Wild Bill Hickok: Poker Legend

It is always interesting to go back and have a look at the people who made history playing poker and other casino games. These are the people who made casinos, slots, and poker what it is today.

A historical name with a significance, when it comes to playing poker, Wild Bill Hickok was a skilled sharpshooter who took up poker in his later years. He is famously known for holding the most famous hand in poker.

Born in 1837, he joined the Jayhawkers, a vigilante group at 18 years old, where he met Buffalo Bill. In his early years, he worked as a constable, stable hand, freight rider, soldier and as a detective.

His name was on everyone’s tongue after the July 1861 McCanles Massacre that happened in Rock Creek at Nebraska. Hickok was working as a stable hand at a farm in Rock Creek when two brothers, William and David McCanles, came with some of their farmhands to cause trouble. He killed three men in the ensuing shootout.

Hickok was involved in many shootouts in which he always emerged the winner. He was dismissed from sheriff duty and put his marksmanship to use at Buffalo Bill’s show which did not last long, thanks to his drinking and lack of acting abilities.

Downtrodden, Hickok made a home for himself at Deadwood town in South Dakota. He gambled to make ends meet. He always had a good hand although his eyesight was deteriorating. For a man who had lived his life rough, he got tender because of love and care from Calamity Jane. Many wild wide west story lovers know of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane’s story.

A cautious man, Hickok always made sure he sat at a vantage point whenever he was playing poker at a pub. At the time of his death, someone was sitting in his favourite seat at Saloon 10 in the corner. Jack McCall, who had something against Hickok, shot him in the head killing him.

Hickok was holding Black Aces and Eights at the time of his death, known as the Dead Man’s Hand.