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Poker Players Make Political Bets As Election Day Nears

Several High-Stakes Gamblers Are Making Bets On Which Candidate Will Win The Presidency Tuesday


In every hand of poker ever dealt, a poker player uses a combination of intuition and statistical analysis to take incomplete information and make the best possible decision at each juncture.

Clearly, those same groups of gamblers will be gambling on the election. There is a lot of incomplete information, there is a ton of statistical analysis, and especially in this election cycle, there is a lot of intuition used.

Most major polls give the Democratic nominee Joe Biden a big lead heading into Tuesday’s election, but those same polls were projecting a similar landslide win for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last year’s results are influencing some in the poker world to bet on President Donald Trump to win the election.

In America, it’s not legal for any regulated site to accept wagers on the election. With time running out before the ballots are counted, a lot of poker players looking for some action on the election took to social media to book some last-minute bets against other gamblers.

High-stakes mixed games specialist Matt Glantz has been one of the most active election gamblers in the poker community. For most of the year, Glantz was betting as much as he could on Biden. Last week, however, as odds on Trump became more favorable, Glantz started looking to hedge some of his previous bets.

Even though the Pennsylvania native was betting a little bit on Trump, he still thinks Biden is the clear favorite to win the election. He just couldn’t resist betting against Biden at -200.

“I think I am giving it away, but gotta ring the register on it,” he tweeted at Kyle Julius.

Poker legend Doyle Brunson wasn’t actively looking for a bet but took Glantz’s tweet as an opportunity to express why there are still people willing to bet against Biden.

Five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jason Mercier echoes Brunson’s sentiment about the election but tweeted Monday morning that he was trying to bet on Biden.

Businessman and high-stakes poker enthusiast Bill Perkins took it even one step further. He was looking to make a bet that Biden would win one of the most historically red states in the country’s history.

Brett Richey, a former poker pro with just shy of $1.6 million in live tournament earnings is saying that Trump’s true odds are much closer to where the market is betting Biden right now.

In a follow-up tweet to WSOP bracelet winner Bryan Campanello, Richey elaborated that he believes polling is an outdated metric to handicapping political races. Combine that with the uniqueness of a Trump presidency and it was enough for Richey to make the statement.

“It’s hard to model for his strengths,” tweeted Richey. “His internal polling was much stronger than anyone else’s in 2016, why is everyone so sure the outsiders are right this time?”

While American markets can’t bet on the election, online sportsbook and daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings is offering a free-to-enter election contest with six-figures in prizes available. As in any daily fantasy-like contest, there is an edge to taking the contrarian side, but according to a Monday tweet, an overwhelming majority of the contest picked the underdog incumbent.

Perhaps nobody in the poker world has more riding on the election than Dan O’Brien, who tweeted Monday that he would be in bad shape financially if Trump gets another four years.

Those outside the borders of the United States are allowed to bet on the outcome of the election. According to a recent report, most of those wagers have been placed on Biden.