I didn't really know much about poker or Texas Hold 'em up until a few years ago. I was sitting in my chair surfing the TV channels looking for something watch. I eventually stopped on ESPN, the gold standard for men who just like to "veg" out in front of the TV and watch something remotely related to sports. That particular night, well actually that particular week, they were running the World Series of Poker. It is the be all end all tournament for die hard poker players. At the time it featured hundreds of people from all walks of life competing to take home the one million dollar prize.
As I watched it I found myself intrigued as to the way game was played, the way the players interacted with one another and so on. However what made it more exciting was a little known competitor from Tennessee, an accountant, who decided to throw his hand in the ring and take a shot. It was this player's uncanny ability to outsmart his opponents and work himself all the way up to becoming the World Series of Poker champion.
Here is what Chris Moneymaker did. He was able to beat out hundreds of other opponents and when it came down to just him and Sammy Farha, a poker veteran, Moneymaker pulled an unbelievable bluff. He had nothing in his hand where Farha would have easily beaten him had he just stayed in. That bluff has lead to the explosion of popularity in poker. Before it could only be seen on ESPN.
Today you can flip through the channels and easily see all kinds of poker tournaments on a variety of stations. According to the magazine the "Economist", Poker has a worldwide revenue of about $15 billion dollars and is fast approaching the $20 billion mark. As crazy as it sounds poker chips are one of the hottest selling items on Amazon.
This increase in revenue, products, marketing and all kinds of spin off merchandise took off once Moneymaker won the tournament. As I was sitting there watching in amazement as to how these players could sit countless hours playing poker I was even more astonished that a man who never even played in a tournament of this magnitude could overcome all of the great players out there. Although there are many players who built the recreation of poker from the ground up like the Doyle Brunson, Chris Ferguson and countless others. It was the amateur first timer, Chris Moneymaker, who made it possible to all people that the tournament is winnable by anybody. Because of this new creation of philosophy that anyone can win it has lead to the WSOP being grown to over 10,000 entries.
It may have all started with a mouse for Disney, but for Texas Hold 'em and the World Series of poker it is clear that its popularity all started with an accountant and the "Moneymaker bluff.".
About the Author:
Mr. Podlesny is a freelance writer. You can read his 5 tips on increasing your chances of winning at poker by Clicking here, or by visiting his MySpace Blog.