Poker is Booming on the Net

Published September 12, 2004 by OCR Editor

Poker is Booming on the Net

The Online casino business is in full swing and one of the most popular online casino games is Poker. Recently, business at the online casinos has been soaring due in part to some external influences such as the World Series Poker Tournament in Las Vegas

Does the name Chris Moneymaker mean anything to you? He is the guy that is partly responsible for breathing new life into one of the oldest card games around: Poker. Moneymaker, an accountant from Tennessee, was eligible for the May 2003 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and after working on his poker skills at the online casinos headed to the tournament to go for the big win. With only about three years experience at playing poker, Moneymaker beat out a lineup of professional players in the Las Vegas tournament, and took the $2.5 million jackpot home with him.

This big win was well publicized and, along with other "World Poker Tour" TV show, and celebrities endorsing the game, the online poker industry has seen a recent boom in popularity. There are many online poker Web sites drawing in tens of thousands of players every hour. Most online casinos give you the option to play for free or for real money wages. This option to play for free is exactly the kind of perk you can only receive at an online casino. Many players, like Moneymaker, spend hours honing their skills for free before they start to bet online. It's the best way to practice the game and build a strong playing technique.

"Technology has completely changed the face of the game," said Vikrant Bhargava, general manager of Party Poker, one of the most popular online poker Web sites. Ever since Moneymaker's big win the average number of customers playing poker for real money online jumped from about 1,500 per hour to more than 14,000, according to Poker Pulse, a Vancouver company that tracks people and money at the top 20 online poker rooms. The average number of paying players in non-tournament games jumped from 2,500 to more than 11,000.

This has helped generate roughly $3.2 million per day for the top 20 websites, according to Poker Pulse. "Imagine a stadium full of people playing poker," Bhargava said. "If we put all of those people at real tables, we'd need 15 or 20 stadiums. Technology has made it possible for so many people to play in one virtual room."
Every player that joins an online casino and starts playing poker in free or pay mode could potentially turn out to be the next Chris Moneymaker.

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