The popularity of the World Series of Poker gained tremendousmomentum from The Travel Channel’s World Poker Tour showings. Although the event had been showing for a number of years on ESPN, when new technologies such as the table camera were used,television watchers began getting involved in the hands as they were being played.
Other advancements will also take place since the purchase of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) from Binion’s in 2004 by Harrah’s. They will need them because of the sheer increase in the number of players entering the tournament. In 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won the 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, the 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 the WSOP main event with buy ins that are far less than the $10,000 fee.
The Internet will be instrumental in tournament poker because ofthe 24/7 availability to play large numbers of hands that would take months in just a number of days. This will allow experience in the game to be gained much more quickly than one could gain say 5 years ago. With the numerous poker games that are played at the annual WSOP, (in 2004 there were 32), anyone can learn and practice any game over the Internet in order to compete for a WSOP bracelet and title.
Players come from all walks of life to play at the WSOP, both male and female. But the makeup of the top performers has changed. Aggressive players who understand areas of mathematicsin 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.
For those who do not possess such knowledge, that will not stopthem from playing the game from a competition standpoint. Expectmore satellite tournaments at land based casinos to sponsor seats to the WSOP in order to cash in on the poker craze. Theyadmit they don’t make much from the tables, but what they makeon other sales and games from the players and the crowds theyattract, make poker something they will promote. Land basedcasinos went from closing down poker rooms to opening them up again and building new ones to handle the capacity.
You will still see familiar faces playing at the top of theirgames like Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, Doyle Brunson, Annie Duke and others. They are excited because even though it is becoming tougher to win more tournament titles atthe World Series of Poker, overall they win more money becauseof their level of expertise at the game. Players of this caliberwill stay contenders to be respected (and feared) at any final table. The future of the World Series of Poker has an incredibleamount of potential with an estimated 50,000,000 poker players in the United States alone. Keep your eyes open to see what will happen next.
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