Texas Hold ’em TV and Books

Texas Hold ’em TV

The potential of Texas Hold ’em as a game for TV spectators was first realized in 1999, when the UK’s Late Night Poker TV show used pocket cameras to allow watchers to see the players’ hands as games progressed. By 2002, the same strategy was being used in North America,

In 2003, ESPN covered the 2003 World Series of Poker, won unexpectedly by the Tennessee accountant and amateur Internet player, Chris Moneymaker. This event and surrounding TV commercials contributed massively to the popularity of Texas Hold ’em, with a tripling of associated industry revenues in 2004. Again in 2004, television viewers watched Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, a patent attorney and also an amateur online poker player, win the World Series of Poker.

Together with the World Series, TV coverage of the long-running World Poker Tour has added hugely to the popularity of Texas Hold ’em. In the United States and England, many networks now include live Texas Hold ’em games as part of their sports broadcasting.

Texas Hold ’em in Movies

In 1998, the movie Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, introduced moviegoers to Texas Hold ’em, which was the main form of poker played in the movie. Rounders included footage from the 1988 World Series of Poker, showing part of the famous showdown between Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel.

More recently, the 2006 Casino Royale featured James Bond playing no-limit Texas Hold ’em in surroundings resembling those of the high-stakes rooms at the Monte Carlo Casino.

Texas Hold ’em Books

In 1979, Doyle Brunson‘s How I Won A Million Dollars Playing Poker (also known as Super/System: A Course in Power Poker) – a comprehensive poker strategy guide that included a discussion of Texas Hold ’em, was published. By then, Brunson had already won the main events in both the 1976 and 1977 World Series of Poker. This books is thought to have revolutionized the game of poker, and many top poker players still use some of the strategies it describes.

Al Alverez’s The Biggest Game in Town, published in 1983, described an an early World Series of Poker event and introduced readers to the lives of professional poker players. This book is often seen as the first in the genre of poker literature.

James McManus’ semi-autobiographical Positively Fifth Street, published in 2003, covers the trial surrounding the murder of Ted Binion and McManus’own entry into the 2000 World Series of Poker.

Michael Craig’s 2005 book, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King, covers one-on-one Texas Hold ’em games between Texan banker Andy Beal and a rotating group of poker professionals. As of 2006, these games took the record for the highest stakes ever played, reaching $100,000 to $200,000 fixed limit.