Deal Me In

It was seen as a gritty pastime for middle-aged men, played in smoky back rooms with battered cards and grimy stacks of chips. The game reeked of flop sweat, cheap whiskey and chewed cigar stubs. And not long ago, in Las Vegas casinos at least, it came close to dying out, eclipsed by other, more fashionable games like blackjack and roulette. No one, it seemed, played poker anymore. No one bright or fashionable, that is.

But suddenly, thanks to glitzy televised tournaments, a younger generation of hard-core players and a wildly popular version of the game known as...

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