Poker in Europe - The Popularity of Poker in Europe

How Poker originated in Europe, spread throughout the world and was reintroduced a couple of years ago. A look at a couple of European poker tournaments.

Poker in Europe: Poker Originated in Europe

Not many people agree on where poker originated but it is quite certain that it was founded in Europe. Most researchers seem to think that the name poker has been derived from the French word poque. This word was in turn adapted pochen which means ‘to knock’ in German. However, it can’t be proved that Poker is related to the card game where people used to knock on the table, as it is more similar to a Persian game named ‘As Nas.’

As European countries continued to create colonies in the New World, the game of poker (or Poque) spread first to Canada and then down through America. The US gradually adapted and morphed the game until it was finally poker, the way we know and love it. The 1st official poker reference was made in the year 1834 by a Mr. Jonathan Green, in his book called An Exposure of the Arts & Miseries of Gambling.

When studying the history of poker, like most things, there is always the chance that some detail and stories were lost over the years. No one could have known back then just how popular poker would become and that people would still like to read about it in 2009.

What happened after that is that poker spread throughout the US but Europeans did not really play it that much anymore. It is believed that many Europeans were reintroduced to the game of poker via the 1999 British TV show called Late Night Poker.

Poker in Europe: The Irish Open

The Irish Open was founded by Terry Rogers in 1981 and is Europe’s longest running poker tournament. Rogers started the poker tournament after a visit he had in Vegas, where he made friends with poker legends Like Johnny Moss, Benny Binion, and Doyle Brunson. He was very interested in starting to play No Limit Texas Holdem, and this game was practically unknown at the time, except for in the US. When Rogers returned to Ireland, he spread the game’s popularity throughout Ireland and Europe by establishing the Irish Open Poker Tournament.

Poker in Europe: European Poker Tour

John Duthie, winner of the first Poker Million tournament, founded The European Poker Tour. He does commentary for the show, alongside James Hartigan and Colin Murray. The EPT show was first hosted by a woman called Caroline Flack, where after Natalie Pinkham joined her.

The Pokerstars.com EPT or European Poker Tour was founded in ‘04 as part of Texas Hold ‘em’s worldwide popularity explosion. It is a televised poker tournament series similar to the WPT or World Poker Tour. The big difference is that the EPT’s final table has eight players whereas the WPT’s final table has six players.

PokerStars has part ownership in the tour and also sponsors The European Poker Tour. Sunset and Vine is the company that televises the tour for European television broadcast purposes.