Ever since 2003, the game of poker seems to have grown to epic proportions with each passing year. Not only has the number of players entering poker shot up but so have the amount of TV shows dedicated to it. But this growth seems to have really slowed as of late in both the online and TV sector and many people around the industry are starting to worry.
For instance, the 8th annual [[Full_Tilt_Poker|Full Tilt Online Poker]] Series just finished up on Sunday and perhaps the most telling numbers of the event were that the highest number of participants in a single tourney was 5,090 and the amount of people in the Main Event was 4,750.
These numbers certainly indicate that poker is still popular enough to where people will pay $100 to $500 to buy-in to major online tournaments but contrast the FTOPS 8 figures with that of FTOPS 7. In the 7th annual Full Tilt Online Poker Series, the stats were significantly higher as the biggest tournament featured 6,000 people in it while the Main Event had 5,291 people in it.
Looking at the Main Event, this means that 541 more people chose to play in 2007 than did this year. And it can’t be blamed on the buy-ins either as both years they were set at $500 +$35 (maybe 541 people just didn’t like [[Jennifer_Harman|Jennifer Harman]] as the host). The prize pool was down too from $2,645,000 to $2,375,000.
And while the FTOPS Main Event is just a single online tournament, it is one of the biggest and most publicized on the net and definitely deserves a look. It also prompts one to question whether the popularity of poker as a whole is going downhill. Thursday, I’ll talk about some of the TV trends as well in order to bring this into a bigger perspective.