Although many poker players are undoubtedly there to win money, there is a certain segment of players--the casual type--who are playing for the sheer fun and enjoyment of the game. If a few dollars happen to come there way by taking down a big pot or two, all the better, but its not necessarily the primary reason why they sit down at the virtual felt to play. One need look only as far as the popularity of Zynga Poker, and their over 30 million active monthly players worldwide, to realize that people will play poker without risking any money simply because its a fun game to play. And there are many of those fun-seeking players who deposit at real-money sites to increase their enjoyment by wagering a few dollars. But there are also a lot who still don't.
Ongame has branded their attempt to balance the playing field as a success, citing statistics that show an increase in recreational, net depositing players since the advent of the Essence concept. "Essence helps create an even healthier ecosystem, in a way that is unique for the entire poker industry,” said Fredrik Kjell, Head of Poker at the Ongame Network.