Poker- The game which is played around the world and loved by millions has its own story of evolution. Some belief that the origination of the game belongs to China where a similar game was played amongst the natives and was very popular 1000 years ago. Other says that it is a developed version of a 17th century Persian game ‘As Nus’, which had several rounds of betting and was played with a deck of 25 cards. There has been different versions of the poker game in the past and no one can confirm that which civilization gave birth to the idea of poker first.
The most believed and trustworthy fact related to the birth of poker is related to French travelers. According to this belief, Poker is very much similar with a French cards game ‘Poque’. In early 17th century when French settlers moved to United States of America (New Orleans), they introduced their game to the natives. From there the game of poker moved to other parts of country and flourished. In 1800s it was also known as ‘Bluffs’ and was played by a set of 20 cards. Poker kept evolving in the 19th century when the United States was expanding its territory towards west. The famous association of poker with the term ‘Wild West’ is originated to that expansion. Poker kept evolving for almost a century before it took the shape of what we see today. Some belief that to accommodate more players into the game, a new version of poker game with 52 cards introduced.
The most famous version of the game was ‘Stud Poker’, but other version like 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Stud, Texas Hold’em Omaha etc. became popular too. The pinnacle in the popularity of poker came in 1970s when World Series of Poker (WSOP) was launched. It was the first time when a poker tournament with huge money on offer has been organized. It became an instant hit and helped Poker growing tremendously. After WSOP other tournaments like World Poker Tour (WPT), WSOP Europe and many more started taking place. It gave the poker players a new career option, to become professional. Since then every year players participate in these tournaments and earn huge prize money.
Till now, poker was in reach of handful players who were able to take time out and participate in these tournaments. In year 2003, something happened which changed the whole meaning of poker. Poker was launched online. It reached the masses and was a huge hit overnight. That period is also known as the ‘Poker Boom’. Thousands of people from all around the world starting playing online and making money. The country which some tremendous growth in the number of players was USA. But in year 2011, US Federal banned all online poker sites leaving the online poker players in lurch. It destroyed the careers of a lot of online poker players and affected the yearly tournaments dearly. Poker player and Gurus called it ‘Black Friday’.
The ban was lifted in the coming year, and things started to come to normal. A lot of players returned to online poker and started playing again. Since then things have improved a lot. Now there are a lot of online poker rooms available online which offers a variety of events for its online players. The famous WSOP, WPT and other tournaments are attracting professionals from around the globe. The history of Poker has been very interesting as it has seen ups and downs. With time, poker has made a special place in people’s heart and the popularity of this game is flourishing day by day.