In this blog post we will cover the Mavericks of Poker, Osmosis and Poker Strategy Software.
The Mavericks of Poker
Many top poker players are larger than life. They are true mavericks of the game with colorful personalities with fun nicknames that people enjoy watching. They are risk takers who are endearing, entertaining and accessible.
Names such as Daniel Negreanu (Kid Poker), Justin Bonomo (ZeeJustin), Phil Ivey (The Tiger Woods of Poker), Phil Hellmuth (The Poker Brat), Doyle Brunson (Texas Dolly), Antonio Esfandiari (The Magician), Gus Hansen (The Great Dane) and more are continually being talked about in poker circles. Many of the top players write books, have training videos, create blogs, tweets, have Facebook pages, and more.
Osmosis is the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of knowledge.
Most poker players watch poker on TV and on YouTube and play online games on their computers and cell phones. Many read blogs, articles, listen to podcasts and check out websites. Yet a high percentage don’t have an organized plan to get better.
They learn the game primarily at the tables. A big part of their table experience comes in the form of osmosis from the best players. Players sitting at a poker table for hours can’t help but learn a lot about the game from those who are the serious players.
The serious players read books, take training courses, watch videos to learn, study the greats, and continually strive to improve their game. And, they talk at the table. Valuable information is imparted during this table talk. Sometimes freely, and sometimes by accident.
Either way, information spilling occurs continuously at poker tables. Those who are attentive pick up a great deal of knowledge by playing at the same tables as the experts.
Osmosis is alive and well in poker!
Poker Strategy Software
The popularity of poker has led to some powerful software programs. Here are just a handful of some of the top programs:
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This blog covers how TV, Movies and YouTube Videos have added jet fuel to the poker firestorm. It starts with our core makeup.
The excitement and desire to gamble is part of our DNA. It is reflected by what we watch. There have been several TV shows and movies over the years on poker. Below are some of the key ones.
The first major TV series was called Maverick starring James Garner. It was about gamblers living by their wits and charms and ran from 1957 to 1962.
In 1965 the movie The Cincinnati Kid was released. It was about a crackerjack stud poker player (Steve McQueen) who wants to challenge “The Man” (Edward G. Robinson). It had an all-star cast that also included Ann-Margret, Tuesday Weld, Karl Malden and Joan Blondell.
The movie Rounders with Matt Damon and Edward Norton came out in 1998 and initially did poorly in theaters. It was ahead of its time. However, since it was a lot about Texas No-Limit Hold’em it gained a huge following over time with poker players.
The 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale introducing Daniel Craig is centered around a high stakes Texas No-Limit Hold’em poker tournament. It is currently #8 on the all-time list of James Bond movies grossing almost $670 million.
In 2017 a movie called Molly’s Game about the true story of Molly Bloom (a beautiful young Olympic-Class skier) who ran the world’s most exclusive high stakes poker game for a decade (before she was arrested by the FBI) came out.
Today there are many live programs on Texas No-Limit Hold’em on TV as it continues to gain in popularity. Also, there are an impressive number of YouTube training videos, videos of high stakes games, major events and more. You can watch how the best players in the world approach the game. They can be watched almost anytime, anyplace, and on many devices.
In the next blog we will cover Easy Access to Live Games, The Mavericks of Poker, Osmosis, and Poker Strategy Software.
In this blog we will cover two major events that had some significantly negative effects on poker, and how the game has bounced back.
In October 2006 the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). It didn’t specifically prohibit US players from playing online poker, but outlawed businesses from transferring funds to and from gambling sites.
Final regulations weren’t formulated and into effect until later. Some online sites pulled out of the US. Other sites such as PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker continued to allow players from the US to deposit and withdraw monies (and to play).
Looking at the upcoming chart of the Chris Moneymaker effect we can see a significant drop in players in 2006 at the WSOP Main event. It was another inflection point.
The next event to injure the poker world occurred on April 15th of 2011 (Black Friday). The US Department of Justice issued an indictment against the executives of Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.
They were the three largest online poker sites in the United States. The event was devastating for tens of thousands of players who made their living online playing poker.
The Chris Moneymaker Effect and the UIGEA
But, you can’t keep good people down, or a good game down! People continued to play No-Limit Hold’em and the number of entrants at the WSOP main event didn’t change appreciably in 2012.
Poker has bounced back and is stronger than ever. The gambling gene is too deeply rooted in the American psyche to destroy such an incredible game such as Texas No-Limit Hold’em. Many other people around the world feel the same way.
In the next blog we will discuss how TV, Movies and YouTube Videos have influenced the number of poker players.
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Charles W. Clayton
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The Chris Moneymaker story is common poker lore. Chris played in a satellite event on an online poker site and won a seat at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Moneymaker hadn’t played in a live Texas No-Limit Hold’em tournament before the main event.
Chris Moneymaker was an accountant by trade with a knack for the game and the numbers. He won the main event over a field of 839 players and took the first-place prize of $2.5 million. Word spread like wildfire about this huge underdog winning. It was a true to life Rocky type story.
After Moneymaker’s victory a huge number of players entered the game. They were searching for fame and fortune by playing the elusive and fickle game of poker.
The 839 players at the main event more than tripled to 2,576 players in 2004. The entrants ramped up to over 8,700 players by 2006.
The explosion in Texas No-Limit Hold’em interest after 2003 helped coin the phrase: The Chris Moneymaker Effect.
It was a major inflection point in the participants at the main event (a bellwether of player interest).
Note: An inflection point is when the direction of a curve changes dramatically.
Poker books, hole cams, RFID Technology, the internet & cell phones and the Chris Moneymaker Effect have all contributed to the explosion of interest in poker. However, in 2006 the winds of change started blowing through the poker landscape. These changes were significant.
In the next Blog we will Explore the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and Black Friday in poker.
I was very fortunate to meet and talk with Chris Moneymaker at the Texas Card House in 2019. He is a really great guy and a strong promoter of Texas No-Limit Hold'em!
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