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.