One of the greatest honors a country can bestow upon someone is to place thatperson’s portrait on their nation’s currency. Here is a list of players the Ante Up Nation would like to have on its U.S. currency, if we lived in such a world. Fingers crossed!
This wasn’t as easy as you might think. There are only so many bills of currency we can use to honor these poker players. Yes, we could have used coins, but after you put Jennifer Harman where Sacagawea is on the dollar coin, then what? It’s all downhill from there. So we paid homage to history for the most part and inserted humor where we could.
Here’s my list:
$1: Doyle Brunson. Nuff said. We thought about Johnny Moss or even Wild Bill Hickok, but it just has to be DB.
$2: People think the $2 bill is odd and out of circulation (the bill is still printed by the way), which is how one might characterize Mike Caro. He’s odd and lives in the Ozarks. You might think he should be on the $5 bill because he’s the greatest five-card draw player ever, but we went in another direction there.
$5: Edward G. Robinson, not as himself, but rather as The Man in the Cincinnati Kid. He’s the king of five-card stud, and he has to have that hat and stogie in his portrait or no dice. He can even be holding up the if it will add more flair.
$10: We thought about Johnny Chan because he was the first to 10 bracelets, but American-born players probably should be on American money. So, we’ll put David Sklansky on the bill to keep the math guys happy. And 10 is how many fingers we have and use when counting outs, which explains why we suck at calculating pot odds.
$20: Chris Moneymaker gets the nod here, but this bill is special because the front and back are identical, giving the illusion that you have two $20 bills, the same amount he paid to enter the satellite that ultimately led to his WSOP seat and world title.
$50: People say this bill is unlucky, that poker players don’t like the bill because it brings them misfortune. Well, Chip Reese won the first-ever $50K H.O.R.S.E. event at the WSOP, and died shortly thereafter at the young age of 56. That’s as unlucky as it gets.
$100: A true gambler, Stu Ungar lived life on the edge, and the $100 bill is synonymous with gambling. We almost put him on the $50 bill, but when you think of how much money he won, lost and blew on drugs you have to think of excess, and there’s no larger denomination than the $100 bill.
— Email Chris at chris@anteupmagazine.