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Putting the poker boom into perspective

by Matthew Hilger |  Published: Apr 29, 2011


Something amazing happened on March 6, but first, let’s look back at what started it all. Most people credit Chris Moneymaker’s win in the 2003 World Series of Poker main event as the beginning of the poker boom. I would argue that his win just accelerated the poker boom, but that is a discussion for another time. Let’s take a more detailed look at that event. In 2003, the WSOP main event had 839 entrants who came up with the $10,000 buy-in. Most people remember that Moneymaker won $2.5 million for his first-place finish that year, as it was telecast over and over again on ESPN. It was an amazing victory, as amateur poker players around the world then felt like they could take on the pros. And, indeed, the event is unique, since anyone with $10,000 can mix it up with the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and ...

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