Cowboys Full The Story of Poker Author:James McManus For almost two hundred years, poker has been America's favorite game. From the kitchen-table games of ordinary citizens to the stratagems of generals and diplomats, poker has gone hand in hand with our national experience. Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama have deployed it to explain policy, to relax with friends, to negotiate trea... more »ties and crises, and as a political networking tool. The ways we all do battle and business are echoed by poker tactics: cheating and thwarting cheaters, leveraging uncertainty, bluffing, managing risk and reward. Cowboys Full traces the story of poker from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe to its ascent as a global phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and, with a few extra cards and an entrepreneurial spirit, turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. It shows how what was once accurately called the cheater's game has become a mostly honest contest of cunning, mathematical precision, and luck. It explains how poker is now the most popular card game in Europe, East Asia, Australia, South America, and cyberspace, as well as on television. Along the way, it examines poker's remarkable hold on American culture in countless poker novels, movies, and plays.
James McManus, the author of the bestselling Positively Fifth Street, combines colorful history with firsthand experience from today's professional tour. He introduces the reader to every major poker variant. He profiles the game's most famous (and notorious) players. And he marries the thrill of individual hands with new ways of seeing poker's relevance to our military, diplomatic, business, and personal affairs. Cowboys Full is the definitive story of the game that, more than any other, explains who we are and how we operate.« less