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ERIC Number: EJ787984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-15
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
Build a Winning Hand
Glover, Sandy
Library Journal, v130 n13 p49-51 Aug 2005
What do poker and bridge have in common? Both are card games that originated in Europe (although poker's modern form developed in the frontier towns of the American West, while bridge still reflects its British heritage). Both use a regular 52-card playing deck, both involve bidding, and both have experienced renewed popularity in recent years. Once the province of shady 19th-century riverboat gamblers and gun-toting 1950s players in smoky backrooms, poker first attracted a wider audience in 1998 with the arrival of Internet poker. Public attention increased in 2003 when the Travel Channel began broadcasting the World Poker Tour[TM], an annual championship series, with cable TV ratings that now regularly top network coverage of the National Basketball Association and Professional Golf Association tournaments. Today, an estimated 50 million people in the United States play poker regularly; of them, 30 percent are women. Tapping into this phenomenon, the "New York Times" this past June introduced a weekly poker column by James McManus, the Chicago novelist who won $250,000 at the 2000 World Series of Poker (an event recalled in his memoir "Positively Fifth Street"). Derived from the English game of whist, bridge was first introduced to the United States in the 1890s and evolved into its current form, contract bridge, in the 1920s. By the 1950s, it had become the most popular card game in the country with even President Eisenhower a regular player. But the advent of TV, video games, and other diversions brought decades of decline until 1997, when the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) launched a youth division to attract younger players. The development of online bridge has further helped to attract new participants, and a 2003 "New England Journal of Medicine" article that touted contract bridge as one of the mentally challenging activities that could slow the onset of Alzheimer's disease has peaked the interest of baby boomers like Microsoft chair Bill Gates, anavid player. Currently, about ten million Americans play contract bridge. Of the many variations of poker, Texas Hold'em, played on the World Poker Tour[TM] and at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and five- and seven-card stud are the most popular. But whatever version played, the object is to have the strongest hand and win at the showdown. In building a poker collection, one should start with beginner books that define these variations, identify hand rankings, and offer tips on how to host a home poker evening. More advanced players will want in-depth strategy/theory books like legendary Doyle Brunson's classic "Super System: A Course in Power Poker". Unlike bridge, poker lacks authorized rules books, but the web site for "Card Player" magazine posts commonly used rules.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A