Be A Little Smarter By Knowing The History Of Poker
The earliest version of what resembles the poker of today is reported to have been played in New Orleans in the late 1920s although the precise accounts may vary. According to the report, the game was played using a deck of twenty cards, with each player seated at the round table betting on what another cardholder had, and what it was worth. From Louisiana, the game spread by the Mississippi riverboats to the rest of the United States. This was the main mode of its spread because it was a common pastime at the time. From its mother state, it spread northwards and westwards, following the gold rush of the mid twentieth century.
This format of playing cards was soon succeeded by a version that used what is now the normal deck, with fifty two cards of course. This new set of cards also introduced the concept of the flush. Several variations of this game were in existence before the fifties and the sixties, and were played even beyond the borders of America.
Poker became modernized with the introduction of casino gambling. In the early seventies, the World Poker Series was introduced as the game became more popular. There were different champions of this highly popular game, and soon books started to materialize, helping people to understand and learn new strategies of this game.
The television shot interest in this game tremendously. It soon became a sensation among many, with viewers able to follow the series as well as play along with world champions. This led to a significant shift in interest, particularly at the start of the twenty first century.
Along with the series, parallel tours have also grown with time. There is now a World Tour and a European Tour of the same game in different regions. These games are sponsored by leading proprietary companies, and are now part of a billion dollar industry.
Poker professionals have become well known celebrities in the world now, thanks to television and online promotion and viewership by people. Contestants are now able to log into the internet, apply to enter a tournament and play in the comfort of their homes. The live tours are broadcast annually and pull huge pools of viewers across the world. Popularity of the online version, despite the fact that it did not pick up very fast initially, has now grown tremendously. As of 2010, there were almost seven and a half thousand entrants to the competition. If this may be compared to soccer teams, this number of participants could form nearly seven hundred teams.
The popularity of the game has also greatly influenced popular and social culture over time as well. Numerous books, films and programs have a theme based on this game. The English language, too, has picked up some poker jargon and is used in normal language. Statements like to cash in, to have an ace up a sleeve or to call a bluff were all picked up from this game.
This game even has its own regulatory body. In 2009, the International Federation of Poker was formed in Switzerland. It is the official governing body of the game, and is promoted as a sport of the mind.