Poker is a game that has had a meteoric rise in mainstream media, thanks to a vast gain in speed, but in which it has gone through various alternating stages between good and bad. It is obvious that the evolution of poker is closely linked to the evolution of television and especially in the United States, which was the cradle of the game before it conquered the world. But in today’s world, poker is now also tied to online broadcasts and platforms like Youtube we Tic. It is all this that makes the great audiovisual history of poker.
A story whose origins date back to the 70s when, in the United States, CBS decided to buy the rights to broadcast the final tables of the World Series Of Poker. The WSOP was still in its infancy then, but that didn’t stop ESPN from calling on them to inherit the broadcast rights. At that time, most tournaments were played in Texas Hold’em, which is why this variant is the most popular today. The other variants of poker, alternatives to Texas, then developed over time.
It was an era that ends when the chains realize that viewers had a hard time keeping up with the games. Without any graphics or any possibility of knowing the cards of the players, the narrator was the only tool capable of giving a little context to what was happening around the table. And although the organizers of the World Series Of Poker resisted as best they could, it was only a matter of time before television told the inside story of poker. And this is how the revolution of hole cameras which changed absolutely everything.
Surprisingly, it was in the United Kingdom that a poker game was broadcast for the first time where several cameras placed under the table allowed viewers to see the cards of the participants. It was therefore the first major evolution of poker on television, which was soon followed by that of the graphics, although these required many hours of preparation before they could be broadcast. Meanwhile, in the United States, the first reports and summaries of the WSOP were emerging. And this until the year 2001 when his disappearance was as sudden as it was totaland it suddenly became impossible, both on the American continent and in the rest of the world, to see poker on television.
But as in all fashions, such a fall could only lead to a return to poker even stronger and more attractive than before. The creation of the World Poker Tour as a product designated to be broadcast on television completely reverses the situation. In 2003, the first tournament was broadcast in the USA and the reception from the public was spectacular. It was also during this period that Europe entered the dance of televised poker, and France took its first steps there two years later. If poker was already a relatively popular discipline in France, the WPT made it enter an arrival in any other dimension.
The programs were produced in the United States, then retransmitted in France with French commentators in the second half of the evening on Canal+. Denis Balbir and the unforgettable Patrick Bruel were the first faces and voices on this show that quickly rose to cult status. The WPT program remained broadcast from 2005 to 2010 on Canal+, always with Patrick Bruel as a consultant, who suddenly became as well known for this role as for his job as a singer, and Lionel Rosso Then Valerie Amarou who succeeded Denis Balbir. This program allows viewers to discover a whole new world thanks to a more than neat production that makes it possible to follow the games with great ease, and it was at the origin of many vocations.
But 2003 was also the year of Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the WSOP Main Event, which sparked the ultimate boom that launched poker to its current popularity. The Tennessee man was the first to win a bracelet after qualifying for the finals through an online tournament. From that moment, many followers tried to follow his path and online poker literally exploded. The players, the poker communities and even the traditional circuits realized the enormous potential of the Internet and they opted for the promotion of sites like YouTube where games were broadcast and where CVs were posted online regularly.
In France, the movement of certain ex-players or players still active towards these most famous broadcasting programs in the country, provoked an ever-increasing interest of the general public for this discipline. And when Twitch was bought by Amazon in 2014, poker couldn’t have imagined that one of its main weapons had just passed a key milestone. The broadcasting of video games, which is what the platform was created for, has also given way to poker and this place has become fundamental in recent years.
Social networks have also had a great power over the evolution of poker, but names like Jordan Drummond in the United States or Bertrand Grospellier in France are particularly revealed by others because they have revealed in their streams how they played and shared their experiences with the entire poker community. Experiences that have made even more Internet users want to embark on the adventure and become true poker aficionados. It is thanks to all this that partypoker triumphs on Twitch today, and that our platform intends to continue on this path in the future.