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World Poker Tour

Television Tour Transforms Poker into the World's Hottest Game

For poker fans, the Travel Channel and the World Poker Tour are an unbeatable pair. With the advent of hidden cameras and clever commentary, millions are learning what diehard poker fanatics have known for years - there is nothing more fascinating than high-stakes poker - and it's getting better.

Largely due to the popularity of the televised World Poker Tour (WPT) as well as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), new players are flocking to tournaments. The World Poker Tour Championship last April featured the highest buy-in for a poker tournament in history, $25,000, drawing 111 players competing for $2.6 million in prize money and a $1 million first prize. This year's World Poker Tour Championship is expected to exceed 200 players with a $2 million first prize.

With the additional exposure offered by the World Poker Tour and the WSOP, tournaments are growing in size and prestige, so much so that even Hollywood is getting in on the act. While they pose no immediate threat to their World Poker Tour counterparts, stars such as Ben Affleck, Martin Sheen, Shannon Elizabeth and David Schwimmer are facing off in the newest ante into the televised poker pot - Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown. In this newest televised poker variation, celebs perform their best imitation of the World Poker Tour's practiced veterans, competing for a quarter-million contribution to the charity of their choice.

The upshot of all of this is that poker is on the rise, especially tournament poker. People around the globe are fascinated by the skill and steely nerves of the World Poker Tour players. Perhaps the key appeal of televised tournaments is their ability to place the viewer in the player's position, and who better to live vicariously through than a fellow amateur? Enter Chris Moneymaker.

Moneymaker, a 27-year-old Tennessee accountant lived the ultimate poker fairy tale?converting a mere $39.00 stake in an online tournament into his $2.5 Million coronation as the 2003 World Series of Poker Champion.

If poker was on the rise before Moneymaker, it exploded into the stratosphere after his victory at the WSOP. Whether they're drawn by the timeless appeal of the gameplay or the suddenly trendy cache of the game, millions are now following in Moneymaker's footsteps and getting into the action online. From the World Poker Tour to the World Wide Web, the Internet is the natural evolution of poker. From Instant Messaging to Online Forums to Peer-to-Peer Networks, the Internet has continued to revolutionize business and society alike with its ability to bring people together. For a growing wave of poker fanatics, it's the perfect medium to apply the lessons they've learned watching the World Poker Tour. Not only does an online card room such as PokerWorld offer the perfect opportunity for people to play tournament poker at any time they choose with anyone in the world, the software offers numerous features to enable communication between players. Better yet, an online poker site such as PokerWorld is the perfect place for players inspired by the World Poker Tour to hone their nascent poker skills.

If you are a new player, visit our Play-For-Fun page for hints on making your first poker experiences enjoyable ones or drop by our Rules page for the rundown on all the popular poker variations. Of course, nothing beats the allure of a real-money game. If you're ready to get in on the action, visit our Preview Page to get a feel for the PokerWorld software or head straight to the lobby and check out one of the many games currently going on.

Lee Ferris - PokerWorld.com



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