History of Texas Holdem Poker

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  • PG News December 23, 2010
  • 8 mins Read

With the history of the game of poker itself being subject of some debate, it's most popular variant Texas Holdem has origins in the early 1900s in Texas, USA, though little is known about the invention of this card game. Fast forward to 1970 – Texas holdem strategy poker game has become more and more popular in the casino's in Vegas but is not as widespread as the draw and stud games at that time. The World Series of Poker was organized by Benny Binion, who invited six of the best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, with a set start and stop time, and a winner determined by secret ballot. In 1972 the first World Series of Poker Main Event was played off in Texas Holdem and in this case a winner-take-all. Amarillo Slim got the best of the 7 other players and took down $80,000. 

Enter Doyle Brunson, now known as the Godfather of Poker, and owner of 10 WSOP Bracelets (Two Main Event victories in '76 and '77), who decided to become a professional poker player after playing a seven card stud game, where he earned a month's salary in under three hours. He went to travel through Texas, Oklahoma and Louisana, playing in bigger and bigger games, and eventually settling in Las Vegas, where he still resides today. Besides being a world class poker player he has also changed the view on poker strategies with his book Super / System, where he and the all-star team of co-authors lay out winning strategies for the most popular games at that time. Most of the No-Limit Texas Holdem information in this book is still relevant today and the stories and anecdotes about road gamblers, gangs and organized crime in Texas make for a must read for all poker fans. 

Texas Hold'em really exploded all over the world when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003 after qualifiying for just $40. He bested 839 players and took home $2,500,000, inspiring many poker players around to world to follow in his footsteps. The next year's Main Event saw 2576 runners, an increase of almost three times! Poker was officially booming and due to the increasing popularity more and more young players immersed themselves in the game, playing almost exclusively online poker where the games have a much faster pace than in live poker. 

The way Texas Holdem is played has changed drastically through the rise of online poker. The play in online games is a lot more aggressive and thousands of online players play online poker as their profession. On PokerStars there are over one lakh players online on the Texas Holdem tables at any time of day – no one could have imagined this considering there were only 73 people playing the World Series of Poker Main Event in 1980.  

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