FullTiltPoker.net Real Money – Play Texas Holdem Games at Tilt

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  • The History Of Texas Holdem Poker

Texas Hold’em is a variant of poker, so popular that in many circles the word “poker” is assumed to mean the Texas Hold’em version. Considering real money poker has been played in North American casinos (then called saloons) since the 1840s and Texas Hold’em was not on the radar till the late 1960s we’ll dedicate the bulk of this article to Texas Hold’em history in an attempt to source the reasons Texas Hold’em has become so popular. Prior to getting to that topic we’ll start out by putting into perspective just how dominate the game actually is and then conclude this article with the reasons we feel FullTiltPoker.net ‘s real money tables are the best place to play Texas Hold’em online.

As we already mentioned Hold’em is by far the most dominate version of poker played both live and online. To take a look first at the online side of things, during the month June 2010 here is the breakdown of ring game traffic distributions at leading online poker site Full Tilt Poker.

  • Ring Game Traffic at Full Tilt Poker

92.8% – Texas Holdem
2.3% – Omaha
1.7% Omaha Hi/Lo
1.2% 7 Stud Hi/Lo
1.1% Razz
0.9% 7 Card Stud

The fact 92.8% of all ring games played at Full Tilt Poker in June 2010 were of the Texas Hold’em variation is probably enough to conclude the games dominance. However just in case it is not, Full Tilt Poker’s 7.2% non-holdem traffic helps make them the largest site in the online poker industry for certain non-holdem games, specifically: 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and Razz. Full Tilt also has competitive traffic to Omaha games; in fact the largest pot in the history of poker (both live and online) took place November 21, 2009 at a Full Tilt Poker Pot Limit Omaha table when Patrik Antonius scooped a $1,356,947 pot against Isildur1.

Full Tilt Poker is not a small sample size either. During most hours over 100,000 simultaneous players are logged into Full Tilt Poker, which is one of the largest poker sites online thanks to generous bonus offers to players and marketing endorsements they receive from several big name poker pros including Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan (Durrrr), Patrik Antonius, Mike “the Mouth” Matusow, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Chris Jesus Ferguson, Howard Ledererer, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Allen Cunningham, Phil Gordon and Andy Bloch. Note: This names just a few of the 1,600 poker pros who proudly endorse the Full Tilt Poker brand.

We’ll cover a bit more on Full Tilt later in this article, but for now the point we want to hammer home is even though 92.8% of all ring games played at Full Tilt Poker are of the Texas Hold’em variation, their poker room is well known as being the most diverse in terms of ring game traffic. While we don’t have enough stats to truly back this up, in our opinion it would be a safe assumption that more than 92.8% of all real money poker games played online (industry wide, not just Full Tilt) are Texas Hold’em games.

To put this simple if you’re going to learn just a single poker game, make it Texas Hold’em as that’s the game everyone is playing.

  • Texas Hold’em also dominate live

Texas Hold’em is the most dominate variant of live poker. In fact, since 1970 the winner of the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event, a Texas Hold’em tournament, is dubbed the World Champion of Poker. Even though the same concept applies in that poker often is assumed to mean Texas Hold’em, in live games the gap is a little closer than it is in online poker play. In Las Vegas you’ll likely find the stats quite similar to online with around the same 92.8% playing Hold’em over other variants such as Stud, Omaha or Draw. In other parts of the country however Stud games are more popular. For example at the two Connecticut casinos (Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods) and the dozen Atlantic City casinos there is a noticeable 7 Card Stud presence. Also in Europe Omaha games are quite popular. Taking Las Vegas out of the equation live poker games are probably 75-80% Hold’em with the remaining 20-25% being other variants such as 7 Card Stud, Omaha and Draw poker games. We’ll now get into the history of Texas Hold’em to source how Texas Hold’em went from being near non-existent during the first 150 years or so of poker history to the dominate game we just showed that it is. Full Tilt real money games are more profitable than ever.

  • Texas Hold’em Progression in the United States

Casino gambling first came to the USA during the 1820’s when the first saloons were opened in New Orleans and Chicago. In the years to follow casinos opened throughout Nevada and California mostly targeting Gold Rushers and 49ers who were headed west in search of gold. The majority of these early casinos hosted poker games in the 5 Card Stud and/or 5 Card Draw format. Other variants of poker games became main stream shortly after Nevada legalized casino gambling in 1931.

While poker and other forms of gambling were tolerated, especially in Northern California, Mississippi, Chicago and New Orleans for a hundred years prior, once Nevada legalized gambling regulation of poker began to take place. During the 1930s all sorts of games involving wild cards, lowball rankings, split pots and eventually community cards were developed. Generally these games were first played in illegal casinos located in other parts of the country and then eventually introduced to Nevada casinos. Two large areas for this were New York City areas, and Dallas Texas areas, however just about everywhere in the US some form of high stakes poker game could be found, though the games were illegal at the time.

It was during this period of games being invented and played illegally Texas Hold’em likely came about. In 2007 Texas State legislature officially recognized Robstown, Texas as the game’s birthplace and dated it back to the early 1900s. History doesn’t support this claim very well as the earliest documented evidence of the game came in a 1971 interview with poker champion Crandell Addington who claims he first discovered the game in 1959 and it wasn’t until 1964 it was the game of choice in backroom high stakes games near Dallas Texas. How long the game was around before Addington playing it in 1959 is up for debate, but what we do know is that he and fellow Texas road-gamblers Roscoe Weiser, Doyle Brunson, and Amarillo Slim introduced it to Las Vegas in 1967 and that’s where the documented history of Texas Hold’em begins.

Golden Nugget was the first Las Vegas casino to spread Texas Hold’em. This game didn’t go over so well at first. This was perhaps because the Gold Nugget wasn’t the ideal location for attracting rich drop in gamblers. It was located downtown as opposed to the strip and the building was truly a sawdust joint with oiled sawdust covering the flooring. After a couple years of promoting the game at Gold Nugget, Texas Hold’em regulars caught their first break in 1969.

In 1969 Tom and Lafayne Moore put on what would be dubbed the first ever poker tournament. This event officially called the second annual Gaming Fraternity Convention was held at the Holiday Hotel in Reno and hosted Texas hold’em, Kansas City lowball draw, razz, stud, and ace-to-five lowball draw events. Several big name pros attended this event including Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Crandell Addington, James “Longgoodie” Roy, Aubrey Day, Benny Binion, Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, Bill Boyd, Jack Straus and “Sailor” Roberts. Approximately 30 players participated in this week long real money poker tournament and in the end by way of a vote Crandell Addington, the man who played Hold’em in 1959 and introduced it to Las Vegas in 1967 was crowned the Champion of Poker.

In the early days no doubt the most influential people in making Texas Hold’em mainstream were Crandell Addington, Tom Moore, Benny Binion, Johnny Moss and Amarillo Slim. The man now known as both the God Father of Poker and the Living Poker Legend, Doyle Brunson was around all along during these early days, but waited to the late 1970s to take over as the most influential promoter of the game. After winning back to back WSOP Main Event titles (1976 and 1977) his 1978 book Super System was released. This book would go on to spend many years as the most authoritative book on poker strategy. Doyle was the primary author behind the book but several other top pros contributed; the chapters were as follows:

* Draw Poker by Mike Caro.
* Seven-Card Stud by Chip Reese
* Lowball by Joey Hawthorne and Doyle Brunson
* Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (with no qualifier for low) by David Sklansky
* Limit Texas Holdem by Bobby Baldwin
* No-limit Texas Holdem by Doyle Brunson

A large handful of even online pros that didn’t come around till much later credit Doyle Brunson’s book Super System as a key instruction manual to their success.

Doyle Brunson continued promoting poker, the WSOP media attention increased each year, and in 1988 Texas Hold’em was legalized in California. This was the perfect storm of sorts and after receiving only eight entrants in 1972, the number of entrants to WSOP grew each year with over one hundred entrants in 1982, and over two hundred in 1991.

Perhaps the greatest cementing factor in Texas Hold’em becoming dominate was the games debut on the internet. In 1998 Planet Poker opened the first real money online poker site. That same year a Miramax film starting Matt Damon and Edward Norton in the world of underground high-stakes poker came out. This movie called Rounders became an instant cult classic and right at the height of the home computer boom the next thing you knew people were Googling left and right looking for places to play poker online. From 1999-2001 at least a dozen online poker sites were launched and everyone was scrambling to get a piece of the action.

Poker became so popular that in 2002 it started appearing regularly on TV with World Poker Tour (WPT), Showdown at the Sands, and World Series of Poker (WSOP) events airing regularly on television all sporting the newest technology which was an invention called the hole card cam. With all the cards aligned perfectly so to speak, in 2003 an accountant from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker was successful in parlaying a $39 tournament entry at PokerStars.com, into a $10,000 WSOP buy-in and the $2.5 million dollars first place prize which crowned him the World Champion of Poker. This WSOP final table was aired over and over again on ESPN as television viewers stayed glued to the set watching this real life Cinderella story unfold. It didn’t take long for the masses to head to the net all looking for a chance to be the next Chris Moneymaker.

Of course there are some gaps in our history and others such as Mike Sexton, Stu Ungar, Mike Caro and even Daniel Negreanu (to name just a few) deserve credit as well for their contributions to Texas Hold’em. If you’re interested poker history we recommend books by Doyle Brunson, and suggest searching Wikipedia and Google for more details.

  • Where to Play Hold’em Online

In our opinion the best place to play Texas Hold’em online is Full Tilt Poker. Not only does Full Tilt Poker do a great job taking care of the players with a 100% up to $600 sign up bonus, and a plethora of promotions, they’ve also innovated the game with the introduction of Rush Poker. This new version of Texas Hold’em is played exactly the same as the hold’em game we’ve all grown to love with the major difference being speed. At Rush Poker each time you click fold you’re immediately taken to a new table where a new hand is dealt. This instant shuffling of players allows players to increase the number of hands they play per hour by 5-10 times. If you’re a winning player this is good news because now you’re able to get in the equivalent of a full long day of live poker, in less than an hour by playing online at Full Tilt Poker’s Rush tables.

As far as security and player trust is concerned, over 1,600 professional players proudly represent Full Tilt Poker at live poker events, including many of the Texas Hold’em biggest named stars such as Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. Add this to the fact Full Tilt is well praised for having the best banking options in the industry, including hassle free payouts and you got yourself the perfect place to play Texas Hold’em online.

To get started playing Hold’em online, visit www.fulltilt.com. Full Tilt real money games are still highly profitable.