The Rise of Poker: Railbirds and RaisersWritten by Trent Gresh
If you are not playing poker, you may soon be in minority. The game has come a long way from dangerous days of road gamblers and prohibited backroom games. It is true that those two things still exist in some places, but game itself has been propelled into limelight and into legitimate status, due in large part to shows such as World Poker Tour (Travel Channel) and World Series of Poker (ESPN).
According to America's Poker Face, an article by Betsy Streisand (USNews.com, 2004), number of poker players in America has increased to about 80 million, a 30 million increase over estimated 50 million players just a few years ago. Most of these players still play brick-and-mortar poker (in home games and casinos), but number of players now taking advantage of convenience of online poker games is rapidly growing. It is estimated that there are over one million players playing online at well over 1,500 sites. The lobby area of two major sites, PartyPoker.com and PokerStars.com, regularly show over 60,000 and 40,000 players online, respectively. These types of numbers are only expected to explode over next few years.
In poker terms, both railbirds (those watching) and raisers (those playing) are increasing in size. As a poker insider, I am often asked if I see rise of poker as a simple fad that will wane in a few short years. I really believe that poker has yet to reach point that will be considered a baseline in future years. I would estimate that growth may slow down in about three to five years, and number of players may be holding steady at around 100 million at that time.
This rise in popularity is illustrated by an example of a local tournament in which I regularly participate. I started playing in a neighborhood tournament toward beginning of 2004, which was hosted in two adjoining living rooms in a duplex. The game had a $20 buy-in with no rake (the rake is amount reserved as payment for those who host or manage gameand it is what makes poker illegal in most places). At that time, twenty-four people came to play in game and take their chances at finishing in top five places to win a couple hundred dollars. The game is held about once each month and new faces arrived each and every month. One year later, in January of 2005, this group of friends had to use multi-purpose room of a local business to host 114 players that arrived to play in same level of game ($20 buy-in, no rake). Over four times number of players in just one year of growth.
Britney Spears in Danger of Losing Kevin Federline?Written by Nathaniel Quest
Britney Spears says now that she's pregnant, she'll never look sexy again. And she doesn't care how she looks now coz she's happily married.
Are you sure about that, Britney? I suggest you think about what you're saying long and hard.
Remember how you met Kevin Federline? You were glamorous and beautiful, right? And Kevin liked how you looked like so much that he didn't have second thought about leaving Shar Jackson who was his fiancee then. And Shar Jackson was also pregnant then with Kevin's baby.