Ruddock talks about the expansion of online poker

PokerPages PhotoIt took a while for poker to become the popular game that it is today, but the expansion of online poker was much faster. There are many who believe that the poker boom began with Chris Moneymaker’s victory at the World Series of poker back in 2003. They base their assumption on the fact that immediately after the unknown accountant won millions of dollars in the most important poker tournament in the world, players decided to follow his example.

Nowadays, we know that Chris began by playing over the Internet, but in 2003 the community was relatively small and those outside of it had no idea that it even existed. While these arguments in favor of the popular theory stand to scrutiny, Steve Ruddock has a slightly different idea about how and when online poker became popular. Without dismissing the importance of the Chris Moneymaker moment, he downplays its significance and claims that the seeds were sowed a few years before.

In the 90s, poker was already on TV and ESPN was broadcasting live the most important tournament, contributing to the games rising popularity. Many years before Chris won the WSOP, players were already competing over the Internet at both cash games and tournaments. As far as Ruddock is concerned, his triumph only acted as a catalyst for an already growing community and the belief that even without his victory, Internet poker would be just as popular today.

Another argument that he frequently invokes is that 2+2 and other forums helped people better understand the game and encouraged them to pick up the cards. All these events happened before 2003, but the advocates of the aforementioned theory seem to ignore them altogether. In a nutshell, Steve claims that the Moneymaker moment is a tipping point that certainly influenced the growth of online poker, but he claims that it was not the most important one.

The movie Rounders premiered in 1998 and for the first time ever, the greater audience got to see how Texas hold ’em is played and some got hooked right away. Obviously, the action depicted in this movie has very little to do with what happens in real life, but it was nevertheless a great incentive for those undecided. Last but definitely not least, James McManus and Annie Duke’s performances at the World Series of Poker three years before Chris won the event, made big waves throughout the community.

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