Poker Cities (cont.)
Even before the American Civil War, poker was the main card game played in Cincinnati. Less than honest riverboat gamblers operated in the poker rooms which were housed in almost every saloon in town. The Burnet house, later dubbed by the Illustrated London News as 'the best hotel in the world' was the place where the biggest poker games in town were played. This was the same place incidentally which later became famous as the place where Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman plotted their famous 'March to the Sea'
After the goldrush in the mid 19th century, some of the biggest games of poker ever played took place in San Francisco. At that time many private poker rooms opened in the city and probably the most famous of them was known as the Cinch room in the Palace hotel. This was said to be: "richly equipped with innumerable brass spittoons".
Almost a dozen of the richest men in the West took part in these great battles. Among these were such names as James C Flood, one of the original owners of the fabulous big bonanza mine in Nevada, and four senators -- John Percival Jones, James G. Fair, William M. Stewart and William Sharon, all of whom had made their fortunes buying and selling shares in the mining trade.
The stakes that these men played for the probably some of the highest in poker history -- it is said that a plot of $100,000 was not unusual and of course today this would be the equivalent of several million dollars.
in 1976, the state of New Jersey decided to heavily develop the rundown coastal resort of Atlantic City and by the mid-80s many huge gambling palaces had been built. However the main attraction at that time was the slot machines rather than poker. By the mid-90s many of these large casinos had gone bust and the future of Atlantic City as a gambling centre is uncertain particularly due to the personal feud between Donald Trump and Steve Wynn.