Phil Hellmuth: Not Enough People in Washington, DC to Sustain Online Poker

Written by:
Patrick Flanigan
Published on:
Phil Hellmuth

In an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, poker pro Phil Hellmuth said he didn’t believe there was enough of a player pool to sustain legalized online poker in the US capital of Washington, D.C.

The District becomes the first to legalize the activity in the US but its population is barely half a million.  Lawmakers point to the notion that Washington D.C’s population increases on weekdays.  Still, individuals will only be able to play low stakes games and in specified hot spots that would likely act to limit play even further.

“I still think that people are looking for a place to play poker and it wouldn’t be surprising if you had a lot more players than you think start playing,” he said. “It’s a nice test, sure, but I think there’s so few people [in D.C.], 600,000, that you might not achieve critical mass for players on the site under those conditions.”

Hellmuth also expressed concern over the exclusion of high stakes games. 

D.C. Lottery director Buddy Roogow believes that the low stake games will not serve to turn away the majority of poker players.

“We believe there’s a much larger component of social, recreational and casual players who will be interested in a lower-stakes platform," Roogow told the Associated Press.

- Patrick Flanagan, 

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