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Proposal: Increase the Scope of Poker SE

There is a new site proposal on Area 51 that has minimal traction related to all forms of Gambling. You can check out the proposal here. It has been asked whether this new site would conflict with Poker SE.

Some thoughts on this:

  • Poker SE users focus on a game with the possibility of positive monetary returns whereas Gambling SE focuses on games with house edges.
  • Poker SE has been in Beta for over 1000 days and the "viability stats" show trouble with "questions per day" and "avid users"
  • Something is needed to bolster active users and quality questions.

Stack Overflow currently brings together many different programming languages under one roof. Each programmer (whether amateur or experienced) has a preference for the language they prefer. If that user only wants to view a certain language, they do so by searching that language's tag. This is key to understanding that different users and different varieties of questions can co-exist on one parent site.

The big questions:

Do you think it would be a good idea to increase the scope of Poker SE to include all gambling (table games, casino games, slots, sport, track, poker, etc.) questions provided the scope was properly defined and the questions were properly moderated and tagged? If the community decided this was a good move, would you continue to frequent this SE site?

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    Related discussion here. – Radu Murzea Jan 22 '15 at 21:53
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    @RaduMurzea I was talking with Toby in chat about featuring this catch all discussion question so that your active Poker SE users would chime in. (since I doubt they frequent Area 51) – Chrismas007 Jan 22 '15 at 21:55
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Since I proposed the other gambling site I guess I should comment here. Short answer no, expanding the scope of poker to include other gaming games would not help at all, indeed I think there is a very good chance that it would hurt. Poker players in general are a little snobbish about their game of choice and do not really want to mingle much with other gamblers. I know a lot of pro gamblers with other games, and while most of them play poker, only a few of these are really good poker players, and the majority just dabble in poker as rank amateurs.

The proposal itself is more likely then not a no go. Three months in there are 6 followers, this to me demonstrates that three is not a lot of interest in a question and answer site about gambling in general.

When I wrote the proposal I was more curious to see if there would be interest then expectant that there would be. I have been around poker forums and lots of them including the one I had put sections in for other games. Nobody had much success. Many sports sites have forums and that is were the sports bettors go. If you ever really listened to the silly things many poker players say about sports you can understand why. Black jack players also the same thing, not enough interest because with shuffling machines and such counting cards is not something many people do anymore. Blackjack players might have some interesting things to say about bankroll, but other then that the types of minds that master blackjack are not particularly the types that make good poker players.

I have met guys that have played everything successfully in Las Vegas. Keno players who track numbers, the old balls get dirty or cracked you can find an edge. Slot machines, they play 100% machines, run teams on favorable progressives, work the slots hosts and slot clubs to get an edge. Horse and sports bettors, work hard and crunch lots of stats and hope in the long run to make one or two percent on the money they have in action. And of course the schemers that work angles on everything. These guys lay low when the think they have an edge the casinos have overlooked and certainly will not be coming to a general gambling site talking about it.

We would really have no experts for the gaming. The questions would be very low quality. The answers might suffer even more. These people working the gambling towns are not going to become experts here, they are smart enough to know that the more people whom know about any particular edge to be had in a casino, the sooner that edge will disappear.

Poker on SE will make it all by itself, it does not need to expand to include other casino games. The game of poker itself is more often then not played in a casino that does not offer many other games. In California for example half the poker games are in bars and other limited license locations like the LA and Bay Area clubs. Before Indian casinos came along all the poker games were in venues were poker was the main if not only attraction. Online, few of the poker sites offer anything but poker, and if they do offer anything else it is just a tiny fraction of revenue.

Poker Beta has problems, and I have outlined them and made very strongly worded suggestions to the moderators about it in other Meta posts. In Essence what the problem here is, we need more experts. Poker is a much broader subject then the existing experts and moderators can see. This has had a stifling effect on the growth of Poker Beta. The original site proposal was made by someone whom was not particularly an expert in poker and has not participated much in the site. From what I can tell the original proposal was written by an employee of SE. Which means the site had a bad start. Enough experts have not become interested in the site, nor have gained enough points to gain moderator privileges. The basic thing that needs to be fixed is that more experts come, and give us their expertise, and they gain enough up votes to become the leadership of this site.

  • That is the best answer I've heard on the topic. – Chrismas007 Jan 28 '15 at 12:06
  • Objective evidence of this "stifling" effect would be great to see, so I could analyse it. Care to make it available to the rest of us? – Toby Booth Jan 29 '15 at 16:54
  • @TobyBooth we went through this didn't we? But a quick recap, moderators closing posts rudely, over moderating with tunnel vision, that stifled the site. That made the site unfriendly and stifled growth as well as intelligent scope. Go read my other posts in meta for a full review and argue in detail if you would care to. – Jon Jan 29 '15 at 17:04
  • @Jon Indeed we did go through it, and it was obvious your opinion was being stated rather than solid evidence that supports your reasoning. Importantly, despite being directed to the review queue history, you barely offer guidance as to what you think constitutes too much moderating activity. Put a number on it! You can keep being ambiguous, but until you better support your reasoning I'll make sure that people are aware of the flaws in your argument. Also, if you want to discuss it further in this manner, the community chat function is more appropriate. Less verbosity is welcome. – Toby Booth Jan 29 '15 at 17:14
  • @tobybooth From the moderator FAQ , "But what do community moderators do? The short answer is, as little as possible!" meta.stackexchange.com/questions/118972/… My basic point was that the mods were over moderating, incorrectly believing that only their vision of poker SE was correct and that was stifling Poker SE. You can take it or leave it. – Jon Jan 31 '15 at 1:42
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I was thinking of the very same question - is 'Poker' too narrow a topic for a Stack Exchange (SE) site. It does cover all variants of Poker, popular/online/money/etc..., and a fairly wide set of topics, card counting, tactics, bet sizing, rules, but is this enough?

We could ask what could we expand into. Obviously this should be restricted to forms of gambling, and so we have sports betting, other betting, random gambling and skilled gambling. Betting is completely different - the action is not 'live' - you are not required to make real-time decisions, and so I think can be ignored.

Random gambling (slots, bingo, roulette) is too tedious to talk about anyway, so this leaves skilled gambling.

This includes chess, backgammon, blackjack (dubious), mah jongg, 'game' sites, e.g. King.com, and so on.

But who cares about them anyway. So let's keep Poker SE as just that.

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