The Mott Street Poker Club
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The Mott Street Poker Club

 

Preface to the Online Edition

 

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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.

 

New York Chinatown Poker Club

 

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.

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