Online poker is quickly becoming the most widely enjoyed game in the world. The popular game is said to have been completely revolutionized by Chris Moneymaker, when he won at the World Series of Poker in 2003 after using online poker sites to become qualified. The media has coined this sensation and its lasting aftermath “the Moneymaker effect”. A lowly accountant, Moneymaker played a thirty-nine dollar satellite tournament on the online poker site PokerStars, winning a seat in the World Series of Poker's main event. It was Moneymaker's first live tournament, and he took home the prize of two and a half million dollars. Due to this widely broadcast and hyped event, online poker exploded onto the scene with thousands of other people aspiring to make it big.
The most common form of poker is Texas Holdem. In Texas Holdem, which is said to have originated in Robstown, Texas, each player is dealt two face down cards while five community cards are turned over by the dealer. Each player has the chance to bet, check or fold after each deal. Its popularity has exploded during the early 2000s, even replacing seven-card stud as the United States casino's most-played game.
With thousands of hopeful poker players dreaming of making it big after witnessing Chris Moneymaker triumph, the popularity of playing poker online soared to new heights. The ease with which the game can be played online is very attractive to novice players. Casinos may be intimidating to beginners. They may also be located in geographically inconvenient areas, only attracting the locals or those who can afford expensive vacations. Online poker sites also have lower stakes than casinos, since it is not worth the real-life operation's time to run games with small pots that will not pay their overhead. Adding tables for games of various cost and type of game also will not take up the space online that it would in a real-life casino.
There are several different sites available for playing online poker, including PokerStars, Party Poker, William Hill, Everest Poker and Bodog. Perhaps the most notable among the sites for playing poker online is PokerStars - the largest online card room in the world. Another noteworthy site for playing poker online is Bodog Poker. Created by the Calvin Ayre, Bodog is the largest trafficked US online poker room and one of the most trusted gambling sites online.