There are several different theories as to the origin of the history of poker, but it is most likely that the game of poker was formed from several different games.

Also read about the history of Playing-Cards - Poker Chips� - Texas Holdem.

Some historians believe that the history of poker derives from Chinese dominoes and was first played in China around 900 A.D.

Others believes that poker descends from the French "poque" which closely resembles a 17th century 25 card Persian game called "as nas" and that the game was taught by Persian sailors to the French settlers in New Orleans.

The game than made its way from New Orleans by steamboat up the Mississippi river and all the way by wagon and train to the west side of America.

The first written words on the history of poker comes from Jonathan H. Green in his chronicles from 1834.

He wrote about a very popular game amongst gamblers on the Mississippi riverboats called the "cheating game". The deck contained only 20 cards and was played by a maximum of 4 players.

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In the early 1900s all gambling including poker was declared illegal in the state of Nevada. This decision was later on changed since the Attorney General of California declared that draw poker was based upon skill and not solely on chance.

Stud poker on the other hand was looked upon as a game of pure luck and wasn't allowed played until the state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931.

In 1970, Jack Binnion, the owner of the famous Binnion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas invited the best poker players in America to his casino for the first World Series of Poker championship event.

Johnny Moss won the main title. He lost to Puggy Pearson the following year and won it again in 1974.

By 1981, there were 12 separate events and 75 players participating.

In 2004 there were 2,576 entries for the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em WSOP Championship and the prize money had increased to more than $49 million.

The 36th WSOP event is scheduled to begin June 2, 2005 in Las Vegas and an estimated 5,000 players are expected to participate in the $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold 'em event.

Online Poker started in 1998 and the first online poker room ever was Planet Poker. The second room to open their doors for cyberspace poker players were Paradise Poker.

Online tournament poker has become extremely popular in the recent years. Especially since the 2003 World Series of Poker Championship, when Chris Moneymaker, (yes it is his real name) won 2.5 million dollars after qualifying through a 40 dollar online satellite tournament.

In 2004 Greg Raymer beat 2576 players to win the first price of 5 million dollars for a buy-in stake of $40 which also was won online.

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