April 29, 2003
Ba'ath Poker Update

Welcome, InstaPundit readers.

I don't have an actual Ba'ath Poker game, but the cards to play it are listed in order in this file, now updated to reflect today's capture of the 15th of the 55 Most Wanted Iraqis. It can also be reached via the yellow 'Ba'ath Poker Deal' button.

Scrolling down, the same file includes a handy cross-reference chart showing how the list of 55 matches up with the 52-card deck, and (just added) a graph plotting date of capture on the X axis against rank (of 55) on the Y.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at April 29, 2003 11:56 PM

Some observations from a poker weenie:

The best hand that can be made so far is 8s full of 7s(3 eights, two sevens).

Also, the suit ranking is wrong. It's Spade, Heart, Diamond, Club. That doesn't have any bearing on the actual winning hand, but it does matter on who bets first during a 7 card stud hand.

I know, its pretty unimportant on the whole geopolitical scheme of things, but like I said, I'm a poker weenie.

Posted by: John Bono on April 30, 2003 09:42 AM

I thought the best available hand would be a full house of Eights and Queens. Am I missing something here?

As for the order of suits, I'm just going with the one implied by the (partial) matchup between the list of 55 and the deck of 52. (See my chart, part II of the Ba'ath Poker file.) The ordering of Aces (1-4), Jacks (11-14), Nines (39-42), and Twos (30-33) is definitely Spade, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, though Sixes go Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and the others are even more confused. It looks like whoever designed the deck either was not totally familiar with the rules of poker, or had some reason to ignore them. Putting the black suits first for a black-hearted regime? Giving reputed rapist Uday the Ace of Hearts? Hard to say.

Someone on (I think) Rantburg mentioned the "dead man's hand", which Wild Bill Hickock was supposedly holding when he died: black Queens, black Eights, and a fifth card still argued about. It's interesting that Tariq Aziz is the Eight of Spades. Given that he's by far the most familiar figure who doesn't rate an Ace, I wonder if someone intentionally made him the Eight of Spades for a different kind of significance. Then again, the governor of Basra is Eight of Diamonds, and he doesn't seem all that important.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on April 30, 2003 10:15 AM

Cool! Now I can play more than just "Iraqi Solitare" with my deck! ;-)

Posted by: Dave on May 4, 2003 07:55 PM