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Poker Getting Tougher?

July 2, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — An interesting article from the Associated Press explores the new reality of the professional poker world: It’s getting harder to win out there, online and offline.

Blame is partially due to the huge popularity of Internet poker, which has given many more people the chance to spend hours perfecting their game, alone, from the comfort of their own homes. In the past, that obviously was never a option.

And the glut of amateurs from a few years ago who offered easy pickings to the pros is apparently fading, too, as those players either improve their games through years of practice or shy away from playing at all, because the economy isn’t giving players as much discretionary income as before.

This change in the dynamics of the sport has apparently affected this year’s WSOP, according to the AP story.

"I've never worked this hard and then my results aren't what I want them to be," poker pro Phil Hellmuth was quoted. "I was hoping for something great to happen this trip but it just hasn't happened yet," he added. Hellmuth has cashed in four events this year for about $35,000. That’s relatively small pickings for someone who over the years has cashed 73 times for more than $6 million.

"It's all about playing to evolve your game," added Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. "Players are so much better now — that's for sure."

“If today's field faced players from five years ago, today's players would easily win because the games have grown more sophisticated,” the article paraphrased Grospellier.

Click here to read the original story from the Associated Press.