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There have always been poker pros, but in the old days of prohibition, these brave souls were forced to make the rounds in secret, playing in illegal cash games and underground clubs. Poker legends such as Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and Sailor Roberts came up the hard way, playing dangerous games in dangerous places.

This latest expansion of legalized poker has given rise to a new breed of player the legitimate poker pro who makes a living playing cash games and tournaments    around the country (and around the world). These days, top-tier poker professionals like Howard Lederer, Kathy Liebert, and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, can make a legitimate (and rather healthy) living without risking life and limb. (Mostly, depends on whether you're at a table with Phil Hellmuth.)

Phil Hellmuth,lr., one of the top tournament players and a former WSOP No limit Hold'Em champ, has a reputation as a volatile player. We're just kidding you, Phil...

Once again we find ourselves on the new frontier of the online game. As Chris Moneymaker and many other Internet players have ably demonstrated, online play can lead to fortune and glory, with a little skill and a lot of luck. Will we see the emergence of the Internet poker pro? Maybe it'll be you! Maybe it'll be me! Probably, it will be my mom-with her unearthly luck, I wouldn't bet against it.

Poker has a long and rich history that has informed in many ways the game we play today. So let's jump back into the practical and procedural end of things and in the next chapter begin the task of assembling the basic poker know-how that you need to win.

Poker Terms Used in This Chapter

Dead Man's Hand
The five-card poker hand said to be held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot dead at the table: black aces and black eights, the fifth card in dispute; considered to be an unlucky hand in poker.
Tarot deck
A set of playing cards used in fortune-telling; possibly a forerunner of the modern 52-card deck.   
Three-Card Monte
A gambling game using playing cards, in which a dealer uses    sleight-of-hand to deceive a potential bettor.
Wild card
A card that can serve as any other card in making your hand.

2006 Deal Me In! Online Cardrooms, Big Time Tournaments, and The New Poker Book . All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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