Poker is considered to be born in the USA in the second half of the 20th century. For a long time poker has been only one of existing gambles but everything changed in 1970. The owner of a legendary casino “Binion’s Horseshoe” in Las Vegas, a great fun of poker and an eminent player Benni Binion and his son Jack Binion organized in their casino a tournament between the most known US players. In the tournament took part six players who have been competing during seven days in gambling of different kinds of poker. A champion was determined by voting and that was Johnny Moss. This tournament provoked a poker boom among people and attracted more audience. Many people expressed their will to take part in the next similar tournament. Binion took decision to continue organizing such tournaments and united them under the name World Series of Poker (WSOP). Every year the number of WSOP participants grew in geometric progression. If in 1971 the number of participants made 14 persons, in 2004 it made 1700, in 2005 – 5800, in 2006 – 8900 and in 2007 – over 6 300.
WSOP is the greatest tournament but besides that a great number of the other attractive and popular tournaments took place in Paris, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Moscow etc.
Poker was given a powerful incentive in development and popularization in the 90s of the past century with development of the internet network and appearance of on-line poker rooms. Poker turned to be the most pertinent and the most interesting gamble for millions of users all over the world. Poker fever in Internet is still going on. Mostly thanks to internet a number of people willing to compete in “live” tournaments, clubs is growing by leaps and bounds. And now nobody is surprised by the fact that the winners of prestigious poker competitions are skillful casino players experienced in online poker room games.
Today poker is no more a gambling, it turned into a popular socially important phenomenon. Thus, according to the data of the American Gambling Association in 2005 the number of people willing to play poker made 35% of the US population aging from 21 to 39, 18% of the US population aging from 40 to 49, 15% of the US population aging from 50 to 64, 11% of the US population aging over 65. In conformity with the results of the polls by the Association for most of this people poker is more than a gamble, it turned into a way of communication, a nice leisure.
Poker became largely covered by many medias. Popularity of the gamble in the modern world lets co-exist a dozen specialized magazines dedicated exclusively to poker, online poker rooms, poker players, poker strategies. The most popular of them are the magazines “Poker Europa”, “Card Player”, “Poker Magazine”, “Bluff”, “Woman Poker Player” etc. The last few years were marked by a burst of poker. Poker turned to be extremely entertaining sport gamble. Many sport channels pay considerable part of time and give prime-time to great poker tournaments.
This brings up a question: why poker and not any other gamble, for instance roulette? The answer is evident. Correct poker playing is based not on a blind success, poker is a competition of intellectuals, competition of logics, psychology, ability to sort possible actions, to count consequences, a particular zest is considered to be some psychological methods (semi-bluff, bluff etc.).
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By Arthur Prudent
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Casino games: Poker recognition. Part one.