Playing blackjack online is a leisure activity for most people. They hope to spend a few hours having fun and perhaps win a few dollars in the process. But there are others who are using their online blackjack experience to launch careers as full-time players. The idea of gambling for a living is filled with thoughts of exciting locations, beautiful women, and winning lots of money. For some people it is a dream come true, and online blackjack is making it a reality.
Increasing Popularity of Online Blackjack Tournaments
According to PRNewswire, there is a growing interest in blackjack tournaments. Many believe this can be attributed to the popularity of online blackjack. Individuals who play blackjack online for real money can often participate in tournaments at online casinos for free. This popularity has even prompted live casinos to host more tournaments in an effort to keep up with blackjack online.
A case in point is the 2017-2018 blackjack tournament being conducted by the Live! Casino in Maryland. This tournament is the first $1 million dollar blackjack event to be held in the United States. The organizers are certainly hoping to elevate interest in their live blackjack games, but it is also certain that the prize money will attract online players as well.
Some players are doing so well in tournament blackjack that they are parlaying their efforts into a full-time career. This is something that is relatively new for the game of 21.
A Career in Blackjack
Being a professional gambler has always been stigmatized by many individuals as a sleazy lifestyle. This attitude began to change, however, with the rise of poker. Today, there are countless individuals who play poker for a living. The best of them have become celebrities thanks to the prevalence of poker shows on television. Each year the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is broadcast on ESPN. Players like Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu are familiar faces to the American public. Poker has become a legitimate career.
The same has not been true for blackjack. The game has its own stars, to be sure, but they are less commonly known than poker players. The late Ken Huston, Arnold Snyder, and others blazed trails in blackjack but gained little notoriety. Why is this? It could be that for most of them card counting was a key element to their massive success. Casinos hate few things worse than a skilled card counter.
Because card counting was and is frowned upon by live casinos, professional blackjack players have been forced to remain under the radar. The very best of them may forever remain unknown to the public because their livelihood depends on anonymity. This is also why online blackjack has become more popular. Players can assume relative anonymity online, especially at casino sites which permit the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The point here is that poker players have an easier time coming forward to out themselves as professionals. The reason is that poker players compete against one another, not the house. Blackjack players, on the other hand, compete against the house. If they do well, there is always a chance that they will be accused of counting and banned from a live casino. It is better for them if they do not reveal the precise nature of their blackjack activities.
Online blackjack tournaments are changing this. When players compete in a tournament, they are competing against other players for a sum of prize money. The house only exists to facilitate the game. Now, players who play blackjack for a living are more able to claim that they play professionally by citing their participation in tournaments.
Online Blackjack Mirrors Online Poker
The poker boom which has occurred in the United States and abroad can be largely traced to online poker sites like PokerStars. Although these sites continue to be restricted to most U.S. players, they were the reason poker players gained celebrity status. More than any other factor, it was the story of Chris Moneymaker which impacted poker in a positive way. This impact was so powerful that it was given a name: the Moneymaker Effect.
In 2003, Moneymaker was playing online poker on PokerStars. At the time the online site was not very well known. Moneymaker won a seat to the World Series of Poker by winning a tournament on PokerStars. A few months later he was in Las Vegas playing at poker’s biggest tournament. He had no idea he would walk away with the grand prize of $2.5 million. Moneymaker became a celebrity overnight. Hundreds of thousands of people began signing up to play online poker.
The same thing could happen with blackjack. When online casinos begin to offer tournaments or satellites which would qualify a player for events like the one at Live! Casino, there is a chance that they popularity of the game could skyrocket. This could make it possible for some lucky individuals to make a living that the game they love.
Did you know that you don’t have to wait for online blackjack to mirror the popularity of online poker? You can create an account right now with an online casino and play blackjack for real money in the comfort of your own home. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and you will be able to play on your computer, phone, or tablet.