Poker is a popular game in most casinos all over the world attracting millions of players. Throughout the history of popular culture and beyond that, there have been many fascinating stories surrounding this game. The following article will tell you 10 interesting facts about Poker!
1/ Poker is over 1,000 years old
Poker used to be a popular and thriving game in the United States in the 19th century, but according to a number of historians, it was born even earlier, around 900 AD in China or the 12th century in Egypt. Either way, a version of the game became well-known in France, travelling to Canada and then the United States, where this game first appeared on the steamships in the Mississippi River and gradually became popular during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 with many different variations such as draw poker, stud poker… In short, there have been many opinions on the origin of Poker. Therefore, the primary origin of this poker game seems to be a mystery.
2/ Poker was developed from dominos
Although the exact origin of this game remains to be unknown, poker has a number of different versions and variations. Among them, dominos is the most outstanding. It is said that Emperor Mu-Tsung (an Emperor of the Liao Dynasty) played dominos on New Year’s Eve with his wife in 969 AD.
3 – Poker used to be played with only 20 cards
The first poker games were not played with today’s standard 52-card deck. For a long time, a poker game was played with a deck of only 20 cards by 4 people per poker table. Later, the 52-card deck was used in the mid-1800s so that more people could play together.
4 – Poker has appeared in hundreds of fascinating movies
Poker has been exploited quite a lot in movies. Stories behind a poker table, the life of a poker master, tense showdowns or spectacular tricks, incredible poker techniques…, make movies more dramatical and thrilling. You can learn about poker through the best movies of all time such as: Casino Royale, Maverick, Lucky You, Rounders…
5 – The first USD 1 million poker game took place in 2012
Most of us play poker with a low to medium stake. But Guy Laliberte – CEO of Cirque Du Soleil, decided to play “all in” when hosting a USD 1 million tournament in 2012. It seemed to be a crazy game at first, but 48 players participated in this dramatic tournament at the Rio Casino, Las Vegas. The winner was Antonio Esfandiari – a former professional magician when he excellently took home the greatest ever amount of USD 18,346,673!
6 – Worlds Series of Poker
Worlds Series of Poker (WSOP) was founded in the 1970s by the world’s best Poker players in order to find masters in Pokerstars. It can be said that WSOP is the hottest and most impressive event for poker players in the world. Being held annually in the city of Las Vegas (USA), the event lasts from the end of May to the beginning of July with more than 60 tournaments, attracting a large number of professional players and the media. In addition to providing a wide range of money-making opportunities for Poker lovers, WSOP also serves as a platform to find the best players in the world.
7 – Poker first appeared on television in 1973
Although poker had been widely played before the 1970s, television viewers were not really interested in this game. But it has changed since the World Series of Poker first debuted in 1970. When CBS Sports covered this exciting tournament in 1973, it became the first poker game to be broadcast on national television. Until now, poker is still the most popular intellectual sport on ESPN.
8 -Poker relates to the name of the comedy group Groucho Marx.
In 1915, the four Marx brothers all received the nicknames ending with letter “o” from Art Fisher during a game of poker. It has remained to be a mystery whether Groucho is named so because he carried a small bag (small wallet) or because he could be a bit capricious. But if that poker game had not happened, he would have been known by his given name, Julius, instead of Groucho -obviously a much less humorous name.
9 – The largest poker tournament ever was held in the UK!
The poker tournament taking place in June 2013 in Onchan, Isle of Man with up to 225,000 participants has been confirmed in the Guinness World Record as the tournament having the most players. It is organized by PokerStars, players only had to pay USD 1 to have opportunity to win the top prize of USD 25,000.
10 – The World’s Longest Poker Game Lasted Over 8 Years!
The Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona, the United States hosted the longest poker game ever in 1881. This USD 1000 buy-in tournament lasted for 8 years, 5 months and 3 days.