All about poker, the card game that also conquered the literary world

Ever since modern format poker first appeared in the United States in the 19th century, it has been known that this game is out of the ordinary. However, despite all the optimistic omens, it was difficult, if not impossible, to imagine that his success would be so widespread and lasting.

In this regard, it is estimated today that about a hundred million people dedicate themselves to it every year with a certain diligence – and this includes only its online mode. This already incredible figure, which was reflected in global trade of $86.2 billion in 2022, will continue to grow, reaching $237.5 billion in 2030.

After reviewing the most significant moments in its history, we will briefly mention the areas of popular culture that poker has the most influence on. After that, we will focus in particular on the literary world and on some of the main books dedicated to this famous game.

Briefly about the history of poker

According to experts, the origins of poker should be traced back to the domino variety common in China in the 10th century AD, or, conversely, to the Persian as-nas of the 17th century AD. wait until the 19th century: according to the British actor Joseph Crowell, in 1829 a similar game was already widely practiced in New Orleans; instead, its first official set of rules was not published until 1858.

After this initial phase, it experienced a significant expansion beginning in the 1970s when the first World Series of Poker was held in Las Vegas. Since Texas Hold’em was chosen by Benny Bignon as the main character of his Main event in 1971 this variant became the most popular in the world.

This success was further reinforced when aspiring accountant Chris Moneymaker took home the bracelet and the €2.5m prize pool for winning the tournament. Main event WSOP 2003. The improvement and popularization of the Internet since the end of the previous decade has brought nothing but an easier direct approach to poker for hundreds of thousands of people striving to achieve the same goal.

Among the most obvious advantages offered by the Internet over its physical counterpart are, for example, a greater choice of options, the possibility of greater economic benefits, and the ability to play games without ever leaving home. . In addition, relying on the best gaming sites in Italy, you can also take part in numerous tournaments; among them are those that are hugely successful knock out, in which a reward is associated with each person sitting at the table. Their gaming offering is certainly one of the favorites of online players, especially when you consider that both national and international tournaments attract a large number of players. This is definitely the best option for all those people who would like to play the game but don’t know how to do it. On the other hand, if you do not fully know the rules and strategies of the game, or just want to practice more, you can rely on those who understand them, given that their gaming offerings are the most famous and popular in the world. world poker world.

Poker: From Underground Game to Cultural Phenomenon

Until recently, in the collective imagination, poker was a game associated with the underworld and lawlessness. This concept is due to the fact that in the beginning he mainly devoted himself to her in smoky salons full of criminals in the mythical American Far West.

In Italy, this situation has only improved in recent years thanks to the introduction of some laws regarding gambling. In particular, the first provision concerning this practice in physical format is dated June 27, 1998; On the other hand, it wasn’t until July 2011 that casinos and online betting sites were regulated by the Berlusconi government.

This new openness towards him actually began already in the second half of the last century, primarily due to the events described in the previous paragraph. This has led to the release of poker movies and television shows, as well as the release of songs and books on the subject.

For this reason, it suffices to give an example Mavericks (1994) Rounders (1998) Casino Royale (2006) and Molly game (2017) in cinematography. On the other hand, in the music sector, they remember each other. Player Kenny Rogers (1978) Ace of Spades from Motorhead (1980)e Poker Face Lady Gaga (2008).

Must-Have Poker Books

The noble art of bluffing

This text was published in 2014 as Noble Vanity: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death and it was released in Italy two years late. In it, New York-born author Colson Whitehead, 54, recalls some personal experiences dating back to 2011, when the sports magazine Grantland he offered to pay entry to the WSOP to write a report.

Always approaching the world of poker from an amateur point of view, the author was forced to undergo a rigorous preparatory training that included hours of study and practice under the guidance of an experienced coach. The result of his story is an essay, sometimes technical, somewhat fictionalized and highly reflective.

Here “Sin City” becomes the perfect symbol of the modern United States and the collapse of the American dream. At the green table, as in life, a moment is enough for the efforts made to be in vain, and the expectations are not justified.

big bluff

Released in 2021, this text takes the same approach to the world of poker as the previous one, as best evidenced by its full title: Big bluff. Ability. Luck. Check. Poker game to understand the game of life. Here writer and psychologist Maria Konnikova recounts the personal journey that took her three years, led by expert Eric Seidel, to compete in the world championships.

This book is more than just a guide to poker, it’s a way to learn to face life in the best possible way. At a particularly difficult moment, the author begins to ask herself existential questions, the answers to which seem to come as she plunges into the game.

For example, he wonders what events can be managed, how to deal with uncertainty, and how to give his best with the means at his disposal. In this sense, poker helps a lot, as it teaches you to manage your emotions, make decisions, understand your own behavior and the behavior of others, and always maintain a high concentration.

Wrong hand

This crime novel was originally published in 1986 under the title Pour a million cents. Its author is Jean-Michel Ghenassie, an Algerian-born French writer from the 1950s, who also gave birth to many other works, notable among them a text for the theater and several screenplays for television.

Here the protagonist is Baptiste Dupré, an avid gambler who has only one goal in life: to become the best of all time. Every aspect of her existence revolves around this goal, from getting married to attending her chosen university.

The story takes place in a sometimes mysterious Paris, where fictional events fit perfectly with others that actually happened. Presenting the meticulous psychological analysis that helped win the Michel Lebrun Genasse prize, the novel is masterfully constructed, offering the reader the fast paced typification of the best poker games.

Poker and literature, in conclusion

As you can see from this article, poker has evolved significantly over the years to achieve the status of absolute glory it enjoys today. In this process of great development, he was also able to conquer the art world as a whole, including the literary field.

Through the presentation of two essays and a novel dedicated to it, we intend to present the ability of poker to attract the attention of famous writers and, therefore, a large number of readers. In these works, poker is not only portrayed as a metaphor for everyday life, but can also be seen as an extraordinary source of entertainment and adventure.

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