Originally Posted by Dorkus Malorkus
Who's to say Americans aren't generally worse at poker because of the simple fact that it's increased presence (on TV/radio/general advertising) means that more weaker 'recreational' players pick up the game? Sure, some of them might eventually study the game, but most of them would be shocked to hear that poker forums and poker books exist.
In general, the less poker is force-fed to people, the more out of their way they will have to go to 'discover' it, and the more interested they will be in actually learning the game in-depth.
A few years ago, before the dawn of internet poker, I read a "fact" that over 50 million Americans played poker on a regular basis. God knows what that number is now. So, while there are many new players, there are also many many experienced players. They may have not read any poker books, and they may not belong to a forum such as this, and there is no doubt that such things can and do benefit peoples' games, but there are still many decent players who deserve respect.
I know that poker is shown on TV in Europe, but unless it has changed, this is often in the early hours of the morning? Over here, it is BIG. It is shown on 3 or more channels every day, at prime time, and it isn't unusual to have poker on 3 stations at once. Watching top players can only be good experience, can't it?
Finally, these top live tournaments now attract many internet players. Initially, when this started 3 or 4 years ago, some of the top pros looked down on these players, but no longer. They are very aggressive and are succesful - and there are thousands and thousands of them. Theory is great, but the fact is that 2-7 off can and does sometimes beat pocket aces. This happens more often with more people in the hand. That is the reality of internet poker. More people stay in hands that the book says shouldn't, and that affects the odds for the people who play by the book.
That is what the pros found when they initally looked down on internet players - "why were you even in that hand" they'd ask/complain when they lost. Theory is great, and knowledge is power, but players like Doyle Brunson didn't read poker books - they wrote them.