Poker has always been a favoured game among the US presidents and do you know that Donald Trump inherits his position from a poker player, Barack Obama? Who at the time of his inauguration probably eight years ago was known to have enjoyed a weekly poker game among fellow state senators. The mind sport, without doubt, has tremendous history and many presidents in US are known to have been poker players, even though the game really didn’t begin to spread until the 19th century. So, we have penned four incredible poker players from history and we are sure you know them quite well…
Well, a lot of us remember Harry Truman as the 33rd President of the United States but to the poker world he is widely known for his admiration towards the game. His love for poker was so intense that and he went so far as to have a poker chip set made with the presidential seal. Truman’s motto “the buck stops here” was a poker-related phrase, used to refer to the button in poker when a buck knife was used to designate the position.
After learning the game as a soldier in WWI, he continued to play his entire life. Attaching several poker stories to his name, one of them been frequently told was his presence aboard, U.S.S. Augusta in 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima near the end of World War II and Truman played poker during those times with members of the press. This was his means to seek relief during adverse situations.
The Presidency of Warren Harding continued for as long as 881 days until he passed away. While many presidents and leaders loved to play poker after taking office, Harding actually played twice-a-week that too with the members of his cabinet itself! Playing such high volume during his time in what came to be known as ‘Poker Cabinet’. Listed down upon the top US presidents to be remembered for their game, thanks to Harding’s dedication! One of the most strange bets he played was losing the entire set of White House china to an unfortunate hand which is called as ‘cold hand’.
The 34th President, rose to prominence as a five-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII. He learned poker from an illiterate man who lived on a river in Kansas and Eisenhower called him one of his heroes!
“My hero was a man named Bob Davis. He had long been a traveler, a fisherman, hunter, and guide. He was also a bachelor, a philosopher, and, to me, a great teacher. One thing he taught me, without sanctions, was the rudiments of poker,” Eisenhower wrote in his At Ease: Stories I tell my Friends. Although illiterate, Davis was a mathematical genius!
Calling it his “favorite indoor sport”, Eisenhower won large sums in poker, sending numerous soldiers broke that he had to stop playing with the enlisted men.
This goes without saying right? Eisenhower’s VP Richard Nixon apparently possessed the killer instinct when it came to poker! The 37th US President, Nixon was a man every poker admirer must know. He became a highly successful poker player while serving in the Navy during WWII and mastered the game of poker, crushing his fellow sailors for $8K in Five Card Draw and Stud cash.
Another interesting story is that Nixon used poker to fund his political campaign. He funded his first congressional electoral campaign in 1946 with poker money. He had $6K which he won while playing poker with Navy colleagues. And the talented man remains one of the most remembered poker president in recent times also known as a card shark!
And poker writer poker writer David Spanier rightly says, “Poker is a great revealer of character, a truism that applies to Presidents as well as to lesser men.”
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