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Texas Hold'em History

Author: Skyla Burrell

Robstown, Texas is known as the birthplace of Texas Hold’em Poker and as “The Biggest Little Town in Texas”. The town has been recognized as where the game of Texas Hold’em was created but the actual details are unclear. The poker variant remained popular, yet mostly localized within the state until Vegas came knocking in the 1960’s.

When Texas Hold’em arrived in Las Vegas in 1967 it was only found at the poker room at the Golden Nugget, which was not a magnet for high rollers to say the least. This was perhaps due to the outdated décor and terrible location. Texas Hold’em did not take Vegas by storm right away to say the least, that was until the Dunes Casino, which at the time, was in the heart of the Las Vegas strip started offering the game. The high rollers started rolling in and with them brought the game much needed credibility.

Around the same time during the late sixties an attempt to form a Gambling Fraternity Convention failed and as a result Benny Binion and his son bought the rights and renamed it ‘The World Series of Poker’. Texas Hold’em owes most of its fame to the father and son team, who included the game in the very first WSOP tournament. The game proved so popular after the first year it was bumped up to be the game featured in the main event and has been ever since.

Into the 70’s the game was popular but still not creating the buzz most professional poker players thought it should so, to try and introduce the masses to Texas Hold’em, Doyle Brunson released a book about the game in 1978. At the time he was the number one poker player in the world. Still to this day, the book he authored, Super System, is considered the bible for Texas Hold’em players and is credited with helping to introduce the game to a whole new audience. Despite all this, the game still largely remained only in Las Vegas though the 1980’s though did manage to find its way to Europe.

In 1999 the World Series of Poker took off like wildfire due to the implementation of lipstick cameras hidden at the tables that displayed the private hole cards of players. The hidden cameras were inspired by the success of late night European televised poker tournaments. Helping pour gasoline on the fire was an amateur internet player named Chris Moneymaker who won the WSOP live on ESPN in 2003, sparking unprecedented interest in Texas Hold’em.

Today the game of Texas Hold’em is played with several variations that include Aviation, Pineapple, Tahoe, and The River Wild. The poker variant that began in a little Texas town has grown to become a game that is loved the world over at land-based and online casinos as it gives players without a ton of experience an opportunity to really win big.