Poker is more popular than ever.
And thanks to the many online poker casino websites and the Travel Channel's weekly broadcasts of the World Poker Tour, audiences can play and watch Texas Hold'em poker in the privacy of their own homes.
As poker champion and commentator Mike Sexton said, "Getting inside the heads of elite players gives you a shot at improving your own game."
It's a wicked, addicting game.
Players are dealt two cards facedown. There are five community cards (the flop) and each player makes the best five out of the possible seven cards. Highest cards win. Simple, right?
As actor Paul Newman observed, "If you're playing a poker game and you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it's you."
"It's a ruthless game," said professional poker player Jennifer Harman. "You suck their blood, then go bowling with them afterward."
Texas Hold'em poker entices with strategy impossible to master. The exciting action includes the luck of the draw, bluffing, positioning, betting, and odds. To succeed you need skill and the understanding that Texas Hold'em poker is more a mind game than a card game.
Popular gambler Doyle Brunson once said: "When a man's got something heavy on his mind besides poker, he's got no business playing."
The origins of the game are uncertain, but poker has had its place in American history: on Mississippi riverboats, with soldiers during the Civil War, and as a main staple of the Wild West. Today it's a first-class experience on cruises, casinos, and tournaments throughout the world.
As poker expert Lou Krieger put it: "Although the basics are clear for all to see, poker excellence can be elusive, and much more an art than a science at it's highest levels."
"Shuffle up and deal."
Miracles happen. You could win. Just keep your mind open.