The popularity of the World Series of Poker gained tremendous
momentum from The Travel Channel’s World Poker Tour showings.
Although the event had been showing for a number of years on
cable, 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 of
the 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 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.
For those who do not possess such knowledge, that will not stop
them from playing the game from a competition standpoint. Expect
more satellite tournaments at land based casinos to sponsor
seats to the WSOP in order to cash in on the poker craze. They
admit they don’t make much from the tables, but what they make
on other sales and games from the players and the crowds they
attract, make poker something they will promote. Land based
casinos 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 their
games 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 at
the World Series of Poker, overall they win more money because
of their level of expertise at the game. Players of this caliber
will stay contenders to be respected (and feared) at any final
table. The future of the World Series of Poker has an incredible
amount 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.