An accountant, $2.5 million and the perfect storm
It's been around for maybe 200 years, gaining popularity in the American south in the 1800s after being introduced by the French. Or was it the Persians? The point is, no one really knows for sure how poker started.
What we do know is that it was played more in the latter half of the last Century and then, like a coiled spring, exploded into life after 2003.
There was not one, but several factors in this; a perfect storm. First, the advent of online poker brought the game to an eager new audience. Then an accountant called Chris Moneymaker used his online account at PokerStars to win a seat into the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which incredibly he went on to win for $2.5 million..
This was not just a poker story. It was the catalyst for a poker BOOM.
You can read all about this extraordinary event by clicking and reading this special PokerStars Chris Moneymaker feature.