Poker’s unique combination of ego and money has led to numerous rivalries between players that continue long after cards hit the muck. Many such duels even became legends years after play ended.
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Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan
Doyle Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas – a small town three hours southwest of Dallas – before moving with his family to Houston when he was an infant, where he began gambling as a teen.
He eventually dropped out of school to gamble full time, eventually rising through the ranks to become one of poker’s premier players and winning several tournaments – including back-to-back World Series of Poker main event titles in 1987 and 88 as well as appearing as an extra in the movie Rounders.
Chan was once tied with Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth for most WSOP gold bracelets with 10. Known for his boisterous approach at the table, often talking over other players while using profanities such as swear words. Chan has gone on to own his own fast food restaurant as well as consulting casinos and game makers; still considers himself to be among the world’s greatest poker players with an inimitable swagger that only can be equaled by his skills at the table.
Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk
After years of disagreement between live and online poker pros Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, it appears they may finally be on good terms again. After facing each other in a 25,000-hand heads-up no-limit hold’em challenge match that culminated with Polk winning by $1.2 million, many were amazed at just how well the two got along during it.
Polk was highly impressed with Negreanu’s play throughout the series and felt that he made necessary adjustments to his game in order to remain competitive. Polk was further struck by how capable and competitive Negreanu was despite only possessing limited heads-up experience during this particular match.
Negreanu was critical of Polk for using pre-flop charts during their match, which is unfair to players who do not utilize such techniques. Still, he noted his satisfaction with how well he performed in the opening session – including winning some big pots and taking down an easy 7.5 buy-in win!
50 Cent and Randall Emmett
If you follow celebrity poker and reality TV shows, then chances are you have seen the explosive, NSFW online feud between rapper 50 Cent and Vanderpump Rules host Lala Kent this weekend. Their fight centers around an $1 Million loan Emmett made to 50 Cent six years ago from Power.
50 is upset that Emmett hasn’t paid back the money yet, so he publicly taunts him on Instagram by sharing text exchanges between them, including one where Emmett apologized for missing the deadline while using autocorrect on an iPhone to misspell his own name (“fofty”).
50 Cent responded by posting another text from Emmett that read: “Please ask 50 to be in my wedding this weekend and pay him back immediately.” As reported by both parties’ social media accounts, the feud appears to be winding down; both parties have since deleted posts from social media.
The Dead Man’s Hand
One of the most iconic hands in poker, known as “Dead Man’s Hand,” consists of black aces and eights. This hand has long been linked with Wild Bill Hickok, an iconic lawman and poker player who was fatally shot at a poker table in 1876 while holding this pair; thus earning its moniker “Dead Man’s Hand.”
This hand has since come to be associated with death and danger, which explains its frequent appearances in movies and television shows. For instance, on Criminal Minds Hotch claims he has a Dead Man’s Hand to gain information from an inmate on death row.
While no proof exists to prove Hickok was in fact holding this hand at his death, it remains an iconic image of the Wild West and today, is widely used as casino logos or insignia for various police departments.