The Fascinating World of Poker
:place w:st="on">Europe:place>. If we look at the development of the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT), the most important series of live poker tournaments in Europe, it continues to smash participant and prize money
But while live tournaments fuel the poker world's imagination, the internet remains the engine driving the growth of the worldwide poker community. In 2008 alone PokerStars broke countless records. On January 12th for the first time ever more than 150,000 players played simultaneously online at the world's largest online poker room. In July, an incredible 25,000 poker players took part in the Sunday Hundred Grand, an unprecedented number of participants for an online tournament. They bought in for just $11 and played for payouts of up to $25,000. The established Sunday tournaments, Sunday Million and Sunday Warm-up (each have a buy-in of $215) have been running for several years now and continue to produce record prize pools in the millions.
PokerStars welcomes participants to the world's largest online tournament
There are many obvious reasons for the ongoing poker boom. The opportunity to make a fortune out of only a few dollars is certainly a big one. The opportunity to play against top pros such as Daniel Negreanu in a live televised tournament is another.
And it is precisely these "David versus Goliath" stories that make poker so alluring. What other types of sport offer people the opportunity to compete against the superstars for a handful of dollars while giving them the chance to win an amount of money that could change their lives. Poker is a competition that unites young and old, beginner and pro, and fun and relaxation. It can also be a blast of adrenalin: when all of your chips are in, the simple turn of a card can lead to joy or despair.
"It takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master" applies to poker more than in any other game of skill. Even if Goliath does in fact win most in the long run, as in most other types of sport, it's always the times when David wins that fascinate us so much.