Sunday, November 29, 2009

HellsColdDay 3: Return of the Rounder

monkeyHappy late Thanksgiving to all my US of A readers! I'm thankful for a great many things this year, not least of all you, the happy shiny poker people. Thanks so much for reading this little blog.

It is because of you guys and gals that I've made it into my third year! Hence the triliogy-esque post title. I still have a thing or two to say, so I'll do my best to keep the posts coming on a regular basis. As always, I do take requests. Feel free to email me or DM me on Twitter (@Grundy) if there is a topic you'd like to explored.

Long-time readers know that I took a leave from on-line poker a while back due to the US government pushing legislation against Internet gambling. I'd like to annouce that my leave was officially a hiatus and not a "quitting." I'm back playing Full Tilt and other game rooms may not be far behind.

This decision was prompted by one of the few wins to our cause as poker players. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is a mute point until this June, which is a substantial postponement. I'd like to thanks the Poker Players Alliance and those working towards the same goals for lobbying for the postponement. You can check out the PPA's press release here. With any luck, we'll get a break in June as well.

Until then, lets live in the present, I'll see you in the card rooms.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brief History of Poker

Sponsored Post: Poker is America's favorite card game, enjoyed by all ages and all people. With a history of nearly seven hundred years, the game is timeless and will continue to entertain for decades. Whether gambling in Panama casinos or playing for coins on the family kitchen table, the tradition of poker playing has outlasted many trends and will continue to flourish.

The foundation of poker, though unknown, is thought to have evolved in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Egypt with the use of playing cards. Sixteenth century Persia dabbled in betting rounds with their ivory and wooden cards, while the Spanish enjoyed their high stakes betting game entitled "Primero".

The development of poker is postulated to have been introduced by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries. The French played a game called "Poque". Other references exist involving the German game of "pochspiel" around the same time period. This game included gambling techniques and bluffing elements, similar to modern day poker.

Poker saw its first introduction to the United States from the French-Canadian settlers who helped to spread the word through Louisiana. From Louisiana, the popularity spread north along the Mississippi River and to every state in America. Poker was popular on the Mississippi river boats and over time replaced the seemingly "fixed" game of three card monte. One of the earliest written references we can find is that of Jonathan Greene in 1834. He referred t o the new amusement as the "Cheating Game", giving poker deep roots and a foundation which caused its fame to spread worldwide.

The next forty years marked a rapid boost in intensity. In the Wild West, backroom poker tables exploded in saloons across the country. Legend has it that in August, 1876, a gunman shot Wild Bill while he played poker in the Dakota Territory. On that day, the "dead man's hand" received its title as Wild Bill died with a pair of eights and a pair of aces in his hand.

In the next two centuries, poker multiplied its followers as it progressed into new variations. Five card draw became popular during the American Civil War. The players, both Union and Confederate, enjoyed escaping the battle with a deck of cards. Immediately prior to World War II, seven card stud debuted as a longer version, replacing the popularity of its predecessor. Though fewer people play five card stud, it has recently gained acceptance with the online poker playing crowd.

The star of the show, Texas Hold' em, achieved notoriety in the 1970's with a feature on the Word Series of Poker. The game has dominated poker tables and television competitions ever since. Texas Hold' em is the preeminent version of poker due to the game's thrill and excitement. Though other versions have developed, Texas Hold' em is undefeated for thirty years among casino attendees, online game aficionados, and professional players around the world.

Poker's reputation has not faltered in its nearly nine century history. Its fame will continue to spread with new generations as long as money is won and fun is had. Poker is here to stay and available for enjoyment for centuries to come.