Could poker become the most popular online game?
The internet has given a new lease of life to the game of poker. In the past, the card game was usually the preserve of bricks and mortar casinos, which meant the casual punter may have felt uncomfortable taking it up.
Now though, anyone wanting to take part in poker games, at sites such as poker.ladbrokes.com, can do so with just a quick download and a few clicks of the mouse.
It's true that the game's profile was boosted by TV shows such as Late Night Poker, but the real boom came with the internet age.
The fact people can play online for low-stakes or even for free helps smooth out the steep learning curve of a game which despite its apparent simplicity requires skill and a keen mathematical mind.
This isn't to say online poker is any easier than its real world equivalent, indeed the vast majority of top players partake in both forms of the activity.
What it does mean is that people can easily find opponents who match their skill levels, and stakes which suit their pockets.
Of course, poker has faced a few stumbling blocks along the way and these may prevent it from becoming the most popular online game.
It has had to struggle with legal considerations around the world, most notably in the United States were a number of sites were shutdown on the pretext of the game being against the law.
But poker continues to grow in other ways, and social gaming versions of the activity have helped spread its appeal even further.
Freerolls, deposit bonuses and sign up bonuses will also help the game to reach new players.
The game has also taken advantage of the boom in mobile betting, with major names in the sector rushing to develop apps which bring poker to smartphones and tablets.
With the game continuing to enjoy a high profile as big name sports, TV and film stars attend tournaments worth millions and promote online poker to new markets it seems clear its popularity will continue to rise.
Quite whether it will go all the way and become the most popular online game remains to be seen, it has a lot of competition for starters.
It is also important to remember what makes the game so appealing for some may be off putting for others - the skill-based nature of poker means it takes time to master, and big tournaments can last hours, even if the game is quicker online than in a real life casino.
This means people who want a quick slice of enjoyment are going to stick to things such as online slots.
Still, poker's complex nature means that for those who enjoy it, it will undoubtedly stay as their number one online game for sometime to come.
With improved technology, great promotion and celebrity backing, poker will remain a huge player in the online gaming industry.
Quite whether it can knock its rivals off the number one spot is yet to be seen, but it will certainly have a good go.