That Time When Stephen Hawking Played Poker Against Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Data

1 year ago
That Time When Stephen Hawking Played Poker Against Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Data
15 Mar

The world is in mourning, Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientific minds of the past 100 years, has passed away. On this day, we take a look at Hawking, the poker player, by remembering his famous game with Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Data, in one of the most memorable scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

USS Enterprise's Lieutenant Commander Data was a well-known poker fan, he called the game "a useful forum for exploring the different facets of humanity" despite at times being baffled by obscure poker concepts such as... bluffing

He was so fascinated by the game that in the season 6 finale "The Descent part 1", he used the Holodeck (a room that created lifelike simulations) to have a 4 handed poker game with three of the greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein, Newton and, of course, Stephen Hawking. 

The game was Data's favorite, 5-Card Draw, blinds and antes were meaningless in the post-scarcity economy of the 24th Century (that or the Star Trek writers knew jack about poker). We only saw a single hand but it was enough to tell us about the type of player Hawking was...

Did you catch that? He is relaxed, making jokes, entertaining the fish Albert Einstein while taking that old nit Isaac Newton down a peg. Based on this clip, we can tell Stephen Hawking could've been a stone cold poker pro

...That is instead of just being one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen.

Good game, Professor Hawking, your great sense of humor will be sorely missed but your brilliant mind will live on for generations!

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