Did you know that many famous historic personalities loved to gamble? This is true! Kings, presidents, and poets had just the trait fit for playing cards and making bets with extraordinary big sums of money.
Moreover, many famous historic personalities play at online casinos, which guarantees their anonymity.
Charles II – a famous gambler
Charles II, a ruler of England and Scotland in the 17th century. He was one of the most popular and beloved kings, the people named him, the Merry Monarch. As soon as he came to the throne, he made the gambling legitimate. Charles II loved to play games and make bets.
He fell in love with gambling in the exile, and when took back the kingdom, made those games very popular at his court. However, he was a clever player; many who played with him – lost, increasing the size of the treasury. Many political issues of England were solved behind a table with cards. Ambassadors that were planning on coming to England had to know both diplomacy and how to shuffle cards.
During his time, card debtors ran away to America, thus, bringing gambling to the New World.
Elizabeth of Russia, frisky Empress
Russian Empress, Elizabeth Petrovna, is famous for two reasons: attracting useful people and have fun. She had a very frisky life having tossed her ruling responsibilities to trusty favourites. One of the main hobbies of her was playing card games like faro, and the like, popular in 18th century. She was not a bad player either.
However, at the sunset of her life, she issued a decree dividing games into tow categories – one was banned, one was not. Although, and this is interesting, there was a clause in the decree where one only play banned games in the quarters of the empress.
Giacomo Casanova, seducer-gambler
Most of us have heard the name of Casanova, a common noun nowadays that denotes a sly, egoistic seducer. A famous rascal and writer of 18th century was also an excellent gambler, almost a professional.
In his book, “Histoire de ma vie”, he described his numerous liaises with women, meetings with cardinals, kings and aristocrats. He also mentioned his love to gamble. Back then, everyone played, even the clergy. These ones were very popular: aforon, basset, lottery, picket, prima, whist, fifteen, biribi.
Casanova said that he pursued his goals by playing those games. Sometimes he needed money, sometimes wanted to flirt and establish connections, sometimes wanted to showoff.
Ludwig van Beethoven, genius composer that made a living playing cards
Beethoven was lucky to become a very popular composer during his life time. People were buying his music and it was quite popular. However, he lived at the end of the 18th century, in an unstable country with sky high inflation. Sometimes, he did not have any money for food or clothing.
To somehow survive those time, Beethoven played cards. He liked the game that is similar to modern poker. He played the game so good that sometimes the winnings from the game were higher than those of his musical events.
Abraham Lincoln, President who played Poker
Abraham Lincoln is the first president of United States that was registered as a professional poker player. Furthermore, gambling games in the White House were not that rare, 19 American presidents like to spend time behind the poker table.
Lincoln came form a puritan family yet did not object to gambling. In his youth, he was a cockfight referee, where he got the nickname Honest Abe. A bit later, he went to work on a boat where he learned to play poker. He loved to work on a river and play with all sorts of different people. He was quite good at it. Moreover, during the Civil War, many cards beared the portrait of his.
Poker was so popular during his reign that the following presidents were putting together a team looking at their card skills. Warren Harding used to play poker with his members of the cabinet at least twice a weak.
Mark Twain, a writer that could not live without poker
Mark Twain made a living for himself doing all kinds of jobs. He served on a boat in Mississippi, was a miner, a publisher, a journalist, and of course a writer. He also knew how to play a 5-card stud poker and make some money out of it. He liked it from the very beginning of childhood. The episodes where Tom Sawyer is playing about with cards in the church are, maybe, taken from his youth.
He loved to play on the road and could distinguish a cheater. Cards made him friends with lots of influential people. Thus, for more than 20 years, he was having lunch and played poker with Roosevelt. Moreover, his card friends included American economist Henry Rogers, and congressman – Tom Reed.
One of the most famous quote of his is: “There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. It is enough to make one ashamed of one’s species”.
Winston Churchill, an intellectual player
Churchill, like any other British aristocrat, gambled from the very youth of his. His favourite was bezique, a very hard game that no everyone could enjoy.
He was also very proficient at poker, having learned it during the Second Boer War. The most famous game of his was a hand with Truman on the train to Fulton, where Churchill had the famous speech “announcing” the Cold War.
Churchill was not a bad player, yet Truman was an excellent one, practicing his skill regularly with his cabinet. Just in an hour of playing, Churchill lost about $250!
Leo Tolstoy, victim of gambling in his youth
Leo Tolstoy is always famous not only for his novels and family life, but for frisky youth. He was quite a gambler, a lavish and unlucky one.
The most infamous game of his was the one with the landlord Gorokhovyy. Tolstoy lost Yasnaya Polyana to him, in particular the main building of the mansion. Gorokhovyy did take it away, literally, piece by piece. Although Tolstoy wanted to get back the house of his childhood, sadly, he could not.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, inspired by roulette
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a great Russian novelist, had a very flamboyant life. He was known for his passion to cards and multiple romantic liaisons. Once in Wiesbaden, he got so excited playing roulette that lost almost all of the wife’s dowry.
Although, such strong emotions got him to write his novel, “The Gambler”, in only 3 weeks. Furthermore, in the next game sessions, he was able to profit, cover his debts and publish a novel. He was saved from gambling by his second wife, with whom he was happily married ever after.
Claude Monet, became rich in lottery
Perhaps, Claude Monet’s example is the brightest one from all of the famous people passionate about gambling. In his early years, he was poor and worked as a messenger for little to no coin, thus, did not have any time for art. Yet, he a keen gambler who liked lottery.
Once, he won 100 000 franks! A spectacular sum of money for that time. He was able to dump that nasty job and devote himself to art.
Frank Sinatra, a highroller
Frank was very keen on gambling. They say that his bets were as high as his majestic voice. There was no casino in Nevada in which he hasn’t had a go.
He loved casinos sum much he opened his very own – Cal Neva, on the shore of the Tahoe lake. It was located on Nevada’s side which allowed gambling. Across the lake, there was the state of California where people could not indulge themselves in a round of poker. The singer brought to this business many celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and one of her husbands – Joe DiMaggio
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