The Muck: Poker Players Pick Animals They'd Team Up w/ in Fight

Patrick Leonard

At some point in your life, you may have asked yourself which animals you'd team up with in a fight to the death against an endless hoard of ravenous rats, wolves and buffalo. If you haven't indulged in this enlightening thought experiment, don't worry. There are dozens of poker players who have already done so.

Last week, British poker pro and World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Patrick Leonard tweeted out a grid of various dangerous animals and the caption "Pick Two: They will defend you. The rest (are) coming to kill you."

Always opinionated and eager to discuss strategy of any kind, hundreds of poker players replied to Leonard's inquiry, including top minds like Mike McDonald and Bill Perkins. All of this and more is the subject of our latest edition of The Muck.

Lions, Poker Players & Bears

Dozens of poker players and social media users weighed in as to which two animals would be the best to team up with if the rest were coming to kill you:

  • 10,000 rats
  • 50 eagles
  • 15 wolves
  • 10 crocodiles
  • 7 bulls
  • 5 gorillas
  • 4 lions
  • 3 bears
  • 1 human hunter

"Eagles give you the best defense bc of the distance they cover and at 50x pretty dangerous in attack mode," tweeted Kyle Kitagawa. "I'm stuck between rats and gorilla for option 2 tho."

"I think the 50 eagle(s) you pretty much have to take because impossible to defend against," contributed Christopher Frank. "Unsure about the second one."

But others were less bullish on eagles, including Leonard, who countered that "50 eagles snap come down and mill me" and claimed to have found the "winning formula" by pairing rats and crocodiles in the water.

"Rats can swim for up to 3 minutes, they even more dangerous underwater because you can’t see them," the 2022 WSOP Tag Team champion pontificated. "Any animal who gets past a crocodile has a pack of rats attacking. The shooter is the big danger but I’d sacrifice 50 rats to kill him."

McDonald pushed back on Leonard's theory, noting that "wolves etc can hold off many rats to defend the hunter while he headshots you."

"Also you have 2 of the worst things to defend against the eagles," added Timex.

At this point, Leonard adjusted his battle plan to put himself "in the loft of a building hiding with 10,000 rats attacking everything + one other animal at the top of the stairs."

"Crocodiles won’t be able to climb stairs so it negates them, makes it big struggle for eagles and the gunman doesn’t have a clean shot," he said about his adjusted strategy.

Other alliances that poker players considered included eagles and lions, lions and gorillas, lions and rats, and rats and the hunter.

Which Animals Could You Beat in a Fight?

As Leonard and others were assembling their bestial teams, an adjacent discussion took place on poker Twitter when former PokerStars pro Liv Boeree tweeted a Statista chart showing the percentage of Brits and Americans who believe they could win a fight unarmed against various animals.

Most of those polled believed they could easily beat smaller animals like rats, cats and dogs, but fewer were convinced they would stand a chance against a chimpanzee, king cobra or kangaroo, and hardly anyone had illusions they could take on an elephant or grizzly.

Perkins, who pointed out the similarity between the two discussions taking place, questioned "how many rats before the odds are even, I'd say 7 to 10."

"I see 7 rats, I'd want a weapon," Perkins said.

Content creator Melissa Schubert said that she was "more surprised by the confidence vs bald eagle…or any of the animals under it for that matter" and argued that "humans are overly confident in their abilities."

Which of the animal pairings would you choose to team up with in a fight to the death? Give your answer in the poll below.

  • Dozens of poker players discussed which animals they would team up with in a fight to the death.

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