No longer just a free-play poker dabbler.
The PokerListings Battle of Malta brought some of poker's biggest names to the Mediterranean last year for what became the biggest tournament ever held on the island.
The buzz apparently reached all the way to the Capitol as Senator John McCain - "caught" playing poker on his smart phone during a Senate hearing on Syria last year - will be among the participants at the tables in 2014.
McCain's staff confirmed today the outspoken Senator and former Presidential candidate will head to the Battle of Malta after vacationing with his family in nearby Italy just prior to the start of the tournament (Nov 6-10).
McCain Unapologetic About Syria Hearing, Focused on His Game
"Scandal!” McCain tweeted last year when the photo of him playing poker on his phone leaked out. “Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!”
The ensuing furor over whether he was dissrespecting the office reached a fever pitch but McCain was unapologetic.
Getting "caught" in Syria hearing inspired McCain to take his game more seriously.
The uproar instead inspired McCain to take his poker game more seriously. He purchased memberships in several notable poker training sites and reportedly invested heavily in the frequent home games among power brokers in Washington.
As one of the premier destination tournaments for low- to mid-stakes poker players the Battle of Malta is right in McCain's wheelhouse and "the perfect opportunity," his staff said, for him to work on his tournament game in a casual and friendly environment.
Should Sen. McCain win the tournament - with a guarantee of €500,000 this year the first-place payout should top €75,000 - his staff said he will donate the proceeds to a charity of his choice.
For more on the 2014 Battle of Malta, visit our page here.