Fun Facts About Poker—3 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know

Card games have been popular for quite some time now, ever since AD1000, to be precise. They were invented in China, but, as you may guess, these games soon came to Europe and became the favorite pastime of many. So, what exactly makes card games so entertaining? Well, first of all, these games are a great brain exercise as you have to keep track of the numbers and stay focused throughout the game if your goal is to win. Plus, they’re extremely practical as you only need a deck of cards and you’re good to go. Another appealing feature of card games is the fact that they are a group activity. That means you can play with friends and compete against each other. It’s no wonder that card games have become an essential part of a Saturday game night.

Today, there are probably more than 10, 000 card games in the world and they keep popping up. If you’re creative enough and put some time into it, we bet you could also think of a new card game. However, the first game that usually comes to mind when talking about cards is undoubtedly poker. It’s a game enjoyed by many and it’s one of the most featured games in movies and TV-shows. Even if you have no idea how poker functions, you’ve definitely heard about its existence. On the other hand, poker enthusiasts probably know all the ins and outs of the game and its rules. But, do you know the lesser known facts about poker? If you want to discover something new about the game, stay tuned and keep reading.

The origins of poker

As we’ve mentioned, card games originally came from China but poker specifically originated in New Orleans when French settlers started playing a similar version of the poker we know today. Back then, the game was called “Poques” and the aim was pretty much the same—put on your best bluff and win the game. The main difference was the deck. At the beginning of the 19th century, the deck had but 20 cards unlike the standard 52 cards we have today.

Naturally, the English speaking-settlers also became interested in the game and gave it a more Anglicized name—poker. From that moment on, the game started increasing in popularity and it soon became a soldier’s favorite. During World War I, the game came to Europe thanks to those soldiers who found a distraction in poker in these tough times.

The biggest win 

Have you ever wondered what is the largest sum someone managed to earn just by playing poker? Be prepared, cause it’s a lot more than any of us can expect to earn in a lifetime. The first place on the list goes to Antonio Esfandiari who won the jaw-dropping figure of $18,346,67 in 2012 at the WSOP. Not only is it the biggest prize money ever awarded in poker but he had to beat 47 other players in order to get hold of that money. So, if ever in need of a poker tutorial, Esfandiari is the person to turn to for some tips.

What sets him apart from other poker players is his ability to perform chip tricks and that’s why he’s known as “The Magician” in poker circles. In fact, before he became a poker pro, he was a professional magician and it seems that he still has some tricks up his sleeve.

Poker on screen

From James Bond movies to numerous TV-shows where a group of close-knit friends gossip over a poker game(Desperate Housewives fans will know what I’m talking about), poker is probably one of the most featured games on screen. However, poker not only made its appearance in Hollywood blockbusters, it was also featured in the World Series of Poker. It’s a world series of poker tournaments and it dates back to the 1970s. It was held in Reno and the winner Johnny Moss earned the title of a Poker Champion and even received a silver cup as recognition.

To this day forward, the event remains one of the most important poker tournaments that gathers a large community of professional and highly-skilled poker players. During COVID-19, due to the safety concerns, the WSOP moved to the online world instead of hosting the event live.

The bottom line

As you can see, there’s much more to poker than meets the eye. It’s a card game that has its own tournament and you can actually make a living out of it if you’re good enough.

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