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Five Reasons Why Players Balk at New Poker Variants

There’s been a bit of debate lately regarding the introduction of new poker variants and whether it is good or bad for the game. Some of the debate centers around the rise of Short Deck poker with a number of people coming out against it despite a number of pros showing major love for the game.

Daniel Negreanu took to Twitter about the argument on Monday, stating:

So why do so many people want to come out against a new poker variant? Are they simply being a poker purist or are there other reason they aren’t sharing? Below are a just a few reasons why some people rage against new poker variants.

Yet Another Form of Poker to Learn

As Negreanu pointed out, poker is ever-evolving. For those involved in poker over the last decade, think about the number of changes that have happened in Texas Hold’em alone, let alone the different variants that have cropped up in the mixed games realm.

Just this summer, the Big Blind Ante was a major change in some events and while it isn’t a massive change, it does involve some strategy adjustment. Then you have brand new games pop up such as Short Deck and there’s a whole new game you have to learn in addition to the others out there.

Some players get tired of trying to keep up with all the different games. While understandable, it is simply a part of poker.

Hard to Find Regular Games

Quick, name five places where you can play Short Deck poker outside of the Triton Super High Roller Series. Most of you cannot. It’s a new game that’s growing, so finding a place to play can be difficult.

For those that love non-Hold’em games, you know the struggle of finding a regular place to play your favorite game live. Some of you are stuck playing online poker only for your favorite game. That’s assuming you can find it online.

Not Available Online

Games like Short Deck Hold’em are so new that they are not presently offered online. (If there’s anywhere that does offer it and I am overlooking this fact, please tell me.) One advantage that games like Badugi had over others is that you could learn it online and then hope to find somewhere live to play it.

Unfortunately, games that are very new to the poker scene or have a very limited following don’t have an online poker equivalent. It’s hard to learn a game if you can’t find it anywhere to play.

They Lose Their Edge Over Other Games

Naturally, if you’re new to a game, you are not going to have an edge over those that already know the game. For those trying to make a living at poker or those that simply don’t like losing streaks, losing any edge they have over players is simply unpalatable.

Of course, the sooner you start learning a new variant, the sooner you’ll start gaining an edge over others, but getting there sometimes is not so fun. Of course, recreational players don’t worry over this problems as much as pros and competent amateurs.

May Take Players Away From Their Preferred Game

The downside to new poker variants is that it has the potential to take players away from your preferred game. If a $1-$2 Short Deck NL game turns out to be incredibly juicy, then other forms of Hold’em in the same venue are going to suffer as players try and take advantage of the perceived free money.

Of course, one way to combat this is simply to learn the new game and become one of those trying to fleece the fish. After all, your biggest edge is going to be against bad players and there’s no better way to exploit that than playing against those learning a new poker variant. If that means you don’t play your preferred game for a while, so be it.

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