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The Growth of Poker
Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the game of poker at its current level. It has long been a popular choice among those who frequent casinos, but created relatively little buzz in the news or elsewhere. These days, all of that has changed, as poker has taken off in popularity. You don't have to be in a London card room or a Las Vegas casino to hear about stories and see advertisements. Instead, you just need to turn on the television, where some of the world's biggest broadcasting outlets are trumpeting the virtues of one of the world's best games.
The growth of poker on the internet is a big part of the story. Though there have been challenges to overcome in terms of retaining its legality, poker has taken on a huge role in the online gaming world. This started better than five years ago and since then, things have grown exponentially. Now, sites are extolling the virtues of online play and drawing in players with great tournaments and all sorts of bonuses. Online poker sites are providing legitimate outlets for players who might have previously had to visit a casino to get the kind of play they were looking for.
But the online revolution has not been standing alone in pushing the popularity of poker. It has coincided with the rise of the World Series of Poker and the publicizing of this huge event. Held in Las Vegas every year since 1970, when casino mogul Benny Binion invited some of the world's best to play for a title in his downtown casino. Now, the event is televised around the world and it takes up a month every summer. Tens of thousands of players enter the various contests, with more than 5,000 entering the main event. That one pays the big bucks, as the champion can take home as much as ten million dollars.
All in all, poker is growing and it's becoming more socially acceptable, as well. The stigma is off of the game at least a little bit, as people realize that it is much more skill than it is luck. Some of the world's best are becoming real celebrities in a way that you might expect a football star to become a celebrity. The Steven Gerrards of this game are guys like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth. All over the world, players are trying to gearing up their game to get to the level where they might take home the crown.