With a history spanning some 200 years and an ever-growing pool of players that extends into the millions, poker is one of the most-loved games on the planet. From the comfort of a local casino to the convenience of your own home, poker has never been more accessible.
To celebrate our love for this awesome game, we’ve compiled a quick list of poker facts which are sure to impress your friends. Why not try them out next time you’re at the table?
A game of poker once lasted 8 ½ years
Yep. You heard that right. Back in 1881, an 8-and-a-half-year game of poker began at The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona. The game ran continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 8 years, 5 months and 3 days, making it the longest-running poker game in history. Buy-ins costed $1000 and it was estimated that more than $10 million dollars changed hands over the course of the game.
Doyle Brunson won the WSOP Main Event with 10-2 in back-to-back years
To win any WSOP Main Event is a rather impressive achievement, but to win two WSOP Main Events back-to-back is downright absurd!
If, like us, you’ve spent countless evenings watching old episodes of Poker After Dark, you will know that 10-2 is Brunson’s favourite hand. But did you know that this stems from his success at the 1976 and 1977 WSOP Main Event? The Texas Dolly beat Jesse Alto and Gary Berland in back-to-back years with the same holding, 10-2, to be crowned world champion – his pay cheque at the end of the tournament was an eye-watering $560,000.
Former President Richard Nixon was an excellent poker player
Often maligned but never boring, Richard Nixon was known for being a ruthless President, but did you know he was just as fierce at the poker table?
Despite being raised in a Quaker family that shunned gambling, Nixon discovered it was a profitable way to pass the time in the Navy. Believe it or not, during this time, the then 30-year old made more than $10,000 from his colleagues, playing a small-ball brand of poker. In fact, so successful was Nixon that he made more money playing poker than he did serving in the Navy as an ensign.
It’s thought that, after the Navy, the former President used his winnings to fund the bulk of his first political campaign.
The odds of making a Natural Royal Flush is 649,740 to 1
As many people know, a royal flush consists of a hand made up of 10-J-Q-K-A where all the cards are the same suit. However, many people don’t know that the odds of hitting this hand on the flop (including your holding) is not easy – in fact, the odds are an incredible 649,740 to 1. To put this into perspective, you have more chance of being struck by lightning, winning an Oscar, or being drafted by the NBA.
Other weird and wonderful facts
• The suits of cards used to be swords, cups, sticks and coins in Medieval times.
• A fifth suit was added in 1967 but was quickly scrapped.
• In one legend, the card suits represent the four classes: spades represent nobility, diamonds represent the merchants, clubs represent the peasants, and hearts represent the clergy.
• There are more than 300 million 7-card poker hand combinations.
• Poker evolved from Dominos.
• In 2012, One for One Drop became the first poker tournament to have a $1 million entry fee.
• The earliest known form of poker was believed to be played with a 20-card pack.
Do you know any other amazing poker facts? Let us know in the comments section, below.
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