Whether you dabble in the occasional online match or prefer real-life interactions, there’s a game to be found in virtually every corner.

The Evolving State of Online Spiele

A testament to this reputation is the fact that the country has been chosen by data warehousing company Neccton to beta test its Mentor software, which is designed to track and record the behavioural tendencies of online poker players. Among the many planned applications of this software is to accurately set up online matches based on player skill levels, as well as player tendencies vis-à-vis the stakes levels (i.e win-lose percentages) of any given gaming site.

Another impressive tech which might make the rounds soon in poker-crazed Germany is an EEG headset developed by those amazing minds at Emotiv Lifescience. The device is supposed to be able to read brainwaves and interpret them as command functions. Ostensibly developed as a helping tool for the physically disabled, many are already considering its other possible uses. For online poker, particularly, it can lend that one single element that’s been missing since the game was introduced: bluffing.

How it would work is, a player’s brainwaves would be interpreted by the game’s software as possible tells. It’s therefore up to the other player to judge whether those electronic tells are genuine, or are merely bluffs. Online poker players’ skills would therefore also include the ability to mislead the opponent, just as in real poker.

Looking Forward to the Future

When something is popular enough to catch the majority’s fancy, faster-than-usual innovations are often expected, and this is no different for online poker. Sure, some of these emerging technologies might sound like science fiction now, but then again, so were Star Trek’s communicators (i.e. cellphones) back in the ‘60s.

In the end, any advances made are generally for the better, and I for one can’t wait to see how this will all play out in the coming years.