From Outlaw to Superstar: the American Poker Player Essay

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Out of the smoky back rooms of the sleaziest dives in the country has come the latest craze in American popular culture.   Poker has emerged from these questionable origins and has transformed the way Americans think about gambling.   Once written off as the pursuit of cheats, degenerates, and outlaws, poker has recently captured the attention of the world, attracting new players from all backgrounds.   Today, the average American can sit down at a poker table totally unknown and walk away a celebrity.  
In the old days, a poker player was lucky enough to just walk away.   The early days of American poker conjures images of old west outlaws who were as quick with their guns as they were to collect their winnings.   Names such as Wild Bill Hickock, Billy the Kid, and Doc Holliday are forever tied to the origins of the game.   Their tales have become the stuff of poker lore.   In the days of the old west, prosperity was shining on countless people for the first time.   This new found prosperity often manifested itself in poker games that could be found in many of the towns that were springing up across the west.   Back then, players not only had to be good card players, but in some cases, cold blooded killers to play the game, win, and keep their winnings.   In the late 1800’s, poker was played with six-guns at the ready and backs to the wall.  
About one hundred years later, not much had changed about the image of the American poker player.   Most players were still regarded as shifty figures or at the very best, disreputable characters.   Many players, such as Jack “Treetop” Strauss considered some of their competitors “the type you’d expect to get up from the table to go rob a bank.”   Then, in 1969, two men made the first steps to changing the reputation of poker from blood and guts to glamour.   Texan Tom Moore, part owner of Reno’s Holliday Casino, and gambling insider Vic Vickrey hosted the first (and only) Texas Gambler’s Reunion.   Inspired by the reunion, Horseshoe...

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From Outlaw to Superstar: the American Poker Player. Anti Essays. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Outlaw-Superstar-American-Poker-Player-27440.html