Germany - Making up for Lost Time
Poker is quite a recent addition to Germany's arsenal of popular card games. The Germans are as fond as gambling as any other nation, but the two most popular card games in Germany are Skat - a three-player game played with a shortened deck in which in turn two of the competitors defend against the third, and Doppelkopf, a game for four players competing in teams of two in which players win points by playing tricks.
Despite there having been a poker-type game played in Germany many centuries ago called "Pochspiel", poker was largely completely unplayed in the country until after the Second World War. Once the war was over, a large US military base was established in Frankfurt, and the American soldiers who were stationed there brought their love of poker with them. The primary game of choice was 7-Card Stud Poker - Texas Hold'em poker and Omaha poker remained unheard of and unplayed in Germany until the explosion across the world wide web of online poker in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite the influence of the Americans, Germany never really fell in love with poker unlike other nations - prefering instead trick-taking games such as the two games mentioned above.
Online poker in Germany has a slightly dubious status, although current legislation is muddled, and online poker playing as a German-based player means you are in a indistinct world halfway between legallity and illegality. No German-based player has ever been prosecuted for playing online poker - that's one thing that's certain. Here I list some of the best poker sites that a German-based player can enjoy a little poker playing at:
William Hill Poker
Full Flush Poker
Uniquely, poker in Germany is seen as much a woman's game as it is a man's game, and Germany has produced two of the best European female poker players of all time, namely Sandra Naujoks and Katja Thater. Naujoks - who has been blessed with the nickname 'Black Mamba' - began as an online poker player but such was her success she swiftly moved into real-world tournaments, and has gone on to amass nearly $2million in career tournament earnings. Her best finish came at the 2009 European Poker Tour German Open, where she took home the top prize of $1.3million in the EPT No Limit Hold'em event. Thater has a World Series Of Poker bracelet (she won the 2007 Razz event) and has reached the final table on two separate occasions. Thater has been a member of PokerStars Team Pro.
Striking an important blow for German men are Sebastian Ruthenberg (winner of the 2008 WSOP 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo World Championship), and Tobias Reinkemeier, who won the EPT Monte Carlo No Limit Hold'em High Roller event in 2010.
If you're based in Germany, you'll probably find some limitations to your freedom to enjoy playing poker. Never fear! Simply consult the listings given above and you'll soon be sitting at an online poker table, enjoying your poker with millions of other players all across the globe!