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Great Poker Stories

Article written by Randy G.
Friday, January 18, 2008

Here are a couple of great poker historical events:

A man named Kenny Smith was a poker player in the middle of the 20th century. He always wore a silk top hat and whenever he won a pot he would stand up waving his hat yelling “What a player”. This earned him the nickname “Whatta Player Smith”. Bob Hooks was one of the best players at this time and he sat down with “Whatta Payer”. Some hands later, Kenny raised the pot and Bob pushed all-in. Kenny just sat there staring at his opponent. After awhile nothing had changed, so Bob reached over and took Kenny’s cards. He found two aces. Still quiet, Bob pushed Kenny’s chips into the pot and lost all his money. Kenny “Whatta Player” Smith didn’t even need to move to win that hand.

The largest raise in history happened in 1889. The game was No Limit Five Card Draw at Bowen’s Saloon in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Two men were playing; the first was Ike Jackson who was one of the richest ranchers in the entire west. The second man was Johnny Dougherty who was renowned as a great poker player. The game had already lasted several hours and more than 100 spectators had gathered to watch. Even the Governor of New Mexico, L. Bradford Prince, was in the audience. The pot had grown to around $100,000 when Ike wrote out a deed to his ranch consisting of over 10,000 heads of cattle. Johnny wrote out his own piece of paper and got out of his chair. He pulled out his pistol and held it to the Governors’ head and told him to sign the paper or he would pull the trigger. The governor signed it right away. Johnny returned to the poker table and through the piece of paper into the pot. Ike looked down at the paper and folded his hand. On the piece of paper was written “I’ll raise you the territory of New Mexico”.

Poker’s history is full of great stories and great players. There are of course many more stories like these that are quite entertaining.



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