Poker players react to wild U.S. Election Day happenings as Biden now favored to win

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: November 4, 2020 10:12 pm EST

Joe Biden was favored to beat Donald Trump, the incumbent president. He’s still favored the morning after Election Day. But as of Wednesday, it’s still anyone’s guess as to which candidate will come out victorious.

Throughout Election Day and into the following day, poker Twitter has been a bit bi-polar in assessing the situation. So much for being level-headed, a key trait for being successful poker players.

As of Wednesday morning, Biden is favored (-370 but was -500 earlier in the day). It appears he’s headed to victory — 270 Electoral College votes. But Trump isn’t out of this thing just yet. Late votes being counted in Arizona give the incumbent president hope.

The Associated Press called Arizona for Biden late Tuesday night, and he’s still in the lead. Trump, however, still has an outside shot of squeaking out victory in the crucial swing state. If he somehow does, and scoops the 11 electoral votes, Biden would then be required to win two of the following states: Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Biden is a heavy favorite to win Michigan, so that gives him one of his two outs. But the other states are leaning towards Trump, although that could change at any moment. To sum up the past 18 hours since the polls on the east coast began to close, it’s been one wild, bumpy ride for gamblers and American voters. Trump went from a heavy underdog at the start of election day to a -775 favorite three hours later, and then finished as a +350 underdog.

Poker pros can’t handle the swings

The Election Day craziness led to interesting chatter on poker Twitter. Many poker players such as Bart Hanson, Doug Polk, and Matt Glantz had heavy wagers on the election. So, they were a bit on edge as the odds fluctuated drastically throughout the night and into the following morning. Glantz was ready to cry early in the evening, watching what appeared to be his bet on Biden slipping away.

But then he quickly changed his tone as mail-in ballots in swing states began to come in. Biden rallied in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia as the night progressed. And just as soon as it appeared the former vice president was on the cusp of victory, Glantz changed his tone from depression to jubilation.

Doug Polk was active on Twitter on Election Day, the day before he begins his highly anticipated grudge match against Daniel Negreanu. He bet big on Biden to win and was all over the map with his commentary last night. When the results appeared to indicate Trump was headed for victory, Polk took a shot at the pollsters who were confident in a Biden landslide win.

“Losing NC/TX/GA/OH/PA/FL I can accept. Polling had those within the margin of error, those were reasonable to lose. If Biden loses VA/MI/WI we need to take a fundamentally different approach on polling. Those should not have been so far off, especially after 2016,” Polk wrote.

Like Glantz, he would later change his tone as the evening progressed. His opponent, a fellow liberal Biden voter, wasn’t as active. Instead, Negreanu decided to get some rest in preparation for the heads-up match which begins on Wednesday (you can watch it live on the PokerGO app for free).

Norman Chad, ESPN’s WSOP commentator since 2003, is disappointed in how many people voted for Trump. He claims the president has done enough bad things in office that should have scared voters away.

“In 2016, 63 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. Then, after witnessing four years of White House mayhem and misdeeds, at least 67 million Americans have voted for Trump in 2020. Are we watching the same game?” Chad wrote.

At the time of publication, Biden remains favored but this is 2020, so who knows?

Featured image source: Flickr