Poker's Lucky Streak Seen Fading - Wednesday 28th of December 2005

NEW YORK As reported by Reuters: "The worldwide poker industry appears to have hit every possible inside straight, flush and full house that it could accumulating a large pot of cash in the process.

"But as this holiday season nears an end, the industry's luck seems to be running out as boxed sets of cards and chips are discounted, ratings fade for some poker-themed television shows and shares of a poker-linked stock slump.

"From televised celebrity poker tournaments to Internet gambling sites, to thronging tables at Las Vegas casinos and even a weekly column in The New York Times, poker remains an obsession.

"Yet there are signs interest is waning among some of the demographic groups who fueled the craze.

"...Ratings for poker shows and tournaments, which mainstream sports networks like ESPN rushed to televise in recent years, are no longer growing as fast.

"...Some investors who rushed to capitalize on the poker craze have gotten burned.

"...Unlike England, where several online gaming stocks are listed, poker has not blossomed as an area for investors in the United States, where Internet gambling remains illegal..."

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