Fifty years ago, if you wanted to try your luck at poker in a bricks and mortar casino, you would almost certainly be playing Five or Seven Card Stud or some local derivation of those games. Of course, fifty years ago, a bricks and mortar casino was your only option.
Texas Hold’em took around seven decades to establish a foothold outside of the southern United States but for the last forty years or so it has grown into the dominant version of poker, online and in casinos. Hold’em is reliably regarded as being founded in Robstown, Texas in the early part of the 20th century and it began a slow journey north with the grifters and rounders until it arrived in the neon halls of Las Vegas and Reno in 1967.
Southerners such as Amarillo Slim Preston and Doyle Brunson competed in the forerunner of the World Series of Poker in 1969 and their presence at this event at Benny Binion’s Horseshoe Casino ensured that Texas Hold’em was the game of choice for the competition. From that point on Hold’em never looked back, gradually coming to dominate every poker tournament – no other variant has ever been featured at the WSOP Main Event.