Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Celebrity Poker Showdown: Superhero Edition

I'm not feeling like delving into poker strategy or anything like that today, so here is a light hearted look into how some of our childhood heroes might play the game we love.

Imagine a table of superheros getting together after a night on patrol and unwinding with a friendly game of poker. Being heroes, they would probably do the ethical thing and not use their powers to cheat. That is pretty boring for my purposes, so I'm going to forget that. I will also dismiss some popular heroes whose powers just don't translate well to poker. Green Lantern may be good in a fight, but at the tables he'd need a green deck to do any tricks. And Wolverine is only good for cutting the deck.

sp.jpgLets start off with Spiderman. Most of his powers don't apply well to cards, but perhaps his "spidey-sense" would warn him when to get out of a hand. Usually this ability is related to physical danger, but financial danger could be close enough.

s.jpgSuperman has a lot of things going for him. Like the Flash, he thinks much faster than you and me, allowing ample time to come to the best decision. He could hear your heart beat to tell if you are lying or, of course, he could simply look at your cards. With x-ray vision he doesn't only know what the other players have, but also the cards yet to come within in the deck.

x3.jpgProfessor Xavier from the X-Men can use his mental abilities to make his opponents forget how to use their powers, or read their thoughts, or force them to fold.

b.jpgBatman has no powers, but he probably knows how to count cards. In the comics he is the "worlds greatest detective" and could see a tell from a mile away. He would do his best to neutralize the major threats at the table by switching the deck with lead-lined cards and fitting his cowl with Magneto's helmet. In addition, his utility belt has an odds calculator and Doyle Brunson's Super System 2 in it.

h.jpgThe incredible Hulk would


w.jpgWonder Woman has a magic lasso that forces whoever it touches to tell the truth. In some games that gets you disqualified, all the better for her.

And the winner is...Professor Charles Xavier. His power over the mind trumps all else. The only way he could loose is if either Batman finds a way to block his thoughts and out-plays Xavier straight up, or if the Hulk kills everyone in the room.


  1. Batman for the win, for exactly the reasons you said.

  2. He could, but he would need time to plan and know who is going to play against ahead of time.

  3. I hate to say it, because I am by no means a superman fan, but he is not human, he is alien. Is there any evidence that Xavier's powers work on anything other than human?

    Realisitically, Superman ain't gonna play with lead lined cards, and he's strong enough and smart enough to destroy such a deck.

    I can't see how Superman can lose in this game. He can see your cards. Perhaps he just gets so unlucky that he never wins a hand? But then, surely he'd make a great bluff from time to time. "Ace King? Two pair? Well I've got pocket nines for the set."

    Wonder Woman should keep her lasso to herself when she's not in the hand. Fair's fair. Superman doesn't tell everyone *all* the hands..

  4. I'll give you that Superman would probably win if Xavier's powers don't affect him. I'm not a huge Marvel fan, so I don't know the Professor's track record with aliens. I have seen Superman mind-controlled by Brainiac and a few others.

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