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Poker's Popularity

Everybody seems to want to play poker these days. I have been wondering what has caused this explosion in the past few years. There’s a feedback loop between movies, all of the poker TV shows, and individual interest in the game, I suppose, but what got that loop going?

A NYT article about the topic today provides a clue:<blockquote>Poker became television fodder when the toy mogul Henry Orenstein invented a camera technology that allowed viewers to see a poker player’s cards through a window in the table. Mr. Orenstein is the creator and executive producer of “Poker Superstars.”

“Before, you never knew who had what cards,” he said in a telephone interview. “Now you can actually see the strategy in the middle of the game.”</blockquote>And also:<blockquote>It was the Internet, however, that changed the odds in big-money tournaments. Last year an Internet player named Christopher Moneymaker - his actual name, by the way - won the World Series of Poker and $2.5 million. He had never played in a live tournament in his life … There are no faces in Web card rooms, only players and lots of them. Last year … Internet gambling revenue totaled almost $6.35 billion.</blockquote>

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