History of Poker

by Mario Alfonsi  |  Published on May 23, 2017  |  Updated on May 23, 2017

One of the most amazing things about playing poker is that even now, centuries after the game was derived by whomever derived it, we’re making history with it, everyday. If you’re a poker player, you’re a part of this movement that’s been going on since some might say 900 A.D.In this poker article, we’ll discuss some of the things that have shaped, and are still shaping the history of poker.Where’d the game actually come from? That’s the real question isn’t it? It’s a question that poker players, and those interested in the history of poker have been debating for centuries.

Chinese Poker History

There are those that will tell you that poker is derived from the Chinese game of dominoes which sometime around 900 A.D, Tje Chinese Emperor Mu– played with his wife.

French History of Poker

It’s also been said that the French developed poker, during the 17th century and that the game of poker is a spin on the French game “poque”. Poque closely resembles a 17th century 25 card Persian game called “as nas” and that the game was taught by Persian sailors to the French settlers in New Orleans.

United States History of Poker

When I think of the history of poker, I imagine a bunch of rugged men, in the old west, during the gold rush, playing poker and shooting people, specifically people that were holding the infamous hand, aces over eights. There are those that claim that isn’t where poker began however, in fact, there are countries around the globe with claims to the history of what we now know and love as poker.This would be the time period in which the game found its way up the Mississippi river from New Orleans, all the way by train and wagon to the western parts of the United States.

The first Written Words About the History of Poker

The first written words on the history of poker come from Jonathan H. Green in his chronicles from 1834. In these chronicles, he wrote about a very popular card game amongst gamblers on the Mississippi riverboat’s called the “cheating game”. In this game the deck contained 20 cards and was played by up to 4 players.In the United States during the early 1900s, all forms of gambling including poker were declared illegal in the state of Nevada. This decision was later changed since the Attorney General of California declared that draw poker was a game which is based upon skill and not solely on chance, hence the anti– laws could not stop it. On the other hand, Stud poker was still classified as being illegal since it was since as being a game of pure luck and wasn’t allowed played until the state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931.But the popularity of poker really took off in 1970, when Jack Binnion, the owner of the famous Binnion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas invited the best poker players in America to his casino for the first World Series of Poker championship event. The World Series of Poker events are still the number one live tournaments to play in today. Johnny Moss won the WSOP main event title the first year. He lost to Puggy Pearson the following year and won it again in 1974.By 1981, there were 12 separate WSOP events and 75 players participating. In 2004 there were 2,576 entries for the $10k No Limit Hold’em WSOP Main Event and the prize money had increased to more than $49 million. Each year the prize money and player pools just keep getting bigger. There was an estimated 7,500 players in the $10,000 buy– no– Texas hold ’em event at the 2010 WSOP, and even with prohibitions on online gambling in place, the game, and the prize pools continue to grow.

World Series of Poker Creates the November Nine

2007 marked the last year that the final table would be played without a several month long interruption following the creation of the final table.In 2008, the World Series of Poker announced that the final table of the July event would from then on be held in November, giving the remaining players a break as well as some time for marketing, and building a name for themselves. This time is also often used to create sponsorship deals, as well as brush up on final table strategy.In 2012 however, the November Nine, will actually begin play in October, on the 28th to be precise. This decision was made so as not to compete for coverage with the 2013 presidential elections.It wouldn’t be correct to discuss the history of poker without talking about poker on the Internet. Online poker first hit the Internet in where the first hands of poker were dealt at a poker site that is much different than the ones we play at today, stripped of all of the bells and whistles we now depend on, this poker room was called, Planet Poker.The second room to open it’s virtual doors to online players was Paradise Poker. There are many advantagesto playing online poker. The benefits include playing at home without having to travel to a casino. It’s no wonder online poker grew so popular so quickly, given the fact that there’s no traveling to smoky casinos far from home, and the introduction of microstakes, countered with the ready availability of high stakes poker.Online tournament poker has become extremely popular in recent years and is the main attraction for many players on online poker sites. Much of the reason for this popularity is simply because players know just how much they’re risking before the game begins, and they stand to profit heavily if they win. This tournament poker craze really started back in 2003 though, stemming from the World Series of Poker. The world was in awe of Chris Moneymaker, one day a working stiff like the rest of us, and the next, a multi-millionaire. Moneymaker won 2.5 million dollars after qualifying through a $40 satellite tournament online, now that’s poker history right there.

Online Poker has it’s up’s, down’s and historical legal battles

The history of poker is still being written, that’s the most awe inspiring part of being a poker player. We’re making history all over the world just by playing cards. Some of it’s great, like when Annette Obrestad became the youngest ever poker player to win the WSOP. She won it in Europe, where players can play at as young as 18 years old.There’s also been cheating uncovered in cruise ship poker games, as well as at some pretty major online poker sites.

Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker Scandal of 2008

Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet poker made poker history when in 2008 they became a part of the biggest cheating scandal to involve online poker sites to date.There are a few versions of the story, and perhaps we’ll never know what truly occurred, what we do know however is that one fateful day, a customer service representative at Absolute Poker sent a disgruntled customer that requested his own tournament hand history a record that showed every hand that was played in the tournament.This history, that involved an ‘Absolute Poker super user’ laying down monster hands the moment they were beat, in crazy situations where folding just wouldn’t be an option for a rational player that didn’t know what his opponents cards were over and over again.That hand history marked the beginning of a forum run investigation that was the first of it’s kind, wherein 4 primary owners were allegedly involved in manipulation of the poker sites software. Later, the company blamed the super user accounts, that were proven to indeed have access to even their opponents hole cards on a security contractor.

Full Tilt and PokerStars are Forced out of the United States Market

The day that Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, as well as a couple other online poker sites were forced to leave the United States poker market marked one of the biggest days in the history of online poker. This day, April 15th 2011 is forever marked in the poker world as Black Friday.This article just touches on some of the major events in the history of poker, it’s really an amazing game, that is so much a part of the culture of so many countries around the world, and so much a part of today’s culture as well. As a matter of fact, it’s said that somewhere around 3% of jobs in the United States are given away at poker tables. The games about math, and money, it’s about socializing, and networking, fishing, and politics, and who know’s what else, since the future isn’t yet written, the history cannot yet be complete.