From the Archives - Geronimo Wins!
The great Apache war chief Geronimo led his people’s resistance to the U.S. for many years before surrendering, after which he fairly quickly became a rather model citizen. Like many Indians an ardent gambler – a generation earlier the great Kiowa warchief Setanta had also been a notable sportsman – Geronimo was particularly fond of poker, at which he often won considerable sums, as can be seen in this excerpt from The Army-Navy Journal of August 29, June 9, 1900.
|A Wichita press correspondent states that Geronimo, the famous Apache war chief, deposited in the bank at Chicasha $1,425 some days ago, the result of his winnings at poker. Recently he became a great poker player. He shuffles the cards cautiously, never cheats, and expects his opponents to play fair. He ěs a greater bluffer, and is not afraid to call a bluff. In the spirit of the old deacon's advice to the young men not to bet but if they did to bet on Jones's mare, the chief's conduct ín banking his winnings may be held up as a worthy example to those who seem to lighten a monotonous existence by dalliance with the deceiving jackpot.
Clearly, Geronimo played poker the way he played war, seriuosly. This is demonstrated.both by his penchant for bluffing, and the amounts involved; in 1900 $1,425 was almost as much as a first lieutenant earned in a year, and more than twice the annual wage of the average public school teacher in the nation.