Texas Hold ‘em is a poker game that has taken the world by storm. So what is it about this particular poker game that created such a sensation? There are several points that play into the popularity of the game, including the “star status” achieved by some of the professional players. Add to that the fact that the game is fairly easy to learn for anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of poker – instantly allowing groups of people to gather to play in games and tournaments that mimic those World Poker Tours as seen on television.
In the largest cities and smallest communities around the country, people are meeting up to play Texas Hold ‘em. Though some don’t limit their poker playing to only this one game, many groups are holding Texas Hold ‘em tournaments as their main draw. Words like “river,” “flop” and “pocket pair” are bandied about during these poker games, just as they are during the major poker games being televised.
And while the folks who play in those local tournaments aren’t likely to ever be the stars of their Las Vegas counterparts, there’s no doubt that some of the winners (and losers) are taking their cues from the World Poker Tour stars.
Phil Helmuth is arguably one of the best-known poker players on television today, but it’s not only because he has won so many poker tournaments. It’s also because Phil is such a character. He’s been known to throw a fit (on television) when things aren’t going his way. He once made the comment that he’d just been beaten by someone who couldn’t even spell poker, and that those winning at his table simply weren’t playing right. Despite his attitude (which even he admits is often childish), he’s very successful and has written books on playing poker.
Mike Madison is another of the poker stars, also a winner but also a very vocal player. “Mike the Mouth,” as he’s known on the professional circuit, often spouts off to other players at the table. Both Madison and Helmuth are often chastised – both by officials and by fans – for their behavior.
But it isn’t the game that makes these men noisy and obnoxious. There are some true gentlemen sitting at those same tables. Doyle Brunson is often described as a “poker legend.” Brunson is older than many of the professional players, has won some impressive tournaments, and never ceases to be professional and polite.
Whether it’s on television or gathered around a table in a home in rural America, there’s no doubt that Texas Hold ‘em poker has become the game to play. Even if it’s only in your own home town, you may find yourself being labeled the next “poker gentleman” like Brunson, or the next “poker crybaby.”