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Thread: Poker Championship Gains Wide Following

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Poker Championship Gains Wide Following

    Poker Championship Gains Wide Following

    44 minutes ago

    By ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Writer

    LAS VEGAS - The best poker player in the world quickly does the math and doesn't like his odds at this week's World Series of Poker.

    Thanks to a poker craze created by TV, the Internet and last year's remarkable storybook victory by a young unknown, a staggering 2,576 people are competing this time for a record $5 million first prize.

    "When I started playing in 1987, I had a vision that if you became one of the top players you could expect to win the championship," said Howard Lederer, 40, a man with a lead-piercing stare and a number-crunching mind that have led others to regard him as the best in the game. "Even if I'm the favorite, I'm still 200-to-1."

    The days of several hundred pros and a smattering of amateurs competing in the grandest of poker events are over. Everybody from "Spider-Man" actor Tobey Maguire to a former Oklahoma beauty queen was betting on being crowned the next poker king on Friday in the 35th annual World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino.

    "It's Everyman's tournament," said World Series co-director Matt Savage.

    Last year, 839 men and women played in the No-Limit Texas Hold'Em event, in which players are dealt two cards each and make the best poker hand they can using those plus five additional common cards that are turned face up on the table. An aptly named accountant from Spring Hill, Tenn., Chris Moneymaker, won the top prize of $2.5 million.

    Moneymaker was considered "Dead Money" in poker circles, someone destined to lose early. Instead, his Cinderella story is credited with transforming the game.

    "He had the single biggest impact on poker history. Period," said Dan Goldman, vice president of marketing for PokerStars.com, an Internet poker site.

    Moneymaker advanced to the finals after paying $40 in a qualifying Internet event. For those who do not get lucky in the satellite tournaments on the Internet or at Binion's leading up to the World Series, the buy-in fee is $10,000.

    Since his astonishing victory, the 28-year-old Moneymaker has become a poker celebrity. His face appears in poker magazines and people ask for autographs.

    Lederer also points to the Internet in creating the groundswell of interest in poker. He said it helps that people like Moneymaker have successfully jumped from the Internet to "brick-and-mortar" tournaments.

    Poker player Andy Bloch, a 34-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Law School graduate, believes there is another ingredient: "Two letters: TV. It's a great game for television."

    ESPN covered the finals in 2003 and has been replaying Moneymaker's performance again and again. This year the network plans to air 22 hours of coverage.

    Other networks also have capitalized on the craze. The Travel Channel offers "World Poker Tour," and Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" has everyone playing along with their favorite stars.

    Forget taking a job with The Donald or surviving weeks in the jungle for a paltry $1 million. The potential stakes at the World Series dwarf those of other popular reality shows, with the prize money for all the games in the tournament surpassing $41 million, compared with $22 million a year ago. Even second place in the finals is a whopping $3.5 million.

    The World Series of Poker has come a long way since cowboy gambler Benny Binion began a poker tournament to crown the world's best player and winner Johnny Moss took home $30,000 in 1971.

    Today the World Series comprises more than 30 events that involve different variations of poker, such as pot-limit Omaha and seven-card stud.

    Those high-stakes games wrapped up last week before the much-anticipated No-Limit Texas Hold'Em finals began Saturday.

    In no-limit betting, a player can risk all his chips with every turn of a card, guaranteeing high-stakes action and big-time losers. And another person's misery makes for great reality TV.

    On Monday, hundreds were scrapping at Binion's, trying to win with a combination of skill, psychology and other tactics that include wearing impenetrably dark sunglasses.

    "No matter how good you are, you have to get lucky," said Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Los Angeles and won the 2000 World Series title.

    Moneymaker found that out after the event kicked off Saturday. He lasted only three hours before losing his stack of chips to an opponent who landed one of only two cards that could have beat him.

    "You have to catch those breaks to win tournaments," he said.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...r_world_series

  2. #2
    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    The World Series of Poker and the Poker Tour are my favorite poker shows. I love the use of mathematics and the study of human nature. There are some unbelievable hands...where "any two cards can win."

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    Smiling again... Zhora's Avatar
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    Wow! 2,576 people?!? That is really wild. I think the Binions were a little shocked when they got over 500 - 4 years ago. I wonder if they had to set up some of the tables in the parking lot this year.

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm a member of www.pokerstars.com (free to join and download their software), and they sent me this spam, but I thought it was pretty interesting, so I'm going to share.

    PokerStars is again affirming its position as an innovator in the world of poker. On Friday, May 28th, 2004 at 4:00PM ET (1:00PM local Las Vegas time), we're offering you the opportunity to watch every hand dealt at the final table of the World Series of Poker in near real-time.

    PokerStars will simulcast play at the final table using our poker software and a special tournament table. This table will feature a picture of each player - and you'll see bet/raise/fold actions just as they happen live at the final table! You'll be able to witness each decision made by the nine finalists as they play to determine the newest World Champion of poker.

    Don't miss your chance to see poker history in the making. This year's winner will take home $5 million - the largest payday for any tournament or contest... ever! With over 300 qualifiers from PokerStars playing in the event, maybe we'll even produce back-to-back World Champions!

    If you have any friends who you think would like to see the event - make sure to remind them they can download a free copy of our software at www.pokerstars.com. Anyone with a PokerStars account (play money or real money) will be eligible to witness this historic event.

    The special table for this simulcast will appear under the 'Tourney/Special' tab in the PokerStars software.

    See you at the final table!

  5. #5
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    The amazing thing about PokerStars (where I am too) is that as of the evening of Day 4, they still had 11 people in the tourny out of 43, and they had 26% of the chips. Most of these folks are just everyday players on the net.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

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    I like them silent WomynLee's Avatar
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    I'm a member of party poker! Nice to see some fellow players on the fort.
    Last edited by WomynLee; 05-28-2004 at 12:10 AM.

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    Smiling again... Zhora's Avatar
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    Of the most recent results I've seen I only recognize one player left in it.

    I can't wait to see the TV broadcast. Anyone know when it will be on? ESPN again this year?

  8. #8
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Here's the ESPN WSOP 2004 schedule:

    2004 World Series of Poker Schedule on ESPN
    (Schedule is Subject to Change)

    July 6 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $2,000 No Limit Hold 'Em

    July 6 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $2,000 7 Card Stud

    July 13 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $1,000 No Limit Hold 'Em

    July 13 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $2,000 Pot Limit Omaha

    July 20 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $1,500 No Limit Hold 'Em

    July 20 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $5,000 No Limit Hold 'Em

    July 27 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $5,000 2-7 Draw World Championship

    July 27 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $1,000 Ladies Limit Hold 'Em World Championship

    August 3 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $5,000 7 Card Stud World Championship

    August 3 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $3,000 Pot Limit Hold 'Em World Championship

    August 10 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $1,500 Razz World Championship

    August 10 10-11PM World Series of Poker: $5,000 Limit Hold 'Em World Championship

    August 17 9-10PM World Series of Poker: $3,000 No Limit Hold 'Em World Championship

    August 17 10-11PM 2004 World Series of Poker: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha

    August 24 9-10PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    August 24 10-11PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    August 31 9-10PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    August 31 10-11PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    September 7 9-10PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    September 7 10-11PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    September 14 9-10PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

    September 14 10-11PM 2004 World Series of Poker: MAIN EVENT

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Here are the 32 remaining players, with chip counts:

    First Name Last Name Chip Count Table Seat
    GREG RAYMER $1,807,000 109 5
    DAN HARRINGTON $1,536,000 109 7
    DAVIN ANDERSON $1,436,000 111 6
    MARCEL LUSKE $1,372,000 112 7
    JOHN MURPHY $1,328,000 112 9
    ROBERT JARRETT $1,310,000 109 7
    JOSH ARIEH $1,280,000 109 6
    DAVID WILLIAMS $1,138,000 111 9
    MICHAEL MCCLAIN $1,001,000 109 1
    CHRIS FERGUSON $956,000 110 7
    ERIC VAN DER BURG $914,000 111 5
    SCOTT CARPENTER $886,000 110 2
    GLENN HUGHES $861,000 110 6
    DAVID TRUONG $848,000 112 6
    GARY JONES $802,000 110 3
    HARRY DEMETRIOU $783,000 112 3
    JASON SAGLE $712,000 110 9
    DEWEY ARCHER $656,000 112 4
    RICHARD FULLERTON $562,000 110 9
    MATTIAS ANDERSSON $558,000 109 3
    WILLIAM ERICKSON $557,000 112 2
    AL KRUX $552,000 112 5
    EDUARD SCHARF $523,000 111 1
    MARTIN FEIJO $421,000 109 2
    HUNG LA $396,000 110 1
    MATT DEAN $357,000 111 8
    JAMES GRIMES $352,000 110 4
    KEVIN BOTT $340,000 111 4
    BRADLEY BERMAN $337,000 109 4
    JULIAN GARDNER $304,000 112 8
    MATT LEFKOWITZ $290,000 111 3
    GLENN COONEY $190,000 111 2

  10. #10
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    Wow, I recognize Dan Harrington, and I believe Chris Ferguson is the guy known as Jesus. Eric Van Der Burg also sounds familiar but it'll be weird this year. Last year, at least guys like Ivey made it quite far. Moneymaker got way lucky busting out Ivey.

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