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Kenny Rogers Passes Away at 81, Leaves 1978 Hit Song "The Gambler" as His Mark on Poker

Tags: country music, Kenny Rogers, poker music, poker songs.
Posted on 23 March 2020 by "T".

Legendary country music singer Kenny Rogers passed away peacefully from natural causes at the age of 81 on Friday, March 20.

He is one of the biggest-selling recording artists of all time, having released 65 albums and sold over 165 million records, but in the world of poker, he is best known for his iconic 1978 song "The Gambler", a song about a travelling poker player who gives his best advice to the song's narrator.

The chorus in the song definitely strikes a chord to all poker players who love the game:

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table,
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

Originally written by Don Schlitz, the song was performed by many other artists even before Rogers made it his own. The song gave inspiration to five TV movies from 1980-1994 with Rogers serving as the gambler and goes by the name Brady Hawkes.

Rogers once said, "The Gambler series has always held a special place in my heart. I loved making those films that grew out of a character in one of my favorite songs."

Kenny Rogers at the 1979 WSOP
In 1979, Kenny Rogers attended the World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe to sing "The Gambler". Other than that, the song also became the theme song for the broadcast of that year's WSOP Main Event on CBS.

Truth is, Rogers doesn't really play the game, and has no clue how to play Texas Hold'em.

Rogers told host Frank Glieber at the WSOP, "It's so funny, because every time I go places now, people will say to me, ‘you gotta know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. And I keep thinking about how many times I've sat down at these tables and didn't know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."

In 2014, Rogers appeared in a Geico auto insurance commercial where he repeated the role of a gambler, hence continuing the song's decades-long run as poker's unofficial theme song.



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3 comments on "Kenny Rogers Passes Away at 81, Leaves 1978 Hit Song "The Gambler" as His Mark on Poker"

 CALICUL23/03/2020 12:03:01 GMT
Kenny Rogers was a successful man in his profession and his songs has delighted many people. Unfortunately, each of us we have the same fate and we can't do anything about it. The goal left behind is big. Condolences to his family.
 dule-vu23/03/2020 13:57:16 GMT
must admit that I dont know anything about this song and probably never heard about it!I did listen now this song from this video,but still cant remember of it!its strange when somebody make song about this kind of thing,even he dont know anyhtingabout texas holdem!
 maragatero24/03/2020 16:18:07 GMT
I think that this song is the only that I recognize of Kenny Rogers, and it was running a lot in my country for a while. But my poor english didn´t allowed to understand that it was talking about a poker´s player. And, less even, that it was poker's unofficial theme song. But the news said that this song was sung in the WOSP of...1979! I thought that it was a relative new song...

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