A couple of weeks ago, I was with a law school friend of mine, and we wondered at the sudden popularity of poker. Various tournaments are now shown on TV, with Texas Hold’Em being the most popular version of the game. What accounted for the poker renaissance?
He then links to this Justin Peters Washington Monthly feature which contains awhole bunch of generational psycho-babble gobbledy-gook.
I can tell Pejman what has caused the increase in popularity in poker in several words (and, in fairness, Peters does reference one aspect deep in his piece):
Keyhole Cameras and Satellite Freeze-outs
Poker has been televised for years, starting with the Texas crew and Binion’s World Series of Poker. The problem was, it was about as exciting as watching the America’s Cup. You had no idea what was going on, but with the keyhole camera, you know what people have when they are playing, and it makes the show exciting and dynamic.
Satellite freeze-outs made it exciting for everyone to play, because instead of the old stylewith the cronies playing for a few days and then voting on a winner, you played until someone had all the chips. Add to that the concept of anyone being able to somehow make it to the top (see Moneymaker, Chris), and you start to catch the drift.
I am as big a fan of the internet as anyone, but claiming the internet caused the increase in popularity is as silly as the rest of the psychological nonsense in Peters piece. The interest was caused by the television, and ther internet merely provided an outlet to fulfill the thirst for the game.
And, btw, the reason Hold ‘Em is the most popular is because it is the purest form of poker. It really is that simple.