The fact that the WSOP had a record breaking year in terms of participants and the game of poker continues to thrive despite worldwide economic trouble is definitely enough to say poker is on an upswing again. But for those who still doubt that poker isn’t back to where is was prior to the 2006 UIGEA, consider this: poker was the most widely searched term of 2008.
Lycos Inc, a company which provides numerous media services including search engine statistics, claims that poker was the most widely searched subject from January 2008 to December 2008. And this is pretty incredible if you think about what poker is up against in the search engines. You’ve not only got subjects like movies stars, actors, famous athletes, and news but also things dealing with the adult industry and poker was more searched than all of these.
Other subjects which were widely searched included Paris Hilton, golf, and former Vice President candidate Sarah Palin. With her new show “Paris Hilton’s New Best Friend”, Hilton was looked up so much by people that she almost single-handedly eclipsed poker as a search term. However, she fell just short of that mark according the Lycos stats.
The fact that poker is the most widely searched term of 2008 just goes to show how the game is catching on with general audiences as well as with those who put in hours at the table and read every strategy book under the sun. With the number of people looking up poker, I expect the game to grow to epic proportions within the next 2 or 3 years.
This is of course barring any unforeseen events such as another UIGEA-type disaster or the domain name problem caused by Kentucky. Hopefully, everything is quiet on the legislation front from here on out so the game continues to grow at the rate it is going.