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More Gambling Novices, Pros Ante Up
Dave is living the gamer’s dream, or the government bureaucrats’
nightmare, depending on your point of view. It’s all because Dave’s got
a knack with playing cards, a desire to avoid 9-to-5 work, and, of
course, a computer connected to the Internet.
Dave won’t reveal his last name, but doesn’t mind saying that he’s a
29-year-old freelance writer in Virginia. He’s also a fervent poker
player, thanks to the Internet, where he can get up an online game
anytime, day or night. Lately, he’s gotten so good at it that Dave
decided to turn pro — sort of.
"I decided to do a week-to-week experiment to see if I could sustain
myself and my family by playing poker, primarily online," he said. Six
weeks into the experiment, he’s bringing in about $1,000 a week, less
than he made freelancing but enough to get by. "So far, so good," he
said. Dave has even published an Internet commentary on his adventures,
written for hardcore power players and available at www.recpoker.com.
Dave’s foray into professional gambling has been made possible by the
dozens of Internet sites that offer competitive online poker games. Such
websites have been around for years, but business has surged during the
past year, thanks to a host of new cable TV shows devoted to tournament
poker. Bravo’s "
Poker Showdown" and ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker have
introduced millions of newbies to the game. But while many of them live
nowhere near a casino, anybody with an Internet account can spend an
hour or two pretending to be Bret Maverick or the Cincinnati Kid.
According to Mark Balestra, editor of the trade publication Interactive
Gaming News, online gambling shops will take in about $7.5 billion this
entire article at:
2004 Online Casino News Archive