More and more people are talking about their bad beats, their great hands, and their prowess for play. Popular on college campuses, fraternal clubs, and even retirement homes, poker has become our new game of chance, and our new game of choice.
What has led to the rise of this game? Most likely, it has been television and the media. On any given evening, the average person can flip on the TV set and find a poker game being aired. The World Series of Poker, Celebrity Poker Showdown, and Ultimate Poker Showdown are rising in the ratings as we tune in to see professionals battle it out and compare our play to theirs.
Nearly every home these days has at least one computer. The Internet has become our lifeline, in ways, for information, contact with the outside world, and – yes – our portal to the world of poker beyond our kitchen table. Now ordinary people can log on and play poker with people other than our parents, kids, and friends. Many professional players sponsor online website where they are required to play allowing Average Joe to match his poker skills with the likes of Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson.
Perhaps the biggest rise in poker popularity – specifically online poker – stems from one man’s $40 online buy-in leading to the Cinderella story of the industry. Chris Moneymaker qualified for The World Series of Poker main event through a small buy-in satellite event at Poker Stars. At the Series, he outlasted a field of 839 entrants – the largest in World Series of Poker history at the time. He pitted heads against some of the most well-known poker professionals in the world – and won! Moneymaker’s first-place finish netted him $2.5 million dollars, which wasn’t bad considering it was his first live tournament.
Many people looked at Moneymaker’s win as monumental. After all, he was just an average guy. He could be anyone’s next door neighbor or co-worker, and he went up against the pros and won. Chris Moneymaker opened the door for everyday people to dream about being the next professional poker player.
In fact, the 2004 World Series featured triple the number of players over the 2003 turnout. At least four players in the WSOP final table won their entry through an online card room. Like Moneymaker, 2004 winner Greg “Fossil man” Raymer also won his entry at the Poker Stars online card room.
There are a myriad of tips and tricks for playing the game of poker. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to play the game. True, poker is a game of chance, and many would argue that there really is no secret to winning the game. However, there is a best way to play. As Kenny Rogers sang in “The Gambler”, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.
There are many variations on the game of poker, but the one most popular today has got to be Texas Hold ‘Em. It’s a relatively simple game, but like all poker, it can change with the deal of every card. In this book, we’ll explore different ways to play the game online to maximize on your buy-in. We’ll touch on tournaments as well.
Online poker can be fun and even profitable when you play smart and follow the advice of those in the know. Whether you’re playing for fun or for money, the game can easily become an obsession, so we’ve also given you information about getting help with a gambling problem.
We won’t make you a professional – that’s up to you! But we will try to give you some food for thought when the cards are dealt and it’s time to bet.
So, let’s talk poker!