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473 voters

What Historical Figure Would You Bet On In A Poker Game?

Updated October 13, 2018 2.2k votes 473 voters 3.5k views8 items

List RulesVote for the historical figure from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure you think would prevail in a poker tourney. If you think there's additional elements about the figures to consider, add it in the comments so it can be factored into the odds

Because there's nothing better for you to do at work today (besides play online poker), now seems like the perfect time to discuss how historical figures might fare in a WSOP tournament style. To get a little more specific, how the historical figures Bill & Ted collect in the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure would fare in a poker tournament.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bill & Ted (how dare you), they are a couple of slackers who travel through time in a phone booth to assemble a dream team of historical figures to aid them in their final oral presentation for their history class. Along the way, they encounter some of the most important historical figures of all time and then unleash them into the unsuspecting city of San Dimas where they cause general havoc among the present-day citizens.

Why Bill & Ted, you may ask. Well, positing how historical figures would fare playing poker seemed like an awesome idea and the majority of people who seemed really cool to pit against each other were already acquainted through the Bill & Ted universe, hence the idea to put them all at a Texas Hold 'Em table and see what happened once the cards flew.

For the sake of creating odds, some criteria we applied to the players, mainly that even though poker wasn't played in a modern-day style until the early 1800's in the U.S., that all the players would have a working knowledge of the game and some of the strategy involved. To be fair, the exact origins of the game are largely unknown with theories of its creation possibly traced to China c. 900 A.D. and to the French game "Poque" in the 15th century. Point is, all these competitors, for the sake of the poker tournament, would know how to play seven card Texas Hold 'Em.
  • 1

    Billy the Kid

    Notable As: Gun slinger, outlaw, general bad ass

    Potential Pros:
    - Dude is from the Old West where poker was THE thing. Literally, poker the way it's played in its modern form was invented on the river boats of Louisiana and the bars of Old West towns like Deadwood and Tombstone
    - He killed his first man when he was 15, so the other players might want to avoid being on his bad side by winning 
    - Probably excellent at cheating

    Potential Cons:
    - Professional killers can be hotheaded; might push in at the wrong time
    - The literacy and education rate at the time was low, so he may not have full command of the odds

    Odds: 5-2
    Agree or disagree?
  • Notable as: legendary French army commander

    Potential Pros:
    - Had a lot of time on Elba and Saint Helena to play card games since his wife and kid remained on the mainland
    - Guy wins at all costs. He's considered one of the greatest strategists of all time – military or otherwise – and routinely commanded his outnumbered troops to victory
    - Makes it a point to find a way out of sticky situations (like being exiled to an island) to rise triumphant 

    Potential Cons:
    - He's a hothead who likes to get his way. If he lost a clutch hand or two, he might dig his own grave
    - Is he tall enough to see over the top of the table?

    Odds: 4-1
    Agree or disagree?
  • Notable as: emperor of the Mongol empire

    Potential Pros:
    - Guy is fearless. He'll call somebody's bluff just to make sure nobody makes him look bad
    - Does anyone want to cross a man who commanded a horde as they conquered Asia?

    Potential Cons:
    - He's a hothead; might make ridiculous bets when bluffing
    - Might not be able to go the length of the tournament without breaking for food and women
    - Would he have any semblance of a poker face or just throw his club up when he's dealt good cards?

    Odds: 50-1
    Agree or disagree?
  • Notable as: one of the finest American Presidents of all time

    Potential Pros:
    - He was a great decision maker who wasn't afraid to take a chance on something he believed in
    - Able to quickly and efficiently weigh the pros and cons of a hand (knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'em)
    - Had a commanding presence and a piercing stare that would greatly enhance his ability to bluff if not for the fact that...

    Potential Cons:
    - He was known as HONEST Abe. How can a guy known as Honest Abe possibly bluff? Or maybe that's just what he wants you to think...

    Odds: 8-1
    Agree or disagree?