I began playing MMOs in 2007, which coincided with the time I stopped actively playing poker online. It was one or the other, I didn’t have time for both. After a long 18 months of no MMO garnering my attention I decided to dip my toe back into the floating warm waters of scum that is the world of online poker. I expected … well, I don’t really know what I expected, but I didn’t expect what I got. Limit poker was getting pretty tough back when I stopped. A lot of players had moved to no-limit, a game which I find interesting but a bit hard on the old nerves, and thus the only players left in the limit pot were the generally good ones. Which meant profits went down.

I decided to play again last week. The first question was where to play. I hadn’t done this for a while and 5 years may as well be a new bloody century when it comes to the internet. So I went back to a site that I knew, PokerStars, for no reason other than I’m fairly sure they aren’t going to steal all my monies, and I deposited a few hundred dollars. The first thing I noticed was that there were no Americans, but this was due to their online poker laws being complete tosh; the poor little dears are only allowed to play on certain sites now.

So no Americans, but lots and lots and lots of Russians. And other Eastern Europeans. And a healthy does of Chinese. And some Western Europeans thrown in for shits and giggles. And blow me away but if it wasn’t 2004 all over again – these players are mind-blowingly awful. Imagine the worst player you ever ran an instance with and now pretend that you are playing against this type of idiot for money. That’s right, you heard me. That rogue who is putting out less DPS than the healer and who runs around saying ‘lol’all the time? You’re now playing him for his money in a game of skill and he acts the same way.

What’s not to like? A certain factor of this is probably the time of year with people being on holiday and all, but still the level of ineptitude is so bad that I regularly find myself hooting with delight at their awful plays. And while I was a tad rusty to start, the old skills are coming back quickly. Even better I find myself to be a calmer and more rational person since I last played seriously. I’m much more interested in making the correct play, in playing good poker rather than trying to win money.

Fear not though, gentle readers, for I shall continue to pontificate on MMO matters. But do not be surprised if I throw the occasional poker post in as well.