In 2004, more than $1 billion will have been wagered at internet poker sites, according to PokerPulse.com, which tracks activity at 21 of the largest poker sites.
In January, $11.1 million was wagered at the major Internet sites. In October 2004, the monthly total reached $136.1 million.
Among the reasons for the boom are the profusion of TV coverage and Chris Moneymaker’s winning the WSOP.
In May 2003, the unknown 27-year-old Internet 1xbet poker qualifier named Chris Moneymaker (yes, his real name) won the World Series of Poker held at Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The prize for beating the swarm of professionals and other amateurs was $2.5 million which cost him only $40 total to enter. Moneymaker had never played in a live poker tournament before the World Series. He had only played online.
“We’ve seen quite a few unknowns go to final tables of major (land-based) events and do extremely well against the pros. And where have all these people honed their skills? Online,” says Vikrant Bhargava, general manager of PartyPoker.
Bhargava says his firm’s site – which PokerPulse.com calls the largest online destination – has 60,000 players at tables in peak traffic, suggesting a couple hundred thousand visitors per day. The bulk of the customers come from the U.S.
Brunson/Brookstone allegiance provides the latest holiday gift sets
Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson has launched a line of poker products to support his new book, Super System 2.
On Thursday, December 9th, the poker legend will be signing advanced copies of his book and conducting – using Brookstone’s Premiere Professional Poker Set with randomly selected people – an exhibition at speciality retailer Brookstone’s store at the Rockefeller Center in New York.
Poker fans around the country can also register to win a limited, autographed copy of Brunson’s Super/System 2 by logging onto www.brookstone.com and typing “Doyle Brunson” in the search box.
“Brookstone is pleased to be the only retailer in the entire country to offer customers a chance to purchase or win a limited, advance copy of this highly anticipated new book by Doyle Brunson, the renowned patriarch of modern poker,” Brookstone Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Anthony said.
“We feel this partnership with Mr. Brunson underscores Brookstone’s position in the marketplace as the retailer of choice for Holiday gifts and complements our premiere line of authentic poker products, including our Professional Poker Set.”
Brookstone’s premiere Holiday poker line-up includes the Professional Poker Set ($125), which features 400 professional weight chips at 11.5 grams and five instructional cards in a deluxe felt-lined carrying case, as well as a variety of other poker products that range from casino sets, to card shufflers to electronic handheld games.