Online poker gambling at casinos and poker rooms is one of the fastest growing forms of wagering on the Internet. Fueled by the televised tournaments seen on Travel Channel's World Poker Tour, ESPN with the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP), and Bravo's Celebrity Poker, the popularity of the game is seen everywhere. A huge number of the qualifiers for the 2004 WSOP gained their entries from playing in online satellite tournaments for a fraction of the large entry fees paid by others. Look for more players to enter 2005 world series of poker satellite tournaments for this reason.
Tournaments at land based casinos are becoming so popular that people are being turned away, with waits at some lasting two hours to get a table on the weekends. Smaller land based casinos are promoting poker tournaments in order to capitalize on the growing trend of the game. Even though the cut for the house is pretty slim, they report increasing revenues by the number of patrons who play other games, buy drinks and food. It is also allowing them to attract new players which are mostly twentysomethings and women which expands their customer base.
It seems that most of the upcoming poker stars are a lot younger than in the past. This is because the years of experience formally gained at the brick and mortar poker rooms is compressed into months when playing online. College students watching Texas Hold'Em poker on TV have taken to playing at crowded tables on campus or online where they can take advantage of the 24/7 availability of other players when they can. One college student stated that "Being able to lie (bluff) and get away with it is exciting when you know the hand you have is inferior to the one your opponents have." Plus being able to play for free is also a nice way to learn the game which is a feature that most poker rooms on the Net offer.
Learning the game is also becoming easier with free lessons at brick and mortar casinos and also The Travel Channel featuring review and analysis of poker hands on Wednesdays through it's WPT Poker Corner. Viewers will learn more in-depth about what they did not see. Discussions will go over the tells, the big mistakes, and the bluffing made by others players. This is an excellent way to learn how to improve one's game.