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12 Poker Fun Facts You Didn’t Know

In a game like poker with such a rich history and so many classic stories and myths, there’s tons of interesting facts and tid-bits. Next time you sit down at the poker table, bust out some of these poker fun facts!

poker fun facts

Photo: BBC

These are our top 12 interesting poker fun facts.

  1. When poker first started in the American South, players gambled for gold nuggets, dust, and coins. Eventually saloons invented chips to provide a standard unit.

  2. Poker was originally played with 20 cards. The 52 card deck came about so that more people could play.

  3. The longest ever continuous poker game lasted for eight years, five months, and three days at the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881.

  4. The longest ever continuous poker session by one player was Phil Laak's 2010 marathon session of 115 hours straight at the Bellagio.

  5. Poker player Andrei Karpov bet and lost his wife in a poker game. She willingly left him for the winner anyway.

  6. In the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, nobody has ever won the title with pocket aces. However, two runner-ups lost the final hand when their aces got cracked.

  7. President Warren G. Harding lost all the White House china to General Douglas MacArthur’s wife, Louise, in a poker game.

  8. President Richard Nixon was also an avid poker player. He purportedly used his poker winnings to fund his presidential campaign.

  9. The world’s largest ever poker tournament was an online event with 253,692 players. An Austrian man won the whole thing after playing 470 hands.

  10. Only four players have won back-to-back WSOP Main Event titles: Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan.

  11. Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth holds the record for most WSOP bracelets: 16!

  12. The biggest ever payout from a single poker tournament went to beloved pro Antonio Esfandiari after his 2012 win of The Big One for One Drop. He took home nearly $18.35 million!


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