Back in the 90s I used to hang out in a comic book store where a friend worked. Around then it seemed everyone was buying Magic The Gathering cards. At the time it seemed to me a silly offshoot of Dungeons & Dragons. But after having read Johnny Magic & The Card Shark Kids, I have a new respect--it may have all the fantasy trappings, but apparently it's a killer game (not D&D-like at all) of complex strategy.
The book spends some time with Richard Garfield, who invented Magic. He asked why should card games have a set deck? Why not one where players can create it themselves? It's also a good deal for the manufacturers, who keep putting out new cards that fans have to buy.
But that's just the start. The talent required to play Magic at top level worked in other games, and when he came of age (actually, a little before), he started making money--millions--translating those skills to poker, blackjack and sports betting. He also helped bring in many fellows players, and to the surprise of the old guard, they're starting to take over the gaming community.
Stuff like online poker was made for them, and in the early 2000s these upstarts began to appear at the World Series Of Poker. If you follow the sport, you may have heard of one--Finkel's good friend David Williams, who finished second to Greg Raymer (on a tough beat), winning $3.5 million in 2004. Maybe I should start learning Magic.