Now that Obama is telling his opponents to their faces that they shouldn’t call his bluff, some are wondering about his poker skills. Does he know it’s played with those little cards with the numbers and symbols on them? Well, it turns out that not only has he played poker before, but he’s awesome at it.
From the Daily Beast on Nov. 6, 2008 — back when the left was still swooning over their new president because he hadn’t had to do anything yet — here’s a delectable tidbit by author and poker expert Anthony Holden:
Among the countless blessings conferred by the election of Barack Obama is the energizing fact —until now little-known —that poker will be back in the White House for the first time in 35 years. Not since Richard Nixon has the United States had a dedicated player of its historic national game in the Oval Office.
Throughout the campaign, Obama’s media minders have been far from keen for you to know this. Asked early on by the Press Association to name a “hidden talent,” Obama rashly revealed that he considers himself “a pretty good poker-player.” Subsequent investigations were hampered by a blanket shutdown on the subject from said minders. But it was already on the record that, after a cool reception from fellow legislators in 1997, when he first took his seat in the Illinois state senate, Obama won over colleagues of all parties with his charm and expertise at the green baize.
Of course, it’s difficult to find something Obama doesn’t think he’s good at. But as we’ve seen this week, he is indeed a master poker player.
And if you doubt it… don’t call his bluff!