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The Other World Series: The 2005 World Series Of Poker

Growing up, the American dream for many boys was playing major league baseball and hitting the game winning home run in the final game of the World Series. This dream is usually shattered for most when in their teen years the reality hits, that they're not an athlete and have no chance at a career in professional baseball.

There is however another World Series that anyone can participate in. Not only can you be a World Champion, but you could win $10,000,000 as well. The only requirement is that you're over 21.

I'm talking about the World Series Of Poker, which takes place this year from June 2 ? July 15. "Wait," I hear you say. "That's over a month long. I thought the World Series of Poker was just a few days." Actually the WSOP is a series of 45 different poker events culminating with the final 7 day main event starting July 7. The events take place at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with the final table of the main event being played at Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Downtown Las Vegas where the World Series of Poker all started.

The official start of the WSOP was in 1970, though the beginnings can be traced back to an event which took place in 1949. Benny Binion, owner of Binion's Horseshoe Casino and a true marketing genius, was approached by well-known gambler "Nick the Greek" Nick asked him to set up a match against the best poker player in a high-stakes poker marathon. Benny agreed as long as the match would open to the public. The stage was set for a showdown between "Nick the Greek" and legendary poker player Johnny Moss.

The marathon lasted five months and the two played every form of poker there was. They took breaks only to sleep. Binion's marketing genius paid off as each day the marathon ran hundreds of spectators gathered in his casino to watch the "biggest game in town." At the end of the five months "The Greek" had lost an estimated $2 million.

It took Binion 20 years to realize the full potential of what happened those five months in 1949. In 1970 theWorld Series of Poker was officially born when Binion invited some of the best poker players in the world to a contest to determine the "World Champion" poker player. The games began and Johnny Moss (the man who beat "Nick The Greek") was voted, yes, you read it right, voted the best poker player. There was no prize money for this event, just the honor of being called the best.

In 1971 the event changed. It became a freezeout tournament in which players bought in with a set sum and play continued until all but one player lost their money. Again Johnny Moss won the event and with it the top prize of $30,000. "Amarillo Slim" won the event and $80,000 in 1972 and helped popularize the tournament by going on the talk-show circuit. The WSOP was starting to come into its own.

The 2005 WSOP promises to be the biggest poker event in history. It has been estimated this year's top prize could hit $10,000,000. Unlike the other World Series this dream of being a world champion is accessible to anyone over the age of 21. You don't have to be a professional poker player to play or win.

Two years ago Chris Moneymaker (real name), an accountant, won the tournament and $2,500,000. He didn't even pay the $10,000 buy-in. He won it playing an on-line satellite with an investment of $40. Last year patent attorney Greg Raymer (also not a professional poker player at the time) walked away with the $5,000,000 first prize.

Greg too, didn't pay the $10,000 buy-in as he won his entry to the tournament through an on-line satellite.

So the dream of being the best poker player in the world is reachable by anyone. You don't have to be a professional card player and you don't have to pay the $10,000 to buy-in to the tournament. Believe it or not you can win your way to the WSOP without putting up any money or very little money by playing on-line.

One on-line poker site offers daily freerolls (no buy-in necessary) that qualify you to play in an on-line tournament for a free entry into the WSOP.

For as little as $1.10 at another site you can work your way up and find yourself playing with the big boys in Vegas.

One site is running a great promotion. They have a way to get you there for $4.40 and if you qualify through them and win the tournament they will match your $10,000,000 with an additional $10,000,000. This site also has tournaments which if you win you will get up to 10% of a major poker stars winnings at the game.

Many sites offer satellites for the low prices of $6, $10, and $11. So in many cases, for less than a Starbuck's coffee you could be on your way to fame and fortune. It's fun to play and the dream can be a reality.

If you want more information on how to get to the WSOP visit FunProfitPoker and download their FREE detailed guide to WSOP satellites.

Good Luck and have fun.

Peter Berlin is an avid on-line poker player who has written the e-book Play The Flop - A Guide to the Best On-Line Poker Sites. He also publishes a newsletter keeping readers up to date on the special promotions and deals going on in the world of on-line poker. When you sign up for his newsletter you will receive a Free detailed guide to On-Line World Series of Poker Satellites. The site is http://www.funprofitpoker.com

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