As the most popular card game in the world with some of the biggest stakes in the world of gambling, poker has built up a certain degree of mystique around it. With the popularisation of online gaming, poker tournaments around the world have surged in interest in the last number of years. Due to this, we have seen an increasingly diverse class of professional poker players emerge. With this newfound celebrity status, some professional players have begun to develop unique characters and personalities as a way of distinguishing themselves from rivals. With that said, who are some of these weird and wonderful pro players, and what makes them so peculiar?
Although you might have thought he got the nickname ‘Tricky Dicky’ due to his nefarious antics at a certain hotel, there is a good chance he earned this moniker at the poker table. Nixon was known to be an excellent player from his navy days. In fact, he was so successful that he was able to fund his first political campaign using his poker winnings.
The famed pro poker player Tom Dwan, who is known as one of the most successful players on the national circuit, started his career with just $50. This was given to him on his birthday, and over the first few years of his career playing poker online, he transformed this into a $5 million dollar fortune.
While known mostly for his day job as an award-winning actor and screenwriter, Ben Affleck is a surprisingly decent poker player. He once won the California State Poker championship which earned him a place on the World Poker Tour.
Warren G. Harding
The 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, had a particular fondness for poker. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm wasn’t matched by his skill, and he managed to lose an entire set of White House china to Douglas MacArthur’s wife.
The creator of the famed World Series of Poker had heavy ties to a notorious Dallas mob boss and was implicated in a murder charge!
Paul “Cigar” McKinney
Paul “Cigar” McKinney is the oldest poker to have won a Senior’s Limit Hold’em event at the ripe old age of 80 in 2005.
A seasoned poker professional, Phil Hellmuth holds the record for cashing in more than 100 World Series of Poker events during his long career, having made it to a whopping 50 final tables in the tournament!
Also known by the moniker “The Mathematician”, David Sklansky pioneered a mathematical approach to poker playing, going on to write 13 books on the topic.
Barbara Enright was the first female player in history to reach the final table of a World Series of Poker event, doing so in 1995. No other female has matched this feat since then.
Annette Obrestad was the youngest bracelet winner after winning a World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) main event final in 2007 at just 18 years of age.