May 25, 2013
TexasHoldemOnline.org is a resource for people who want to play "Texas Holdem Online" for real money, but don't know exactly which cardrooms they should choose. This site provides up-to-date reviews on online Texas Holdem websites with information on their software, bonus structures, games, and gaming communities. TexasHoldemOnline seeks to be more than a rubber-stamp for clients, providing useful insight for real players instead of a stream of sales jargon disguised as site reviews. Let's start the lessons in Texas Holdem with a short discussion of the history of poker, especially the game variation which has come to rule the sport.
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Best Texas Holdem Poker Sites For 2013
The History of Poker
Poker's origin is disputed. R.F. Foster, a writer of the 1930s, convinced a couple of generations of poker players that the game was derived from the Persian game As Nas. David Parlett challenged that assumption in the 1990s, claiming the game originated from a French game called poque. Even later poker historians have suggested neither of these claims is correct, but the game may have developed from multiple card games in the Mississippi River area in the late-18th century. From here, poker spread throughout the country throughout the country in the 19th century, mainly aboard riverboats navigating the Mississippi River. The first definite reference to the game was in 1837, when an English actor wrote about a game of poker using 20 cards that took place in the city of New Orleans.
Texas Hold'em originated in the town of Robstown, Texas, at least if you believe the Texas Legislator (which bans poker, but passes laws recognizing such things). The game is thought to have been created in the early 20th century. By the 1950s and 1960s, Texas road players like Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and Crandall Addington had become familiar with the game. When they took their fortunes to Las Vegas in 1967, Texas Hold'em went with them. Crandall Addington has noted that the game was known to those players only as holdem at the time. The addition of the "Texas" moniker was added by Vegas players who associated the game with Texas gambling professionals. Because Texas Holdem requires 4 bets instead of the 2 bets in draw poker, professional poker players tended to prefer the game, believing it to be more of a thinking man's game (or a game professionals could dominate).
The World Series of Poker
The first World Series of Poker took place in the Horseshoe Casino in 1970. Benny Binion collected the seven best U.S. players at the time and had them play poker a set amount of time. The winner (Johnny Moss) was determined by a secret ballot among the contestants and he won a silver cup for his troubles. The first WSOP included games of Texas Holdem, seven-card stud, five-card stud, razz, and deuce to seven low-ball draw. It was in the 1971 WSOP that the final event involved on Texas Hold'em, a decision probably influenced by the fact many of the key figures of the time (Benny Binion, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim) were from Texas, where the game originated. From 1971 forward, Texas Hold'em continued to gain in popularity over traditional games of stud and draw poker.
Over the years, the event has had many memorable and historic moments. Doyle Brunson was the first to win back-to-back titles in 1976 and 1977. Stu Ungar repeated this feat by winning the event in 1980 and 1981, also becoming the youngest ever winner of the main event (a record since broken by Phil Hellmuth). Ungar went on to win the event a third time in 1997, just months before he died from an overdose. Stu Ungar and Johnny Moss remain the only players to win the event three times, though Moss won his first bracelet through a player vote.
Jack Straus won in 1982 after believing he was out of the tournament altogether, after discovering he still had on $500. This gave rise to the poker phrase "chip and a chair". Johnny Chan won the 1987 and 1988 events and came one place short of winning an unprecedented threepeat in 1989, when he lost to Phil Hellmuth Jr. heads-up. Phil Hellmuth was only 24 years old at the time.
Doyle Brunson's Super/System
Doyle Brunson wrote or compiled the most influential book in the history of poker with his Super/System, which was published in 1979. Mike Caro, Chip Reece, David Sklansky, Joey Hawthorne, and Bobby Baldwin also wrote or co-wrote sections of Supersystem, but Brunson wrote the bulk of the material. In fact, Brunson (who wrote the Texas Holdem chapter) claims he gave away so many secrets that he had to change how he played the game. Though many fine poker books have been published since, Super/System was the first book on Texas Holdem that gave average players real insight into how the professionals played the game. These lessons would take another generation for the poker public to learn, but it would help lead to a wider popularization of poker gambling and Texas Holdem in the early 21st century.
2003 World Series of Poker - Chris Moneymaker
Chris Moneymaker is a pivotal figure in the history of Texas Holdem, as well as televised poker. Moneymaker was the first player to win the WSOP Main Event who won his way into the tournament through online poker satellite tournaments. Starting with a $40 entry tournament on PokerStars, Chris Moneymaker was enough of an everyman to strike a chord with tv viewers. His victory started the "Poker Boom" and made online Texas Holdem the hottest game on the Internet.
2004 WSOP Main Event - Greg Raymer
The win by Greg "Fossilman" Raymer may not have been the turning point Moneymaker's win was, but Raymer's victory confirmed the previous win wasn't a fluke. Greg Raymer was another player sent to the tournament by PokerStars, so his win confirmed poker had entered the era of the common man or online poker novice. The 1st prize of the WSOP Main Event had doubled in a years time, while the event included more than three times the number of contestants than the previous year.
Largest Prize Pool in Poker History - 2006 WSOP Main Event
The largest prize pool in the history of organized poker tournaments was the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event. Jamie Gold was the WSOP winner that year, taking home the 1st prize of $12 million. The total prize pool was $82,512,162.
It might strike those new to poker why the 2006 prize total hasn't been eclipsed in the 6 years since. That's because the first poker boom ended with passage of the 2006 UIGEA law by the U.S. Congress. This law curtailed online poker real money games in the United States and dampened interest (by 21st century standards) in the World Series of Poker. I should mention that the top 8 prize pools of all time have been the 2004 to 2011 WSOP Main Events, so the World Series of Poker still rules the sport.
The November Nine - 2008 WSOP Main Event
In 2008, the World Series of Poker Main Event went to the "November Nine" format. As the WSOP got larger, players would meet in Las Vegas for a month of poker events, usually in the late spring or early summer. With the increasing popularity of poker, the organizers decided to capitalize on public interest to hype professional poker's biggest event for several months. When the final table of nine players were determined as in the traditional tournament, play would be suspended and resume in November that same year. In the November Nine, chip stacks remain the same as they were when play was suspended.
Pius Heinz - Current WSOP Champion
Pius Heinz is the reigning champion of the World Series of Poker, after winning the 2011 event. The 2011 WSOP Main Event included over 6,800 entrants and $64,531,000 in prize money.
Online Texas Holdem
With the mainstream use of the Internet by the world public, it was only a matter of time before online games had a major presence worldwide. By the mid-1990s, people were beginning to develop software that would allow people to gamble online. Bodog was launched in 1994 by Calvin Ayre, though 1997 seems to be the year when many of the gaming software companies you hear about today began to come online. In these early years of the Internet, Texas Holdem online was one of several poker variations which had popularity. Those who played poker in Las Vegas and Atlantic City were certainly familiar with the game, while those who watched televised poker on ESPN (when Gabe Kaplan hosted WSOP broadcasts) knew about the popularity of the game with real poker players.
When Chris Moneymaker had his historic victory in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, viewers at home saw this and began to see poker as a game where an average person could compete with the professionals on a more even footing. You might not be able to match Michael Jordan or his successors basket-for-basket, but you could shut that mouthy Phil Hellmuth up. Or better yet, a person could become the next poker badboy at the nearest casino or in an online card room, where anonymity meant you could really cut loose. Online Texas Holdem sites like Party Poker, Pokerstars, and Absolute Poker gave people the chance to win huge jackpots in weekly online events. This gave online poker some of the allure of playing the state lotteries, except a person had the personal satisfaction of winning through cleverness and good tactics (with a fair amount of luck mixed in).
World Poker Tour - TV Poker at Its Best
The popularity of Texas Hold'em online was fueled by more than ESPN, though. 2003 was the year that the World Poker Tour was first broadcast on the Travel Channel. This let a poker lover tune and follow their favorite players as they toured around the globe, competing for big stakes. The European Poker Tour served the same role for European poker players, where the laws favor continued high interest in playing online Texas Holdem for real money. Some poker writers will tell you that the World Poker Tour and its copiers had as much to do with the Poker Boom as Chris Moneymaker. There's probably some truth to that statement, but seeing a regular guy win the biggest is what inspired millions of card novices worldwide to play real money online Texas Holdem.
TexasHoldemOnline is resource for discussing where to play online Texas Holdem for real money. Not every poker player enjoys the same type of card game, even if you narrow the topic down to real money Texas Holdem. This site will discuss where to find the best ring games for cash, sit-n-go events, and poker tournaments.
This website provides information for everyone type of gambler, from novice players who've mainly watched poker on tv and who prefer the lowest blinds to the high dollar cash game specialists. The Internet provides a wider selection of game than even the largest gaming meccas in the world, so a site like this needs to be comprehensive.
We are going to make sure the Texas Holdem info is clearly marked for beginning, intermediate, and expert poker players. Like a good crew of referees, these noted poker experts are going to call it like they see it.
If an online Texas Hold Em website combines honest games and solid bonuses with a practical software interface, TexasHoldemOnline.org will let you know about it. If an online poker operator doesn't provide the game you need, THO.org intends to provide that information, too. Start reading to learn the latest information on the best and the worst poker rooms online.