Professional poker players are more and more turninginto famous poker players. And not just famous amongother poker players: these professionals are turning intosomething like real celebrities. These becoming-famouspoker players are turning Texas Holdem into aspectator sport.
Thanks to the World Series of Poker (WSOP), theInternet, and ESPN coverage, there are manyprofessional poker players who are no longerobscurities--they are heroes (and, yes, heroines).Stu Ungar...Scotty Nguyen...Noel Furlong...ChrisFerguson...Carlos Mortensen...RobertVarkonyi...Chris Moneymaker...GregRaymer...Joseph Hachem...Jamie Gold...Jerry Yang...
Do any of those names sound familiar to you? Even ifyouve never held or folded a Texas Holdem hand, thosenames may strike a bell somewhere in your mind. Theyare the last 10 winners (in order, starting with Ungar in1997) of the WSOP. The WSOP began all the way backin 1970. Just like with pro football and baseball in thosedays, there were dynasties, albeit one-man dynasties.Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and, at the beginning ofthe 1980s, that guy Stu Ungar were the men beat.
Those guys are still the guys to beat (one of the good thingsabout Texas Holdem is that your skills get better, not morediminished, as you "get old"); but as those professionalpoker players have become famous poker players, theirtechniques have spread like wildfire, making for morecompetition and increasingly putting the WSOP final pot upfor grabs.
As I said before, the Internet has been one of thereasons for Texas Holdems meteoric rise in the last 10years. Many people love playing online now, and its agreat virtual place to start learning and mastering thegame. There are even professional poker players likeNiki "KaiBuxxe" Jedlicka who have built thefoundations of their careers online, while the likes ofChris Ferguson, Doyle Brunson, and Annie Duke , justto name but a few, are famous poker players whom youcan play against online.
"Never limp in...One of the most important rules ofHoldEm -- Limit or No Limit -- is to never, ever call asthe first player to enter a pot before the flop. Either pumpup the pot with a raise, or dump your cards in the muck.If your hand isnt strong enough for a raise, its too weakfor a call. This tactic makes it more difficult for youropponents to read your hand, and it makes it impossiblefor the big blind to ever see a flop for free when youre inthe hand," says Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.