The Top Five Poker-Playing Presidents

Poker has always been a favoured game among U.S. presidents, perhaps in part because of the many ways the strategies and challenges afforded by the game tend to overlap with those of politics. Stories of poker-playing presidents are well known, despite the efforts by some of them not to let their interest in the game become publicized because of the potential political damage. While being a card player certainly can help a president connect with some citizens, moral objections to gambling by others can make being associated with poker a potential deficit, too. For instance, when current president Barack Obama was initially running for the office a few articles appeared reporting how Obama was an avid poker player, noting how as a state senator Obama found poker a ready means to network and get to know fellow Congressmen as he made his rise through the political ranks. However, stories of Obama's card-playing have been less frequently told since he has taken office, no doubt because of the higher political "stakes" (so to speak) associated with his every move. Still, many have argued persuasively that the skills one develops as a poker player can serve a president particularly well. Being able to weigh risk and reward, to be calculating enough to think several steps ahead, and to read others' bluffs are all part of both poker and being a president. Many presidents in U.S. history are known to have been poker players, even though the game really didn't begin to spread until the early-to-mid 19th century. Here listed in reverse order are the top five presidents according to their reputation as players.

Short-Stacked Shamus

Short-Stacked Shamus


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