The Increasing Popularity of Poker on Mainstream TV

Poker has always had a special place in the hearts of casino games and even though it has been around for a quite a while, it remains to be one of the most popular and fastest growing casino games in the world. Be it between colleagues at a workplace, college-goers or even online gamblers, poker has become a worthy pass time for many, and a source of income for some.

Poker has given us countless memorable moments. The allure and highly entertaining nature of the game not only comes from players’ own experiences at the poker table but also watching other people play. Most notable are the famous actors in equally famous movies that tell some pretty astounding poker stories. A number of filmmakers have attempted to bring poker to the big screen in their movies with varying degrees of success but this all depends on preference. The point is that there is enough interest in poker to have movies made about it.

Rounders (1998), for instance, is one of the most captivating poker stories ever brought to the big screen (in my honest and humble opinion). The movie manages to deliver one of the most captivating climaxes Texas Hold’em heads-up games between Mike McDermott (the movie’s protagonist and star poker player played by Matt Damon) and Teddy KGB (John Malkovich) a Russian gangster he plays poker against to settle a debt. It is particularly interesting to see Mike turn the game around by skillfully studying Teddy’s moves and mastering his gameplay. Now, that is an amazing poker story. There are, of course, a ton of other worthy poker movies you can check out, which still proves the point that bringing poker to mainstream TV has worked before.

The Interest Has Been Recognized

Popularity of Poker on Mainstream TV

Online poker and poker, in general, has a huge following and this has translated into the humongous viewership that they command in a number of streaming platforms. For a long time, online poker games have been solely reserved for the online streaming space, but this has changed in very many parts of the world with various broadcasters taking the step forward to bring poker to the mainstream TV. Furthermore, the broadcasters have been motivated by the success of standalone poker broadcasting initiatives such as Poker Central’s ‘Poker Central TV’.

In the recent past, poker TV shows were largely relegated to the realm of niche enthusiasts but a deeper insight into the issue reveals that poker TV at some point was a key driver of the meteoric rise of the game. Everything kicked off with World Poker Tour with its moderate TV poker success which was then followed by ESPN’s coverage that took the whole thing to a new level.

Since then there have been a few setbacks that have seen the number of TV poker shows reduce in number but the quality is undeniably way better. This puts poker players and enthusiasts in a good place especially considering the fact that the World Poker Tour is still running and Poker Central’s 24-hour poker television network is finally here. Things are definitely looking up.

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