With the WSOP taking place in Las Vegas, the reopening of Dusk Till Dawn and announcements about future EPT’s it’s clear to see the world of poker is coming back with a bang, but how did we get to where we are today with global brands, live events and online poker?
Many people look back to 2003, and specifically that year’s Main Event, as the pivotal point that shaped the modern poker world that we know today. The 2003 WSOP Main Event took place in Binion’s, Las Vegas and saw 839 entrants pay the $10,000 buy-in and take to the felt. There was a wealth of notable names among the prize-winners including Phil Ivey, Marcel Luske and Phil Hellmuth, but it’s the winner who stood out, and who took all the plaudits. The fittingly named Chris Moneymaker took down the event winning a cool $2.5M after beating Sammy Farha heads-up, but that didn’t scratch the surface of the story. Moneymaker was the first player to ever win the WSOP Main Event after qualifying through an online satellite. He bought in to a satellite on Pokerstars for just $86 and worked his way through the field to win his seat. From there he bested some of the biggest names in poker at the time!
The name, the story and the buzz around Moneymaker propelled the poker world into the eyes of the wider public and gave operators and players the story of a lifetime. The Moneymaker effect showed the world that you can win seats to some of the most prestigious tournaments in global poker from the comfort of your own home and play for literally millions of dollars. This spiral saw the growth of poker marketing and operations across the U.S, Europe and beyond, shaping the game that we know today.
Fast forward to 2021 and there is also now the added fun filled element to winning packages online with players benefitting from playing poker and taking part in off the felt activities, such as player parties, in resorts around the world including, Barcelona, Sochi and the Caribbean.
Online poker has provided dozens of opportunities and stories since 2003 and as live events find their feet again in a post pandemic world it only looks set to get better for players!