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Poker & Pop Culture: George Devol, the Ultimate Steamboat Sharp

We concluded last week with the thundering words of card sharp John Backus in Mark Twain‘s “The Professor’s Yarn” echoing in our ears. “I’m a professional gambler” he loudly proclaimed after outcheating an opponent in a hand of poker aboard a 19th-century steamboat. It’s an emphatic line, suggesting not only …

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