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Barack Obama

President Barack Obama is a keen poker player

President Barack Obama is a keen poker player

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States and, by all accounts, a pretty decent poker player.

Obama, who was elected to the White House in November 2008, regularly played low stakes poker games on Capitol Hill when he was a senator for Illnois.

To break up the tedium of long legislative sessions, senators from both parties and their advisors would routinely play low-stakes Texas Hold'em, stud and draw poker - usually accompanied by pizza and beer.

"It was a fun way for people to relax and share stories and give each other a hard time over friendly competition," Obama once wrote. "It was a way to get to know other senators including Republicans."

Obama was a tight, aggressive player preferring to enter pots only occasionally when he had a strong hand - which made his rare bluffs even more believable.

He gained a reputation for being a good player who studied the odds carefully.  

"When Barack stayed in, you pretty much figured he's got a good hand," says Larry Walsh, a former senator.

Obama, who is also a West Ham fan, describes poker as a 'hidden talent' and rates himself a 'pretty good' player.

If he had a weakness, it was being a bad loser.

Sen. Terry Link, a Democrat from the Chicago suburbs, recalls: "He didn't throw his cards or take a swing at anybody, but he wasn't a happy person.

"He's got that competitive spirit, no doubt about it."

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Celebrity Details

Name: Barack Obama
Age: 55
Born: Honolulu, Hawaii
Lives: Washington DC, United States

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