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Top 10 poker trends for 2022

13 Dec 2021

By Tadas Peckaitis
It was a fairly quiet year in 2020 with live poker being almost completely banned. But 2021 saw a comeback of major Las Vegas tournaments like the World Series of Poker and a resurgence of the game we all love.

But have you ever thought about what poker trends actually await us in 2022? Today, I will break down my poker trends predictions for the New Year.

10. Live poker resurgence continues
Live poker already returned after the pandemic-related bans in 2020, but I expect 2022 to be the year it fully recovers as more people get their COVID shots and the disease hopefully loses momentum.

When I talk about the return of live poker, I refer to everything from live cash games and local poker festivals to the massive poker tournaments like the European Poker Tour and the WSOP being bigger and better than ever.

Just recently, EPT Prague was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, and I believe that 2022 will be a year when such concerns will finally not be big enough to get entire events canceled overnight.

The 2021 WSOP showed how eager people were to come back to the live felt, so hopefully, 2022 can be a whole new stepping stone for live poker players worldwide.

9. Poker apps going strong
When it comes to the best online poker sites, downloadable mobile apps have been all the rage recently, and I expect them to keep going strong.

Apps like PPPoker and PokerBros have brought a whole new dimension to online poker, finally giving us a chance to play against true recreational players online for some significant stakes.

Whether we like to admit it or not, cash games at sites like GGPoker or PokerStars are often pretty dead, and the poker apps give plenty of new possibilities.

Of course, it comes with its own risks, but if you are looking to try something new in 2022, poker apps can be a solution to find good, easy-to-beat games within your bankroll.

8. Super High-Roller records
The trend of super high-roller tournaments such as the Super High-Roller Bowl, Poker Masters, and US Poker Open, pitting the best players against each other, have been emerging in recent years.

We have seen high-stakes monsters like Justin Bonomo, Ali Imsirovic, and David Peters dominating such fields, and let’s be honest, we cannot wait for more of this.

There is something extremely exhilarating about watching players play for millions of dollars at a time, and that’s become a nearly once-a-month experience at PokerGO.

Moving into 2022, I expect the studio to host even more of these big money events. The super high-roller scene will keep growing as more billionaire businessmen get involved, and the high-roller grinders keep on trucking.

7. Competition for market share
The poker market has not been more competitive since the early days of online poker, with several major poker sites battling it out just like the good old days.

The launch of GGPoker gave PokerStars a run for its money, and today we have a true climate of competition between the two, with 888poker site also getting some jabs in.

This competition will only continue in 2022, both in ROW and the U.S. markets, where additional states might legalize online poker and make it possible for these major players to launch their platforms.

The WSOP is moving to the Las Vegas Strip.

The WSOP is moving to the Las Vegas Strip.

6. New face of the WSOP
To the surprise of many who have never been to Las Vegas, the WSOP has been happening off the Las Vegas Strip for many years!

That is right, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino was not on the Strip, but the WSOP is now about to move to the Strip. and play out at Bally's - Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino starting this summer.

How much will this change the WSOP? Well, it is hard to say, but we all know that new is almost always better, and the change in scenery at least will be an amazing thing for the Series.

With the change of venue, we can also expect some changes to the schedule, and plenty of interesting moments on the PokerGO coverage, making the event historic in many ways.

5. Playing poker with crypto
Cryptocurrencies are becoming a bigger part of our reality almost daily, and the online poker industry has also partially adopted them.

There is still some concern with major poker operators about using cryptos on their platforms, but plenty of smaller poker sites and apps are now allowing crypto deposits, and you can expect this trend only to become more present as time moves on and cryptocurrencies get even stronger in 2022.

4. GTO strategy dominates
Ever since the introduction of the first poker solvers and the idea of the GTO poker strategy, groups of players have been both praising and criticizing it.

Whether we like it or not, GTO is probably the only bullet-proof way to play poker, and while it is very difficult to actually mimic the solvers, we can at least strive to get close.

As more and more poker coaching sites and programs try to teach GTO, the strategy is getting adopted by a bigger number of players, possibly to the detriment of the game itself. If you do not know what I am talking about, you might want to pick one of the poker player gifts and join a course that will help you master this skill.

Online poker, especially, might become less fun to play than ever before, but this does not mean we should not still try to enjoy it as much as we possibly can in 2022 and try to find ways to still beat our competition out of their hard-earned dollars.

3. US online poker expansion
Poker is finally back in the U.S., or rather it has been for a few years. That said, now we’re hearing more about regulation in new states, intrastate treaties, and more, so it sounds promising.

With all this, online poker in the U.S. is primed for a true comeback, a second poker boom we have all been dreaming about for years.

However, the bad news for players in the rest of the world is that it seems unlikely they will have a chance to play with Americans anytime soon.

The good old days of U.S. players filling the tables in the wee hours of the night may be forever behind us, as regulators are mostly looking inwards.

Still, for everyone in the industry, further expansion of online poker should only be positive, whether they can get directly involved or not.

Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu

2. Grudge matches come back
Some of the highlights of 2022 and 2021 in poker have been the heads-up grudge matches between the likes of Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari, and more.

These matches have brought in so many viewers and created such hype that the poker producers would be crazy not to bring us more of these events in 2022.

We can absolutely expect Negreanu to keep on trucking with his newly founded heads-up skills, looking for new challenges, and some ultra-high stakes heads-up matches have also been in the whispers.

It remains to be seen what poker challenges will go down in 2022, but if we can see the likes of Dan Bilzerian playing for tens of millions of dollars with his non-standard strategies, 2022 might just be one of the best years to watch poker in history.

1. Biggest online tournaments ever
This year, we have been treated to massive online poker tournaments, with PokerStars alone finishing out the year with a $55 tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool.

In 2022, there is no reason for such events to keep going, as it is more than clear there is plenty of interest in them.

While PokerStars will not be celebrating a special anniversary in 2022, there will surely be plenty of other “reasons” to throw massive tournaments and give online poker players a chance to change their lives overnight.

If you are playing online poker, the year is guaranteed to bring plenty of excitement and opportunities, and I recommend padding your bankroll in preparation for what’s to come.
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