Brits loving the Poker

Poker has become an increasingly popular pastime for Brits, according to a new survey, with almost a quarter of those surveyed (23 per cent) having played the game in the previous year.

The survey, conducted by market analysts Mintel and covering 3,822 internet users aged 18 and over, also revealed that half of those people watched the game on television, with 21 per cent saying that televised poker had encouraged them to chance their arm at the game.

That is no surprise considering that the amount of poker on television has increased dramatically, from 13 hours in 2001 to a whopping 540 hours last year.

Matt King, senior leisure analyst at Mintel, believes that this rise in television coverage, coupled with poker’s ‘cool’ image, has led to the rise in popularity.

He said: "The popularity of poker has soared in recent years as the game undoubtedly has an element of cool lacking from many other forms of gambling. The growing television coverage has also played a key role.”

However, 35 per cent of those that played poker did so just for fun. But this was largely due to the fact that some newcomers to the game didn’t have a complete grasp on the rules and strategies involved in the game.

"For the industry, it is clearly not ideal that so many players do not play for real money. But it does highlight that people do still feel intimidated by the game and that potential gamers are reluctant to dive straight in without having a chance to figure out the basics first,” King said.

Editor, - 2007-11-07 11:34:30

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