The History of Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold'em is without a doubt the most popular form of poker played in the United States, today. The World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, and countless poker tournaments across the country every day use Texas Holdem Poker to decide their ultimate champion. Doyle Brunson, aka “Texas Dolly,” calls it the "Cadillac of poker," and for good reason, given that so many professional poker players use Texas Hold'em as their primary mode of income.
Evolution of Texas Hold'em
There exists no exact information on where Texas Hold'em originated, though it goes without saying that the game - a derivation of 7-Card Stud - more than likely originated in Texas.
Texas Hold'em was first played in Las Vegas at the legendary Golden Nugget casino, where it found its only home for more than a few years. It wasn't until 1971, the year Texas Hold'em was adopted to decide the victor at the World Series of Poker's championship event, that Texas Hold'em began to gain widespread popularity.
Even as late as 2003, however, Texas Hold'em was still relatively unknown to most of the poker-playing public. Nonetheless, it wouldn't take much for all that to change, and for Texas Hold'em to become the most popular poker game in the United States.
Chris Moneymaker, a poker player who won his seat at the 2003 $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker main event online, went on to win the championship title that year. The game? Texas Hold'em, of course. Almost immediately, Texas Hold'em began to take a front seat to games such as 5-Card Draw, 7-Stud, and Omaha, and secure itself firmly within the safe haven of popular culture.
Texas Hold'em Online
Further adding to the popularity of Texas Hold'em was the advent of online poker, allowing the common poker player to amass years of experience in a much shorter period of time. Additionally, the World Poker Tour, debuting in 2003, and the 1998 film, Rounders, served as fuel to the fire. A surge ensued, and Texas Hold'em became the game to play, both for professional and amateur poker players alike.
This period of time became known as the “poker boom.” The World Series of Poker has enjoyed an incredible increase of players since that time, and the climax was perhaps reached in 2006 with a field of almost 9,000 players competing in the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship.
Though Texas Hold'em remains undoubtedly the most popular game of poker in the United States, it is only recently that the game has started gaining notoriety in other countries. Liam “The Gentleman” Flood, an Irish poker player and bookmaker, helped introduce Texas Hold'em to Ireland, along with Terry Rogers, also an Irish bookmaker. Harrah's, owner of the World Series of Poker, announced its plans in 2007 to host the first World Series of Poker Europe events.
The future of Texas Hold'em
Interestingly enough, the game of Texas Hold'em remains illegal for the most part in its home state. Card rooms, and gambling in general, remains illegal in Texas, although as of press time there is a widespread push in Texas for legalizing and regulating the game.
Whether it is the fast-paced nature of the game in an era of instant gratification, or the influence of the media and the internet acting as a driving force, it remains so that the game of Texas Hold'em is growing ever-popular in the eyes of the world.
Read more about Texas Hold'em Poker