The Mott Street Poker Club
Preface to the Online Edition
Poker has come a long way, since The Mott Street Poker Club had been written, in 1888. But most of today's
poker player are not really aware of the history of poker (or perhaps not even interested in). Actually, no one really knows for sure
where poker had come from, who invented it, and where it was first played. Even historians can't agree. But fortunately, our ancestors
did leave a few documents that give us a rare glimpse into the past and help us make conclusions.
The one conclusion that we can confidently make for sure, however, is that poker is an American game. One does not
have to be a historian to know that part of America's history is not what modern Americans are proud of. But we cannot change the past
and we cannot escape from the remnants of history, so when we look through the objects that have been left by our ancestors we sometimes
discover things that we would rather not be reminded of. The narrative of The Mott Street Poker Club falls into this category.
Some readers may find the text of this book to be offensive, because of its racial overtones and a very unfair way
to portray Chinese immigrants. But the text has to be put in historical context, when reading. It shouldn't be too hard for the reader
to ignore the racist remarks and read through the story of a poker club on Mott Street, in New York's Chinatown. And we don't have to
laugh at the racist jokes, either.
It should be noted that The Mott Street Poker Club has a companion book called The Thompson Street Poker
Club. The two books were often advertised and sold together and a character from the Thompson Street CLub also appears here.
We hope you enjoy reading through the first online edition of The Mott Street Poker Club, which has always
been a hard to find collectors' item.