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Partypoker News - June 24, 2006
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The sound of cards being shuffled is music to the ears of Houston suburbanite Matt Dean, 24. He recently placed seventh in the online partypoker terms annual World Series of partypoker game in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final round was video taped and is being shown on the sports cable channel ESPN. Mr. Dean won a seat at that table and a $10,000 stake to bet with by winning a smaller event for which he paid an entry fee of only $32. He walked away from the table in Las Vegas with $675,000.
He says that his expectations when he entered the competition were relatively low. "The free trip to Vegas was pretty much all I ever wanted, and the rest was gravy," he admits. "So sitting at the final online partypoker links table, at one point I bet $1.1 million. It was kind of surreal. But at a point, I stopped thinking about it. You are playing with chips, which helps, and you are not actually pushing $1.1 million in cash across the table. So that really helps, because I think if I had thought about it I never would have made it to the top seven. "It is the excitement of seeing an ordinary guy like Matt Dean win such fabulous amounts of money that has helped boost the popularity of partypoker programs on television. But technology also plays a role, in the form of tiny cameras that reveal each player's hand to the audience, but not to the other players at the table.
According to Joe Saltzman, a mass media and popular culture analyst at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, this technique helps viewers connect with partypoker and the players. "Many of the people who enjoy watching it on television probably play it themselves," he says. "They have a rudimentary understanding of the game. They think they can probably play better. They can get angry when someone is not doing what they think they should be doing. The new technology of showing each hand very carefully is something unique. It partypoker updates has not been used much in the past."
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Professor Saltzman says the camera views, partypoker news combined with the audio commentary, bring viewers into the game so that they can feel like partypoker participants. Although one cable channel has a celebrity partypoker show, in which Hollywood stars sit around the game table, most shows feature players who are ordinary people. The professor says this is an important factor in engaging audiences. "I think people like watching people like themselves play the game," says Professor Saltzman. "I think it is more fun for them to root for the common person, a person like themselves, who can go home with a couple of million bucks."
Some players have won partypoker player pots that size, but even the comparatively paltry sum of $675,000 won by Matt Dean is impressive to his friends and family. He has been able to pay off his mortgage and car loan, and he still has money left over to invest and play some more partypoker.
While there is a certain amount of luck involved, Mr. Dean says poker is primarily a game of skill partypoker tournament that requires concentration, a little psychology and lots of practice. "There are players who make their living just playing partypoker, and it is not because they are the luckiest people on the face of the earth," he says. "Luck does play a role. I have heard some people say it's 70 percent skill and 30 percent luck."