Poker's Egyptian Origins

13 October 2008, Created By: Yakshi
Poker's Egyptian Origins
So I have been reading up on the origins of poker. Some accounts argue that early versions of the game appeared in Germany in the 15th century as Pochspiel and in the late 19th century Persian game As Nas.

Wrong - thank you, come again. No-Limit poker was played as long ago as 1322 BC in Egypt under Pharaoh Tutankhamen (known in his home game as Tut). I had to read a lot of chiseled stone to get the entire story, but here it is.

It was a Friday night. The local Hooters was closed for renovation. Tut was there. Cleopatra, Augustus Caesar and Moses showed up, as did the three Wise Men, who back in the day were known as Lenny, Slappy, and M. Night Shyamalamadingdong.

George Bush Senior occupied seat number nine.

The game started slowly, due in part to Tut's insistence at least once an orbit that the dealer be boiled in oil. Caesar kept whispering in Cleopatra's ear, while she twirled an asp around her forearm and kept ordering vodka sevens, each time instructing the waiter, "Keep 'em coming."

"You like snakes?" Caesar asked her. "I've got a snake."

As always, the game lasted long into the evening, Tut's and Caesar's stacks growing at the expense of the others. Both were sitting 800 big blinds deep when the following hand came up:


Julius Caesar
"I've got a snake."

Tut raises to 200 gold coins from under the gun, a 20-big-blind raise. Folds around to Caesar on the button, who repops to 750. All fold back to Tut, who jams. Caesar insta-calls, flips over the ace of sand and the ace of stone, and jabs his fist to Zeus.

Tut turns over the ace-king of tuts.

"You're all in for 800 big blinds with big slick?" Caesar asks in amazement.

Tut stands up. "Ace me! Big me!" Then he shouts, "One time dealer! One time!"

Flop comes Q-J-T of tuts. The dealer sighs in relief. The Wise Men and Moses fall out of their chairs, now convinced that God exists.

"Royal me," Tut whispers in shock.

"Cheat!" screams Caesar.

Tut turns to Caesar. "How you feelin, boy? Dizzy? That's because you just got jacked up. I knocked you out without throwing a blow, kid."


"Get some!"

Caesar had left his army back in Rome, so he took Cleopatra into a tent and started a new civilization.


The story above leads us to the subject of trash talk. Is it ever inappropriate? As a matter of fact, one can imagine trash talk for any and all occasions. Just be sure not to curse or use offensive language. That's taking the easy way.

After you've suffered a bad beat, for example, you could say:

  • "I lose $50. You gain life-changing money."
  • "He's probably still running around Grandma's basement high-fiving his pets."
  • "He wins and fills his diaper at the same time. I hope he's wearing a car-freshener."

After you've dealt a bad beat to someone else:

  • As if you don't know about the rake: "I should have won $3 more. Send it to me, cheapskate."
  • Terrell Owens variation: "Me loves me some me."


Phil Hellmuth
Me loves me some me.

When you are being trash-talked by someone else:

  • "I am energized by the tears of failure."
  • Creepy: "Anger is so sexy. I am mentally undressing you."
  • Absurd: "I am mentally transforming your hatred into a bouquet. Daisies!"

Megalomaniacal replies to make when you've just coolered another player:

  • "I have a statue of myself on my lawn that rotates to face the sun."
  • "The Interwebs run on the power of my brain."

Doubling up at The Deuce:

  • "I absorb your net worth and can't even buy a Happy Meal."

They say that trash-talking the table donkey is usually a mistake and that you shouldn't "tap on the glass."

I disagree. Self-denial is a powerful thing; it's what got the heehaw to your table in the first place.

Good luck at the tables.

-- Yakshi

Author Bio:

Yakshi is the actual name of, um, Yakshi. No last name. Like Cher or Madonna, but without the talent. After consuming nothing but strawberry-flavored Pop Tarts, chicken-flavored Top Ramen and Fat Tire beer for 18 months straight, Yakshi began to hallucinate random cards, numbers, dice, stars and coins - a vision that he struggled to formulate into an "advanced Hold'em strategy," which he now uses almost exclusively at full-ring 1¢/2¢ No-Limit tables at PokerStars.

When he is not five-bet shoving 3-2 of hearts, he may occasionally be found folding the two red aces - correctly - pre-flop. His hobbies include spelunking, cheese and nitrous oxide. He lives in Erie, Colo.

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