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The Poker Boom

[ Posted March 16th, 2006 ] by admin

Recently, I returned from a trip overseas. I travelled to many different places around the world seeing and enjoying different cultures from all over. I spent roughly the last year of my life exploring the different facets the world has to offer. One thing that is tangible however, is the growth of poker worldwide.

So what caused this massive explosion? I say it’s the 2003 World Series of Poker Champion, Chris Moneymaker. With a name like that, it’s almost like he was born to be a poker champion. Even though, what made Moneymakers victory start the wildfire that was to come? It was the fact that he was a nobody in the world of poker and he didn’t even buy in to the event!; Just forty American bucks got him into the 10thousand buck event via an online satellite. He wasn’t a poker pro, he just any old ordinary, average guy who like to a play a bit of poker. This just happened to be his first ever live poker tournament. Not bad, a cool 2.5million American bucks. So was it is a fluke? Maybe, maybe not. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. The world of poker will be forever grateful. Not only Moneymakers win sparked this rise in popularity but also the implementation of Televising major poker events and the world of online poker. Who back then, could ever see a bunch of guys playing cards make the prime time spot on TV or someone spending the majority of their day playing poker online? Not me, but I’m happy to see it now.

When I left my home here in Sydney, I had been playing poker for almost two years, fairly new to the game. In the States and Canada there is a huge poker presence. Almost every home has a set of chips and a regular weekly home game. There are casinos everywhere and the poker rooms are all packed. Here in Australia it’s not quite the same, but definitely on my return to the land down under, there is big wave of poker sweeping the young and old alike. Joe Hatchems win certainly enhanced the reputation even more and let’s not forget the Aussie Millions Tournaments held in Melbourne each year attracting poker pros and television networks.

So is it a good thing or bad thing? Some of the old say they liked it when only a few people played, they say things like ‘it was easier to win back then’ and ‘there’s too much competition nowadays’ amongst other things. Not to say that all older generation poker players think like that though. Most of them (I would expect) would embrace the new generation. Obviously the new generation love the game.

The fact that there are so many people playing the game makes it an interesting topic. Numbers would suggest that the more new players out there, the more dead money there is. It’s easy for a poker pro to take down a newbie to game. But at the same time a newbie still has the opportunity winning. For example, A pro footy player will always thump a no-one coming in to play, but in poker, they always have a chance. Obviously the better you are and the more experience you have playing poker, the more successful you will be in the long run.

I don’t need to tell you how great the game is, you probably wouldn’t be reading this unless you had some interest in the game. However, the thing I don’t know about the poker boom is how long it will last, but from the look of things it seems as though it’s here for a while yet.


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