Famous (and Unexpected) Gamblers through History, Part 4

Famous (and Unexpected) Gamblers through History, Part 4

History, of course, doesn’t just include what happened before now, but also what is on the go at the moment.

This statement, of course, could be subjected to serious philosophical debates, which I won’t go into now. Suffice it to say that, for purposes of this column, we’ll be arguing that what happens today is, in fact, history.

This series took a bit of a hiatus for a while, after covering Sean Connery, the original 007 in the films. However, there’s still a pile of famous gamblers we’d like to look at, and today we’ll be taking a gander at one of the most powerful people in the world today.

Another US President?

Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about Barack Obama.

As you might recall, part one of this column was about Richard Nixon, the famous US president who went on to resign due to illegal wiretapping.

His preferred game was poker, and he turned out to be very good at it. He was a cautious gambler, much like Barack Obama, who also proved to be unwilling to show his hand.

Back when he was still a state senator in Illinois, he would get together with some of his colleagues, including fellow senator and poker game host Terry Link, on a weekly basis to play a low-stakes game of cards.

Link said that Obama was “…a very cautious player… in the sense that he didn’t just throw his money away. He played the odds. He didn’t play for the inside straight.”

The weekly game was surprisingly apolitical, especially given the current virulently divided nature of US politics. Democrats, Republicans, and lobbyists would all meet up to play cards, drink a few beers, and smoke (Link refused to say how much the then-future president smoked, although it’s well-known that he enjoyed a puff or 10 for over 2 decades).

The Wider Implications

Since we have so many poker-related figures of speech in English, it’s not surprising that the president’s foreign policy and general political strategy have been compared to his success at the card table.

Although we don’t generally like to discuss politics here at Casino Daily News, the Economist has taken note of his poker-playing past in his recent actions, commenting on how he has not been bluffing, but rather only playing his hand when he’s certain of a win.

This reflects his card strategy, where he would not push his luck if he wasn’t certain of a win. Fellow players noted that he only played if he could win.

It’s beyond the purview of this column to start speculating on geopolitical trends (we’re a gambling website, after all!), but here’s hoping that, whatever the outcome, the US president manages to hit a lucky streak, or, to use a more poker-related term, let’s hope he gets dealt a decent hand, or at least manages to bluff his way to peace.