We may all be focusing more on the idea that kalkas is trying to make an MMO. Although I also assume this is what we are talking about we should also mention that you can have one of the players "host a match" on their own PC's and use your web space / PHP scripts to create a simple match making lobby that will get players together. In this case the internet server isn't very important at all, you can go with the least expensive PHP / MySQL web host you can find. You will simply be using http web requests to get a list of matches, join one, get an IP to connect to and then connecting and communicating with the host of the game (and or the other players directly).
I believe poker is considered MMO right? Then I am trying to make an MMO. But you can't have a game with money involved be hosted by one of the players. He will be cheat his ass of!! ( I don't know if this phrase is correct )
Anyway, I do understand how serious is an MMO, even a simple one like poker. I wasn't "afraid" by this. I think the cost is one problem for me. And I think that you underestimate the independents community, but you're right, all this are very arguable.
I say this as a final warning that if you intend to make a very large game and support many players you will need to do so using one of the worlds most complex programming languages and arguably the worlds most complicated programming theories and techniques.
Come on, I think you are overeacting now, are you? Or should I be scared now? Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. After I say to you that I expect a poker-order size community but it's still gonne be a card game, are you gonna respond the same?