A Brief History of Poker Strategy
During a game of 5 card draw on a riverboat, Bubba Q. Fish declares that he discarded a 7 and an 8 after being dealt 88779 in order to chase the three to an outside straight. One of his opponents unknowingly becomes the first person to dispense poker strategy by telling Bubba that he thinks he's an idiot for breaking up two pair to chase the three to a straight. Bubba pulls a knife, but the situation dissipates after his opponent retracts his advice and says, "naw I'm just messin' Bubba, everyone knows you go for the straight there."
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After destroying the competition in underground, illegal poker games for close to two decades, Doyle Brunson revolutionizes the game by telling the world how he made over $1,000,000 playing poker in his book Super/System. Brunson's divulged to the world concepts such as the semi-bluff in which you play a made hand as fast as you play a strong drawing hand in order to induce your opponents into paying you off with lesser holdings. The book brings so much efficiency to the way people play poker that Brunson later stated that writing the book probably cost him more money at the tables than he was paid for writing it. To this day, Brunson's book is considered a relevant training guide by many top players.
David Sklansky publishes The Theory of Poker through his publishing company Two Plus Two Publishing. The book teaches readers how to think like a professional poker player and takes a more theoretical and math-intensive focus on the game than Brunson's Super/System.
Sklansky's company would go on to launch online poker discussion forums that contain poker strategy discussion from some of the game's leading minds.
Steve Badger launches Play Winning Poker which was likely the first major poker strategy website of significance. According to his site, Steve was the first person to be given any sort of a sponsorship deal from an online poker room when, in 2002, Paradise Poker paid him to display their logo on his shirt at the table.
Paradise Poker has since gone from the largest online poker room to a skin on a modest network and Steve Badger hasn't cashed in a live tournament for a sum of at least five figures in over eight years.
Just months before episodes of a small-town accountant named Chris Moneymaker winning $2.5 million in the World Series of Poker appear on ESPN, PokerTips.org launches. The site quickly rises to the top of Google for many poker strategy related search terms. Its articles serve as the first poker lesson for thousands of new players hoping to become the next Cinderella-story on ESPN.
Online poker rooms try their hand at offering poker strategy to their customers. The Pacific Poker School and Empire Poker School were two early examples of this. These efforts mostly fail. For the time being, online poker rooms give up on trying to offer poker strategy directly to their customers.
Fresh off of making back-to-back final tables in the WSOP Main Event, Dan Harrington publishes the first of his Harrington on Hold'em series. The books revolutionize the way players approach no-limit hold'em tournaments.
The first poker strategy videos appear on PokerTips.org. It would be another two months before PokerXFactor.com, one of the first major poker training video websites, offers visitors the chance to watch a poker strategy video.
PokerStrategy.com begins to offer readers the unique opportunity to develop a bankroll simply by reading poker strategy articles and passing quizzes.
CardRunners.com, a subscription-based poker training video website started by Taylor Caby, sees members of its instructional team become in-house pros for Full Tilt Poker. The site also acquires major rival StoxPoker.com. Thousands of players fine-tune their online poker skills on a daily basis by watching the videos at CardRunners. As a result, the competition-level continues to grow substantially tougher in the online poker sphere.
In the same year, the man formerly in charge of the largest online poker room, Lee Jones, agrees to become the Chief Operating Officer of CardRunners.com, an indicator of how truly large the poker strategy industry has become.