10 Things You Didn’t Know About Poker

The top ten facts about poker that most people, including poker fans, probably didn’t know. From Doyle Brunson’s bizarre superstitions to the American President who funded his election campaign solely on poker prize money, broaden your trivia knowledge with these interesting facts.

  • Historians are uncertain about where the game of poker originated, due to the fact that two games with similar rules and names were played in France and Germany in the 15th century. The French game of Poque is the most likely candidate for being the ancestor of modern poker, as it seems likely the French brought the game with them when they colonised parts of the East coast of the United States and Canada.
  • President Nixon may never have risen to power if it hadn’t been for his poker skills. Tricky Dicky proved to be a dab hand at poker while serving in the US Navy during World War Two, and won sufficient money playing poker in the navy to be able to fund his first campaign for congress.
  • Poker legend Stu Ungar had to borrow the money to pay his buy-in to the 1997 World Series of Poker. Despite being on the brink of psychological and physical collapse, and suffering from addictions to both alcohol and cocaine, Ungar managed to hold himself together for long enough to win his third title and a cheque for $1 million. He died a year later, penniless.
  • There is a 1 in 221 chance of being dealt a pair of aces in any given hand of poker.
  • Poker legend Doyle Brunson will always fold his hole cards if they show an AQ. Brunson also believes that a woman sitting at a poker table is bad luck. The writer of the legendary poker strategy manual Super/System always plays a hole card combination of 10-2, a hand he was holding on both occasions that he won the World Series of Poker main event.
  • Brunson is probably beginning to find it difficult to dodge women players at the poker table. According to the most recent statistics, about a third of all poker players in the United States are female.
  • No player holding pocket aces, has ever won the final hand of the World Series of Poker No Limit Hold ’em main event. Instead, this has been the hand that has lost a player the World Series of Poker twice during the tournament’s history.
  • Professional poker players do not consider the Main Event at the World Series of poker to be the game’s championship, due mainly to the high number of entries in the tournament each year. Instead the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E tournament at the WSOP is regarded as the professional poker player’s world championship.
  • Jack Straus thought he had been eliminated from the 1982 World Series of Poker Main Event, before discovering that he had overlooked a single $500 chip when he lost his stack midway through the tournament. Strauss used this single chip to launch a fight-back, and went on to win the tournament.
  • The World Series of Poker Main Event is the richest single event in any sport format. The Main Event at the 2006 WSOP paid out over $40 million in prize money, almost double the prize money paid out at the Breeders Cup of thoroughbred horseracing, the second richest sports event in the world.

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