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Online Poker Explosion
The popularity of online poker has increased at an astounding speed recently. Besides the obvious - poker is an intriguing game with great recreational value - the main reasons are the flexibility, speed and global 24/7 access afforded by playing online.
Poker as a sport has received substantial media coverage since the inception of the TV show Planet Poker and saw moderate growth in the subsequent three years, after which point Paradise Poker muscled its way into a dominant market position. The big upswing came with the entry of aggressive marketers such as Pacific Poker and the televised World Poker Tour events in 2002. In 2003 alone online poker game volume increased about 500%. With such massive growth, the online poker market showed gross earnings of about $1 billion in 2004.
The online poker business is very profitable for the established rooms, but the competition is heating up as a result. This is good for you as a player. Online poker rooms today spend more and more money on advertising as well as giving more value back to the players with higher and better re-load bonuses, promotions and other perks.
The brick-and-mortar poker world has also benefited greatly from the explosion in interest in the game, with poker rooms again flourishing in casinos. Today many new players start out playing online and then move on to play at home games and casinos around the world.
What makes poker particularly fascinating for a larger crowd is that in the short term, any decent player can compete and even win against the world's best players. Luck and hidden information play a large enough role in poker to make this possible. In many other skill games, the most highly skilled player almost always wins, even in the short term.
By the same token, poker is deceptive, as many less-skilled players are not sufficiently aware of their long-term outlook to win, let alone break even. As most people know, poker is a game of skill and the best players will win money over time. Luckily, by following some simple rules you will be able to minimize your losses very quickly. The articles in the Beginner Poker Strategy section of the site will familiarize you with these strategies.