The Hendon Mob database is the go-to website for information about poker players. Since Mediarex scooped the site under its umbrella, visitors to the Hendon Mob may have noticed survey pop-ups at the bottom of the screen. All of that information has finally been combined, charted, and released for public consumption.
Some of the standout information in the statistics pertains to the growth of interest in poker and the commitment of players and fans to the game. Overall, it shows that the game continues to attract more players and fans, even as the poker boom fades into the past and the game experiences difficulties with its online presence in a continually fragmenting market. And that interest is anything but a passing fad for the majority of people.
Poker has a special kind of longevity reserved for treasured games like chess and sports like baseball. It is far more enduring than most of its online gaming counterparts, and despite some fad-like game variations and promotional tactics, the basis of poker is durable and resilient.
Growth of Poker Interest
The number of visitors to the Hendon Mob doesn’t necessarily translate into players or potential customers, but it is an indicator of an overall interest in the people who currently play poker. Whether going to the site to find a player, rankings, or tournaments, it all boils down to some type of curiosity about the game.
Just in the past few years after Black Friday, visitors to the site have skyrocketed. From fewer than 1.5 million users in 2012, growth pushed that number up to more than 2.5 million in 2015.
*all statistical graphs can be found here, courtesy of Mediarex
According to the accompanying graph, what looks to be about 10% annual growth in 2012 surged to nearly 30% growth in both 2014 and 2015. And midway through this current year, growth is already at 15%.
Anything but a Fad
Fad games are Pokemon Go and others that draw in curious people who want to participate in something that everyone seems to be doing at the moment. For most people, poker is a hobby, something that has meaning and stimulates a desire to improve one’s skills.
Some of the Mediarex graphs speak to the longevity of the game. This shows that the vast majority of the people who visited the Hendon Mob within the time period of the poll not only played poker in some form, but nearly half played live and online. Only 13.5% of the 853 respondents claimed to not play the game, and that number may include media inquiries, as well as family and friends of players.
When 629 visitors to the Hendon Mob responded to a question about the length of time they have played poker, the majority of 55.3% answered that they played more than six years. Another 15.3% have been playing at least three years, and 12.7% answered more than one year.
That question led to two others that look to the future of interest in the game. Of the 655 people who answered a question about playing poker a year from that point, the vast majority clicked “yes, totally” to the tune of 70.7%. There were 11.5% who clicked “yes, probably,” while only 8.7% said “no, I don’t think so.” The other 9.2% responded that they didn’t know. That, ladies and gentlemen, shows a dedication to the game in the long term.
Similarly, a question asking if people intend to follow poker in a year received a 70% “yes, totally” response from 1,033 people. Another 11% claimed “yes, probably,” with only 9.1% saying “no, I don’t think so.” Nearly 10% did not know.
Why are people so dedicated to poker? There are many reasons, including the aforementioned personal link to the game or desire to improve skills. In addition, the game offers numerous options for keeping the game fun for many types of players. For example, players can compete online or live, in cash games or tournaments, at their kitchen tables with family or a bar league for prizes or in the World Series of Poker. They can compete for pennies or large sums of cash or even play chips. And there are numerous game variations to keep people interested, from traditional games like Five-Card Draw to Limit Hold’em to new variants like Badugi and even Open-Face Chinese.
Not only is the game itself interesting to most people, they can become invested in players as they watch events like the WSOP and WPT play out on television or via live streaming. They can follow along and get to know players who stream on Twitch and begin to follow their progress, and fans can stake their friends or family or favorite players via sites like YouStake.
There are many ways to get involved in poker, find an interest in the players or tournaments, and pick up the game as a hobby or even a career. This type of diversity separates poker from other games and fads, putting it in a somewhat unique category and testifying to its longevity.