A Brief History of Texas Hold’em Poker
Texas Hold’em Poker is one of the most famous variants of poker. Even though very little is known about the origin of Texas hold’em, the Texas Legislature officially sees Robstown, Texas, as the game’s origin place, dating it to the early 1900s.
The game spread throughout Texas around that time after which, hold’em was brought to Las Vegas in 1963 at the California Club. Corky McCorquodale introduced it. The game became famous and spread to the Golden Nugget, Stardust and Dunes. In 1967, a group of gamblers, including Doyle Brunson, Crandell Addington, and Amarillo Slim were playing in Vegas. This is when the original form where aces were low were changed to “ace high”. Crandell Addington reported that the first time he came across the game was in 1959. They did not call the game Texas hold’em at that time. They just called it hold’em. He thought then that the game would surely catch on and become the game as it was to be played strategically. This was more a game of strategy than just luck.
For quite a long time, the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas was the only casino to offer the game. Because of the location and decor, this poker room did not receive many wealthy clients, because of which, professional players sought a more prominent place. In 1969, the Las Vegas professionals were encouraged to play the game at the entrance of the Dunes Casino (now demolished) on the Las Vegas Strip. This accessible location and the inexperience of poker players with Texas hold’em, resulted in a very lucrative game for professional players. After an unsuccessful effort to organise a “Gambling Fraternity Convention”, Tom Moore added the first-ever poker playing tournament to the Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention held in 1969. The tournament featured numerous games including Texas hold’em. Benny and Jack Binion, in 1970, procured the rights to this convention and renamed it the World Series of Poker. They moved the convention to their casino which was called the Binion’s Horseshoe, in Las Vegas. After the first year, Tom Thackrey, a journalist, suggested that the main game of the tournament should be Texas hold’em. The Binions agreed and ever since Texas hold’em has been played as the main game.
During this phase, B & G Publishing Co., Inc. published Doyle Brunson’s popular poker strategy guide, Super/System. The book revolutionised the way poker was perceived and played. It was one of the first and the most popular books to talk about Texas hold’em, and is considered as one of the essential books on the game today.