The true origin of poker is yet to be decided. For instance, some believe poker stems back to a Chinese game from the 10th century.
Others are confident poker is a descendant of As-Nas, a Persian game created in the 14th century.
But perhaps the most likely theory is that poker derived from Poque, a French game that originated in the 1400s.
Despite the Game’s origins, poker made its way across the ocean to America in the 1700s, where its popularity began to spread throughout saloons, riverboat gambling establishments, the Gold Rush, and beyond.
Fast forward to the birth of the WSOP in 1970 in Las Vegas and the first online poker room launching in 1998. Technological advancements, great poker sign-up bonuses, and pop culture have, over time, all contributed to or highlighted the Game’s fame and fortune.
For a rundown of entertainment presenting the game’s glamour, drama, and how multiple elements of poker can be used as a metaphor to explain real-life situations, see below.
Gaga’s song poker face was inspired by Texas hold ’em and written by the lady herself in less than an hour.
The singer used poker sayings and phrases throughout the song in a symbolic way to voice her problems concerning her bisexuality.
Gaga explained to Fashionista 101; she likened playing with men in the song to playing poker.
Poker face was the best selling single worldwide in 2009.
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers was a country music singer who hoisted Don Sclitzs’ song The Gambler to fame in 1978.
The song describes conversations with a poker player, who uses metaphors from poker games to advise about real life.
For example, in the song’s bridge, Kenny Rogers sings, ‘you’ve got to know when to fold them,’ which in poker means knowing when to recognize a losing hand and walk away from the game.
This advice can also be applied in real-life situations, such as giving people advice of when to walk away from a bad situation.
The 2006 film release showcases 007 in a high-stakes poker game showdown against villain Le Chiffre.
Sources reveal baccarat was the original casino game Bond and the villain was supposed to play. But the screenwriters replaced it with poker because they believed it incited more drama and required more skill.
Plus, due to the poker boom, the game was more well-known among the public. Thus likely to make the scene more appealing to watchers.
Molly’s Game is based on a true story following the life of Molly Bloom.
Initially, Molly trained extensively to become an Olympic skier. However, after an accident and subsequent injury, she failed to qualify for the Olympics.
And so, instead, Molly eventually got a job operating high-stakes poker games for A-list celebrities and the super-wealthy.
Celebs who attended the events included Leonardo di Caprio, Alex Rodriquez, and Michel Cera.
Molly’s Game reveals poker’s captivating yet risky side, which entices people of all backgrounds, including celebrities, to play.
Seinfeld, a much-loved comedy sitcom, featured numerous poker references.
For instance, in one scene, Jerry asks Elaine how her relationship is going. Gaining a read on Elaine, he notices she has a poker tell. And despite Elaine saying the relationship is going well, Jerry knows the opposite is true because of the way she reacts when he asks her the question.
During a game of poker, Datas’ poker face and observation skills are unmatched.
Data is a synthetic life form that doesn’t have emotions. Thus in playing a poker game, he has the necessary skills to bewilder and frustrate players because he has no ‘tells.’
The above examples reveal poker has a prominent presence across multiple entertainment channels, from books to movies and television to music. Other examples of poker used in entertainment include films such as Rounders, Solo, and Indiana, and the Temple of Doom.
Various references and scenes depict realistic elements of the game. Such as the skill and strategy required to overcome opponents. And how elements from poker can be used metaphorically as advice and applied to real life.
Poker has been around for hundreds of years. Yet, it’s still played by millions of people from all backgrounds worldwide. Moreover, entertainment sources continue to use and make references to the game. As such, it’s likely the love for the game will continue to flourish well into the future.