Why all the excitement over Poker?Written by Tom Howze
Poker's new upsurge in popularity is due to televised showings of championship poker tournaments, such as The World Poker Tour and The World Series of Poker. This has resulted in millions of people all over world playing either online or at land based casinos. Even movie stars and professional athletes are getting into tournament action. This really became evident when actor Ben Affleck won $356,400 and a tournament title at Commerce Casino's California State Poker Championship in June 2004.
And big business likes poker too. Bear Stearns estimated that annual revenue from poker was $4.5 billion in 2003. Another analyst group feels 2005 revenue will exceed $10 billion. PokerPulse.com stated that $200,463,154 .00 was wagered at online poker rooms in a 24 hour period on March 13, 2005.
People see excitement and money that is involved in poker tournaments by watching poker on TV, which is one reason perception of poker gambling went from being played in dark rooms to a preferred status. The seasoned professional players are excited about this as well. They are not winning as many tournaments as they have in past due to influx of many new players, but they are winning more than ever because of their levels of expertise at game.
Plus, makeup of top players has been changing. In past only people who played for years and built up instincts for knowing how to win were champions. Now newer top players are highly educated, highly successful and are analytical in nature. You will see individuals from top professions like Financial Analyst, Rocket Scientist, Attorney, and Mathematician along with industry CEO's in ranks of champion. People like Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson who can perform mathematical calculations in their heads with ease will be future.
World Series of Poker ManiaWritten by Tom Howze
The popularity of World Series of Poker gained tremendous momentum from The Travel Channel's World Poker Tour showings. Although event had been showing for a number of years on cable, when new technologies such as table camera were used, television watchers began getting involved in hands as they were being played.
Other advancements will also take place since purchase of World Series of Poker (WSOP) from Binion's in 2004 by Harrah's. They will need them because of sheer increase in number of players entering tournament. In 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won title and $2,500,000, there were 839 entrants. In 2004 Gregory Paul Raymer became champion after defeating 2576 players and was rewarded with $5,000,000. For 2005, WSOP will be estimated to have over 7500 players hammering each other for a top prize of $6,000,000. And most of these will come from Internet poker rooms. A significant number of online poker rooms will host online tournaments to sponsor seats to WSOP main event with buy ins that are far less than $10,000 fee.
The Internet will be instrumental in tournament poker because of 24/7 availability to play large numbers of hands that would take months in just a number of days. This will allow experience in game to be gained much more quickly than one could gain say 5 years ago. With numerous poker games that are played at annual WSOP, (in 2004 there were 32), anyone can learn and practice any game over Internet in order to compete for a WSOP bracelet and title.
Players come from all walks of life to play at WSOP, both male and female. But makeup of top performers has changed. Aggressive players who understand areas of mathematics in analytical professions will come out on top more and more. No longer will champions be made up of just those who have played poker for 20 to 25 years in order to build up razor sharp instincts. This is why so many younger players are being seen winning championship events. A number of newer champions will be current college students.