The Rise of Poker: Railbirds and Raisers

Written by Trent Gresh

If you are not playing poker, you may soon be inrepparttar minority. The game has come a long way fromrepparttar 138308 dangerous days ofrepparttar 138309 road gamblers and prohibited backroom games. It is true that those two things still exist in some places, butrepparttar 138310 game itself has been propelled into limelight and into legitimate status, due in large part to shows such asrepparttar 138311 World Poker Tour (Travel Channel) andrepparttar 138312 World Series of Poker (ESPN).

According to America's Poker Face, an article by Betsy Streisand (, 2004),repparttar 138313 number of poker players in America has increased to about 80 million, a 30 million increase overrepparttar 138314 estimated 50 million players just a few years ago. Most of these players still play brick-and-mortar poker (in home games and casinos), butrepparttar 138315 number of players now taking advantage ofrepparttar 138316 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, and, regularly show over 60,000 and 40,000 players online, respectively. These types of numbers are only expected to explode overrepparttar 138317 next few years.

In poker terms, bothrepparttar 138318 railbirds (those watching) andrepparttar 138319 raisers (those playing) are increasing in size. As a poker insider, I am often asked if I seerepparttar 138320 rise of poker as a simple fad that will wane in a few short years. I really believe that poker has yet to reachrepparttar 138321 point that will be considered a baseline in future years. I would estimate thatrepparttar 138322 growth may slow down in about three to five years, andrepparttar 138323 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 towardrepparttar 138324 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 isrepparttar 138325 amount reserved as payment for those who host or managerepparttar 138326 gameand it is what makes poker illegal in most places). At that time, twenty-four people came to play inrepparttar 138327 game and take their chances at finishing inrepparttar 138328 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 userepparttar 138329 multi-purpose room of a local business to host 114 players that arrived to play inrepparttar 138330 same level of game ($20 buy-in, no rake). Over four timesrepparttar 138331 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.

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