Poker in Europe
Many people seem to feel that poker in Europe is where poker was in the United States five years ago. That is to say, it’s booming. More European players are making the scene than ever before. There are a number of different factors that have contributed to the current boom in poker in Europe.
Poker in Europe: Online Play
Just as in the United States, online play introduced a whole new world of players to poker. While poker has always been a game played in households all across the United States, many Europeans may have never seen a hand of poker until they discovered it on the Internet. Once online poker sites allowed players from anywhere in the world to play at any time, many Europeans began to catch the fever.
Poker in Europe: The World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker has for years been a driving force behind the popularity of the game, but it was not until 2007 that Europeans saw just how much of an international game poker could be. That year, for the first time ever, a majority of the participants at the nine-handed final table were not Americans. Philip Hilm from Denmark finished ninth, while England’s Jonathan Kalmar was the fifth place finisher, the Russian Alexander Kravchenko came in fourth, Raymond Rahme from South Africa third, and Canadian Tuan Lam second. The world saw for the first time that Europe and other continents could embrace poker.
Poker in Europe: The European Poker Tour
Another huge contributor to the popularity of poker in Europe is the European Poker Tour. Although modeled on the World Poker Tour, the EPT is its own entity, created by the online poker site PokerStars, which offers satellites to the events. With high stakes tournaments all over Europe, the EPT gives any European (or visiting American) player a chance to be a star. Today’s EPT tournaments are drawing massive fields, bigger than the fields for many WPT events, and awarding huge prizes, creating an entire wave of European pros ready to prove that poker is not purely an American game.