The World Series of Poker History
There is no event in the world of poker that holds more appeal than the WSOP. Although the World Series of Poker has been around for almost 30 years, it was not until 2003 that the event really took on the fame that it enjoys today. Now that’s not to say that the World Series of Poker wasn’t didn’t attract a crowd; in fact in the year 2000, there were almost 5,000 people who signed up for the various games, wherein players received a rank and had to defeat anyone else at the table to receive a progression to the next round. In 2005, just a short time later, this number had grown to 23,000 players who partook in the games.
So what was it that made the WSOP so much more popular? Analysts look to a few different things. The first is the expanded cover of poker on television, particularly on mainstream sports channels. This came about with the invention of the pocket cam, which showed viewers what individuals were holding in their hands. Viewing the game suddenly took on a whole new meaning, as people watching could see the kind of strategies that individual players would employ as they played the game. This innovation was originally only found on broadcasts of the World Poker Tour, but eventually came to be a part of all major televised tournaments, including the World Series of Poker.
The second thing that receives recognition as a major factor in the growth of the popularity of the WSOP is the Internet. Online gambling was one of the first non-intellectual activities to establish a strong presence in cyber space, and poker quickly became popular. No longer did a person have to count on a group of friends all being available to play; instead, he or she could just log on online and there was a group waiting to play, at any time of day. People began to play more and more, and with an increased level of play came an increased interest in studying the game in order to win more.
Both of these phenomena came into play when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 Main Event at the WSOP. Moneymaker was an amateur and he won against some of the world’s very best poker players, and thanks to the invention of the pocket cam, thousands of people saw him do it. They were able to take this and put it into practice while they played online, with the added knowledge that it was entirely possible that they could become the next amateur success story at the World Series of Poker.
The combination of all these factors has meant that the WSOP is more popular today than it ever has been before, a popularity that is guaranteed to continue to grow. The result has been an increase in the length of the tournament, which now runs for over a month as players receive their rank and content to gain the progression to the next match.