Before we check out the latest news, let’s take a look at how poker evolved to become the ultimate card game.

The formative years of Poker have been lost in the mists of time. Though it’s believed that it arrived around the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Perhaps the earliest example of Poker was a French game called ‘Le Poque’. It was this game that French settlers took to New Orleans in the 18th Century. 

The Poker game that we know is probably derived from a combination of Le Poque and the English game ‘Brag’. In any respect, the game spread across the USA gradually developing into what we’d recognise as Poker.

But why do we instantly cite Poker as the casino card game over Baccarat or even Blackjack? 

The answer to this may lie in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) that began in 70s Vegas. Indeed, it was this event that saw Texas Hold ‘Em take centre stage as the most played version of Poker.

But that’s not really the point. The WSOP was evidence that Poker was more than just a thrilling game played between friends in a bar.

Unlike Baccarat or Blackjack, say, Poker stands up as a spectator game, maybe even a sport, on account of the sheer drama, peril even, that it generates. 

Such is the power of the game; it works just as well when played remotely on our smart devices…

Late 20th/early 21st Century

The first online poker games began in 1997 and it didn’t take long before they were offering cash prizes. These early games may have been clunky, but the proverbial genie was out of the bottle.

In 2003 the availability of broadband and a particular WSOP match was to change everything. This was the year Chris Moneymaker won the main event, nothing remarkable in that, on paper anyway.

But Moneymaker had qualified for the WSOP match via an online satellite tournament, something formerly unheard of. The result was to fuel an online boom that set the precedent for what was to follow. 


But there was a snag. Concerns about the rapid rise of online poker resulted in the form of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in the US.

The reforms to the law coincided with a raft of legal changes that occurred globally. So, some US companies left their local market and set up shop abroad, while others shut down permanently.


If that wasn’t enough to take the wind out of the sales of the industry, there was more to come. Concerns about criminal activity in online poker saw the US Department of Justice shut down some of the biggest online poker sites.

It was evident that the US authorities didn’t know how to handle this modern incarnation of poker. Meanwhile, operations continued unabated abroad and the industry continued to grow.


By now the industry was worth something in the region of $14.7 billion, this figure was helped by the emergence of new US legislation and technologies. In the former instance, new laws effectively legalised online poker making it much easier for the industry to thrive.

New technologies such as AI, more efficient ways to pay and better security have helped to bolster growth. But where are we at right now?

The Latest News.

The 2024 WSOP Schedule has just been released. 

From May 28 through July 17 the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas will host the latest tournament. New events are expected for 2024, including the Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold’em event.

Sean Perry loses $1.1 million Superbowl bet.

Perhaps he should have stuck to poker! The former poker pro has taken to betting on sports, and apart from this hiccup, he’s been pretty good at it.

Shaun Deeb accepts $1 million buyout after losing ‘fitness’ bet.

Maybe Bill Perkins wishes he hadn’t bet Deeb that he couldn’t lose over 40% body fat by any means necessary before the start of the 2024 WSOP. Guess what folks, bolstered by Deed’s amazing weight-loss programme going online, Perkins chucked in the towel.

Largest Poker Room in Vegas is set to open.

Cash and tournament players are in for a treat this summer. Venetian Las Vegas is opening a 14,000 square feet space with 50 tables across making it the largest poker room in town.

Interestingly, the space will also feature a dedicated ‘streaming room’ for live online games. And in a way, this takes us full circle.

These days, the line between online poker and playing live is rapidly disappearing. Now factor in emerging technologies that will soon be tomorrow’s latest news.

Virtual and augmented reality are about to become the next big thing in the world of poker. And yes, that does mean that, once again, companies are hedging their bets on the metaverse.

What this (cyber) space, as they say.

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