Will the Apple Watch Be a Useful Tool for Poker?

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13 March 2015, Created By: Arthur Crowson
Will the Apple Watch Be a Useful Tool for Poker?

Is Apple set to change the game again?

The imminent Apple Watch has financial analysts scratching their heads wondering if Apple might once again completely turn a market segment on its head.

The big question that we care about, however, is whether the Apple Watch will have any applications for poker.

We’ll take a close look at the upcoming watch in this article and project some of the possible uses for poker.

What Is the Apple Watch?

Galaxy Gear
There were already smart watches available like Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

The upcoming Apple Watch is a new entry in the relatively undeveloped smart watch category.

There are already plenty of smart watches, such as the Pebble or Samsung Galaxy Gear, but for some reason the technology hasn’t really caught on with the public.

Apple is hoping this could change the segment, the same way iPads revolutionized tablet computers.

Smart watches aren’t built with the intention of replacing your smartphone. Instead, it’s a complementary device. In theory anyways.

The Apple Watch is designed to be useful when other devices -- like a phone -- would be awkward. The marketing guys are calling it Apple's most “personal” device ever. Whatever that means.

In terms of specs the Apple Watch can be purchased in either a 38mm or 42mm form factor. It offers a very hard touch screen that is pressure sensitive.

The Apple Watch starts at $349 but goes all the way up to $17,000. In fact that special solid-gold $17,000 Apple Edition Watch might appeal to poker pros who have been known to spend $100k on a watch.

Of course spending $17,000 on the first edition of a new tech product is questionable at best.

How Would it Work with Poker?

Phil Ivey watch
Will Phil Ivey trade in his watch? Probably not.

The screen is probably too small to run any sort of actual poker game but there’s potential for the Apple Watch to be a useful support tool.

Consider a few options:


  • You could take notes on certain opponents by voice recording with Siri, although you would have to be discrete.
  • Alerts on various online tournaments starting could be sent directly to your watch.
  • Technically you could monitor your own heartbeat with the Apple Watch. Useful? Questionable.
  • Read emails or texts at the poker table without ever taking your phone out of your pocket.
  • You can set an alert on the Apple Watch to remind you to get up from you computer if you're grinding online poker a little too hard.
  • The Apple Watch has Apple Pay integrated in, which in the future might be a way to buy into poker tournaments.
  • It's an even lazier way to check Twitter while in a tournament.

Could the Apple Watch Be Used to Cheat?

This is an interesting one.

The Apple Watch, or any other smart watch, is essentially a really small computer so it could certainly be used for cheating.

Just like a smartphone the Apple Watch could receive prompts when used in conjunction with another device. That's how Poker Analyzers work, which we'll take a look at next week.

Unlike a smartphone you don’t actually have to pull this out of your pocket so it would theoretically work even better. You should also consider the fact you could set up a vibrate function so no one else at the table would event hear it.

Of course there are tons of other tools available right now that do this so it’s not exactly ground breaking.

Will the WSOP Ban Apple Watches?

Short answer: no. At least not yet.

We reached out to Seth Palansky, vice president of corporate communications for the WSOP, and this is what he had to say:

“I think a smart watch will fall under the same treatment of other electronic devices at the table, like phones. Not to be used when in a hand, and subject to penalties if found to be used in violation of our tournament rules.”

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