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Poker Tournaments - Why So Popular?

It�s no secret that Poker is taking the world by storm. For the past several years, Poker has spread from game rooms and Casinos onto the Internet and even worldwide television. From professional players with years of experience to rank beginners who picked up the game on a spare weekend, Poker has opened its doors wide and it seems all are entering�especially in to the world of Professional Poker Tournaments. So why are Poker Tournaments suddenly so popular?

Poker was not often played in Casinos until the mid 1970s�because of security issues involving cheating, most Casinos shied away from promoting the game. Then, in 1970, Casino owner Benny Binion held the first World Series of Poker at Binion�s Horseshoe. An invitation-only event, the Tournament featured seven players who squared off to claim the title of World Poker Champion around the poker table in a game of Texas Holdem. The event created a flurry of media attention and proved an effective way to increase Poker�s popularity.

Soon, the World Series of Poker was drawing players who were not necessarily poker professionals. Every year, the tournament grew and as it became popular amongst poker players, it gained attention in the popular media. In the mid-1980s ESPN began broadcasting the event across the United States�a huge turning point in Poker�s popular image, and its general acceptability. With the spread of cable television into most of the homes in the United States, ESPN and other specialty broadcasting channels gained in distribution and popularity. As ESPN spread into more homes, so did the broadcast of the World Series of Poker.

The early broadcasts of tournaments were primitive by today�s standards. As video production equipment shrank in size, new components allowed for more specialized use. Soon the production elements involved in producing and televising poker tournaments grew in flash and pizzazz. The quiet commentary gave way to in depth coverage, and the styles of the players themselves even picked up momentum.

In 2002, another Poker Tournament entered the realm of television broadcast. The World Poker Tour began airing on the Travel Channel and quickly became a media success. With the popularity of the World Series of Poker already drawing a large audience, the World Poker Tour took advantage of the growing appetite for poker programming. The game of Poker had arrived as a popular sport.

As with other televised sports, Poker soon began to spread into wider acceptability�more and more people became familiar with the sometimes-complicated rules of the games, and more and more people began playing the game at home with own poker sets and poker chips. At the same time that Poker was making its debut on television, it was also beginning to make its debut on the Internet. Suddenly, the popular game on television was available online at any time of day or night�with players existing across the world�instantly, a phenomenon was born.

Poker is now one of the most popular games in the world�and with more tournaments opening each year, it shows no sign of stopping. Thanks to cable television, the Internet, and the forward-thinking smarts of a Casino owner who loved the game, Poker and Tournament Play are here to stay.

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