The 2013 World Series of Poker kicks off today in Las Vegas. The month-long carnival of cards features 62 different tournaments, culminating with the 10-day Main Event. 6,598 players put up the $10,000 entry fee for last year's Main Event; the champion walked away with a coveted World Series gold bracelet and a cool $8.53 million.
Over the years, poker and the presidency have been inextricably linked. President Truman played poker with reporters for twelve hours a day on the ship returning from the Potsdam Conference and President Nixon is said to have used his winnings from the poker table to help fund one of his early political campaigns. In his seminal poker book, “Positively Fifth Street” author James McManus quotes one of Nixon’s college professors as saying “A man who couldn’t hold a hand in a first-class poker game is not fit to be President of the United States.” Indeed, many of the skills needed for success in a poker room can also be useful in the Oval Office.