On the other side we have those who would like to see something called “segwit” activated. Segwit = segregated witness. It’s a way of changing the location in the block where signatures live. And the new location doesn't count as heavily in the blocksize.
The consequence of segwit is that enabling offchain transactions removes transactions from the system and handles them off the system. Which means that the miners won't see any fees from those transactions. AND the demand for transactions on the system goes down so the fees associated with onchain transactions get reduced. Consequently, people who mine bitcoin really hate this. They are primarily the ones who are blocking segwit activation. They want bigger blocks so that they can collect more transaction fees.
Splitting the blockchain
As a consequence any resolution to this has to involve a high degree of confidence that there will be only one bitcoin blockchain.
This is a compromise. The segwit crowd does not like the increase in the blocksize and the bigger block crowd thinks the blocksize increase is too small. But the good news is that more than 80% of miners have signaled support. So it looks like this will happen by the end of the summer of 2017. Which means that offchain scaling experiments can begin in earnest. And, hopefully, the transaction fees will start to reduce making bitcoin much more useful. There is still a risk that the minorities will maintain a separate blockchain. I do not know how to assess how big that risk is.
But here's the thing. It may not happen. And it may turn out that bitcoin only becomes useful for large transactions. Transactions where the fee to send the transaction is rational. So say you're sending $10,000 worth of bitcoin. At that point a $2.50 fee doesn't seem that bad. Whereas that fee for a $2 transaction seems exhorbitant. Who decides? No one person or group. This may happen because this is the bubbled up result of all of incentives in bitcoin determining that this is the most efficient use of bitcoin. In which case, bitcoin will likely have a lot less value for poker players.
But for right now. No one knows, and bitcoin continues to be pretty valuable tool for poker players. Although I personally have modified my behavior. I used to immediately withdraw everytime I got over about $100 on each poker site. Now I wait a little longer. Now I'm waiting for a withdrawal that's at least $200. And the reason is that I don't want to pay the high fees. As the fees get higher, the amount of money that I'll transact must get bigger and bigger. At some point, if the fees get too high, I simply won't transact on bitcoin, and I'll convert to something else - maybe litecoin, maybe iota, maybe zcash. Who knows.
For now it remains bitcoin.
For those curious, Andreas Antonopolous just published a *FANTASTIC* video describing the different types of forks within bitcoin. Highly recommended.
Here's another one describing the fee situation in bitcoin: