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2. Poker is a universal language.

Thanks to online poker, the “W” in WSOP has become much more appropriate in the past five years. Less than 70% of the participants in the 2012 WSOP Main Event were from the United States. The rest of the field was composed of participants from 81 different countries.


The countries with the largest contingencies outside of the United States were Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Italy and Brazil. Two countries with a big increase in its number of representatives from 2011 to 2012 were Argentina and Mexico.

Part of what makes poker so great is the demolition effect it has on language barriers. While Americans dominate the population at the WSOP, it’s not uncommon to hear other dialects or languages being spoken around the hallways at Rio. This global aspect of the culture at the WSOP becomes second-nature. I’ve made friends from all over the world at the WSOP.

If you’re not doing so already, I’d suggest marketing poker in multiple languages. Online poker is already a mature market in most English-speaking cultures as well as most of Europe.

It seems plausible from observing the WSOP that China could be the next poker frontier; two Chinese businessmen participated in the $1,000,000 buy-in WSOP event this year. The largest poker cash game in the world now runs at Macau. Poker could become very popular in China if its working class can acquire prosperity.

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