Documentary looks at poker as new sport
Tirola attributes the rapid rise in popularity to the success story of Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker champion and the first winner to ever qualify through an online poker site. Moneymaker took home $5 million after his win.
Tirola said watching an ordinary person be catapulted into money and fame through poker drew the attention of crowds who wanted the same level of success.
“People want to live that story,” Tirola said. “Anybody can sit at that table and win.”
The ability to “make your own destiny” entices people who are looking for a way to move up in the world.
“You don’t have to be relegated to the social class you were born in,” Tirola said.
Despite the potential for big wins in poker tournaments, Tirola said people were aware of their chances and played mostly for fun.
“The majority play because it’s entertaining and a good way to spend time with people,” Tirola said.
Tirola said the view of poker has changed dramatically from being something only old people do to something anybody can play, “even kids who can’t get a date on a Saturday night.”
Online poker has changed the demographic as well, fusing the “movie concept” of five guys sitting at a table with the “gamer kids,” youth who grew up with video games and the Internet.
Tirola said online poker was full of promise, and said that it has become a source of revenue for some players, either as a primary occupation or just to make extra money on the side.
Tirola said his documentary was fun and exciting with both laughs and drama and not like your typical documentary. He said he hoped, by watching the film, people can understand why poker has become such a mainstream activity and learn to appreciate it.
“ALL IN – The Poker Movie” is available on iTunes starting today.