The Rise and Rise of Poker

by PokerFanatic | posted in Poker articles

The origins of poker can be traced to the 17th or 18th century. No Kidding! Poker has come a long way since the Mississippi river boats, moving on to taverns, saloons, and finally making it to exclusive poker rooms all over the world. In the age of the Internet, the next logical step was for the game of poker to go online. But how did it all start? Much before poker went online; various other gambling sites were launched. Sports books started in the mid-90s. “Microgaming” the casino software provider started the first major online casino in 1994. Online poker is a very recent phenomenon and the first poker room Planet Poker was established in 1998.

Planet Poker has the reputation of setting the initial rake structure which has still remained constant. Very soon Planet Poker was overtaken by other many other online poker rooms like Paradise Poker, which became the leader in the industry. In the initial stages of the online poker industry, a few sites encountered teething troubles like in the case of Poker Spot launched in the year 2000. Poker Spot was the first online card room to offer tournaments. But trouble began for Poker Spot when it failed to collect the deposits made by the players from the credit card company. The result was that since the money was not available in the gaming system, Poker Spot was unable to pay the winners and the site soon went into liquidation.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been a repeat of the Poker Spot incident because very soon fund transfer services and the concept of e-cash emerged. Neteller became the leading fund transfer service provider for the online poker business. Neteller is a favorite with both, the players as well as the poker sites. Players prefer to deal through Neteller because they can deposit funds without using a credit card or a wire transfer and the withdrawals are fairly quick. The poker sites pay minimal fees to Neteller and are in turn, assured of good service with minimal chances of fraud.

In 2001, Poker Stars and Party Poker, two giant poker sites became popular in the online gaming scene. Poker Stars became famous for its tournaments. The popularity of poker continued to grow with Party Poker launching its advertising campaign on television in 2003 during the World Poker Tour. So now, the game of poker had pretty much reached people’s drawing rooms all around the world. Poker’s popularity reached unprecedented levels largely because people could view the action and the drama of the game as well as follow the broadcasts of the World Series of Poker Tournaments on television, which has lead to the explotion of poker.

When people refer to Poker they are almost always talking about Texas Hold’em; it is one of the most televised poker game, gaining a cult status in our society. So, the question now is how do we as a society deal with the new status and the popularity that Poker has attained? I guess you could just enjoy the game by watching it on TV or playing it or for those so inclined, simply ignore it. But, with this new poker craze, it is quite impossible to ignore it; and of course, it is available at the local club as well as at numerous online card rooms. So, if you do not have the usual Saturday night pastime, why not learn the game with a few of your buddies?

Believe me, there is a huge amount of money to be made by winning online tournaments, doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money to spare. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Getting started is quite easy – you can start off by playing the free games online. You get a lot of practice and also pick up the rules of the game along the way. Before going for the tournaments or playing for money, make sure you are clear about the rules; otherwise you would be in for a nasty experience. With no financial loss there are no worries, hence when you play for free, there is no pressure on the player to perform in a free game. Real money play is a different ballgame altogether and you can practice the game with a group of friends till you polish your skills.

If you are one of those poker players who are looking forward to participate in a televised event, you may have to actually win four or five tournaments in a sequence and finally play against the winners of other tourneys to qualify for a live Poker event. Only talented players last till the final round. Televised Poker events like the World Series of Poker Tournaments often have qualifying rounds of poker games that can be played online. The winner of these qualifiers gets a seat to the live poker tournament. Often, such qualifying or satellite tournaments have very minimal buy-ins. Now dig this; if the online player manages to win the live poker tournament by beating the professionals at the table, he manages to win millions of dollars in prize money with absolutely no financial investment!
The best site for poker satellite tournaments to the World Poker Tour is Party Poker.

Ultimately, dealing with the poker craze depends on the individual and the choices he makes…whether he just wants to watch the pros in action on television without spending a dime or whether he is willing to invest his time and patience to make those poker millions. There is no doubt about the fact that Poker tournaments are a world wide, big-time money draw for the players as well as the television advertisers. If you are not inclined to passively watch the game, then go out and play those online games, win at World Series of Poker Tournaments and make some serious dough. Online poker rooms are so very convenient – you don’t even have to move out of the comforts of your home.  Poker has certainly come a long way from the pubs and card rooms and progressed to the virtual realm making a multitude of fans in the process…


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