Online Poker Creates Real-Life Teen Champs

Players can participate in thousands of hands a day
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2010 6:43 PM CDT
Joe Cada poses after winning the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nov. 10, 2009. Cada defeated Darvin Moon to win $8.5 million.   (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

(Newser) – The last winner of the World Series of Poker, 22-year-old Joe Cada, had been legally able to play poker in a casino for less than a year. Yet by the time he blew away the competition at the WSOP, Cada had played millions of hands—by his reckoning, 2,000 a day—for real stakes, online. Internet poker has revolutionizing the real-world version, helping teens gain impressive amounts of experience—and the winnings to prove it.

Before hitting the big time, Cada says, he won $20,000 in a good week on his home computer. There are scads of other examples, though not all of them will win a WSOP: Blaine Brount, a 19-year-old University of Illinois student, sees it as more employment than entertainment. "I'm not gambling to see what's going to happen, I'm trying to make a profit," Brount tells ABC News. "I pay my rent, I pay my bills by playing online poker ... if you're smart about it and manage your money well, it absolutely can be a real job."

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