Poker Boom 2.0 — is Beyonce the next Chris Moneymaker?

Mo Afdhal
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Posted on: February 12, 2024 8:54 pm EST

If you had a “Beyonce Starts Poker Boom 2.0” square on your 2024 bingo card–two things. First, bingo! Second, seek help, as you are about to become the most clairvoyant person on the planet.

Last night, during Super Bowl LVIII, Beyonce released two new singles: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 carriages”. With all due respect to the latter, we here at PokerOrg were much more interested in “Texas Hold ‘Em”–purely due to the inevitable Poker Boom 2.0 that Beyonce is now all but guaranteed to usher in.

We say this mostly in jest, but when you crunch the numbers, it’s not all that crazy.

In terms of global reach and influence, Beyonce ranks in the upper echelons of fame–comparable only to names like Kim Kardashian, Lionel Messi, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Queen of the Beyhive, as she’s known by her most loyal supporters, commands a following of over 320 million on Instagram alone.

Now, imagine that all 320 million of those followers listen to this song–and they will.

Then, of those 320 million, say 20% head to Google and search: “what is Texas Hold’em?”

If 5% of that group end up joining the poker community, what do you get? Poker Boom 2.0.

See, not that far fetched at all, right? The NFL just pulled it off with Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift as their pawns, who’s to say that the WSOP or the WPT doesn’t have a similar plan up its sleeve?

Poker in music

On a more serious note (sort of), hearing Beyonce’s new song got us thinking about the best representations of our game in music. Songs about poker specifically don’t find their way into the zeitgeist too often, but mentions of the gambler’s lifestyle abound.

There’s no specific order to this list, these are just the songs we came up with jokes for.

“The Gambler” – Kenny Rogers

You know this one, everyone knows this one. The guitar picking tickles at the start before Kenny–the crooner of all crooners–comes in with: “On a warm summer’s eve…”

Before you know it, the whole bar/party/cardroom/funeral home starts singing along: “You got to know when to hold ’em…”

There’s a key line in the chorus, “You never count your money while you’re sittin’ at the table”, that countless poker players choose to ignore entirely–a sign of utter disrespect to Kenny which, frankly, we won’t stand for any longer.

So, the next time anyone asks you how much you’ve got in your stack, there’s only one right answer: “There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”

“Ace of Spades” – Motorhead

This one might not resonate with as many poker players, but there’s no denying its association with poker and the gambling life.

If you need further proof, look no further than these three lines where lead singer Lemmy Kilmister explains his thought process when bluff-raising the river on an unpaired, monotone board:

The only card I need
Is the Ace of Spades
The Ace of Spades

Blockers aren’t real, Lemmy!

“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga

The obvious choice on this list, sure. The low-hanging fruit of the group, no doubt about it. These are true statements, and yet, it still makes the list. Why, you ask? Well, it’s a certified banger of a song, that’s why–open your ears.

It’s tough to cover all the poker and gambling references in “Poker Face”, but there’s one that demands attention. In fact, it’s the entirety of the song’s bridge.

I won’t tell you that I love you
Kiss or hug you
‘Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin
I’m not lyin’, I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunnin’
Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand ’cause I’m marvelous

There’s a theory about this part of the song. It’s a theory that we’ve come up with while writing this piece, but a theory nonetheless.

Why would Lady Gaga write a song about a poker face? Does she play poker? Possibly, but we can’t be sure. If you think about it, the connection is tenuous at best. Why would she write this song?

Answer: she didn’t write it alone.

If not her, then who? Well–it’s obvious, isn’t it? Who in the poker community stands out as being known for their musical appreciation? Doesn’t this sound an awful lot like something a certain track-suited poker professional would write? Does anyone else remember this over-the-top player entrance to the 2010 WSOP Europe Main Event?

That’s right, that’s the theory: Phil Hellmuth was a ghostwriter on Lady Gaga’s smash-hit “Poker Face”.

There’s probably no way to prove the validity of this well-constructed theory, but do you know what other theory has no proof? Sir Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravity. And that’s real, isn’t it?

Case closed.